In this guide, we will answer the question “Does valerian root cause erectile dysfunction?”. We will see what is valerian, what is erectile dysfunction, recommended doses, who should not take valerian, a list of side effects, and additional considerations.
Does valerian root cause erectile dysfunction?
You may be wondering ‘Does valerian root cause erectile dysfunction?’ since you may be considering taking it. Let’s start by saying that valerian is a flowering plant and the root is the one used as an herbal remedy.
Research around the benefits of using valerian root is still needed, but some believe it is good treating anxiety, stress, depression, attention deficit disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, tremors, epilepsy, menopause symptoms, and other conditions. However, valerian root should never be used to replace your prescribed medication.
This is often sold as a supplement and there are no regulated manufacturing standards and they need to be purchased from reliable distributers to minimize the risk of contamination.
Herbal medicine could be considered as very safe and side effects free, but not everyone tolerates substances the same way, this is why it is important to always consult your doctor before taking any of the herbal remedies we will mention.
What is erectile dysfunction
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is understood as the inability to reach and maintain an erection during intercourse. It is considered as one of the most common sexual problems among males, independent of their age, race, or culture but acknowledging that age is considered an important risk factor.
Historically speaking, there are records from Singapore about believing Penis soup and Snake meat or from Surabaya, known for using Cobra meat and Cobra blood, all believed to help treat erectile problems.
Moreover, if you are taking prescribed medication to treat erectile dysfunction it is not recommended to take valerian. Make sure you ask your doctor before starting to use valerian.
What is Valerian?
Valerian is a plant from which the root is dried and used as an herbal remedy, used over centuries now and known for its sedative effects to treat sleeping problems such as insomnia. Other suggested uses include the treatment of mild anxiety symptoms, stress, depression, attention deficit disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, tremors, epilepsy, menopause symptoms, among other conditions (drugs.com).
The major constituents are voleapropriates, which possess sedative, anticonvulsive, hypotensive, tranquilizing, neurotropic, and anti-aggressive properties, which explains the associated benefits.
However, valerian should not be taken without the approval of your doctor and after considering any interactions with other prescribed medication. Also, it is important to follow the instructions and directions in the product label and package.
Before taking Valerian
If you suspect or you know you may be allergic do not attempt to take it. In addition, talk to your doctor before taking valerian if you have certain medical conditions, if you are breastfeeding or pregnant. Moreover, do not attempt to give this type of supplements to a child without seeking medical advice first.
How should I take it?
While taking valerian it is not advised to crush, chew, break or open a valerian capsule but swallowing it whole. You can find it as an extract in powder or liquid form, as a dried herb in tea form, or in pills. Also, if you are having surgery it is advised to stop taking valerian 2 weeks ahead of time.
Moreover, if you are worried about what would happen if you miss a dose, since it is used when needed you are not likely to miss a dose but if you overdose or take more than recommended, seek emergency attention as soon as possible.
According to WebMD, the following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- Adults dose by mouth for insomnia: 400-900 mg valerian extract before bedtime for as long as 6 weeks, or 120 mg of valerian extract, with 80 mg of lemon balm extract before bedtime for up to 30 days, or 374-500 mg of valerian extract plus 83.8-120 mg of hops extract before bedtime for 2-4 weeks, or 300 mg of valerian extract, 80 mg of passionflower extract, and 30 mg of hops extract before bedtime for up to two weeks. Take valerian 30 minutes to 2 hours before bedtime.
- Adult dose for symptoms of menopause: 225 mg of ground valerian root has been taken three times daily for 8 weeks. Also, 530 mg of valerian root extract has been taken twice daily for 8 weeks.
What to avoid while taking valerian
Avoid driving or doing activities that require your motor skills or concentration since valerian root can make you feel sleepy or drowsy, such as driving or manipulating heavy machinery.
Also avoid combining valerian with any other herbal supplement that has the same effect. This includes:
- 5-HTP or 5-hydroxytryptophan.
- California poppy.
- Jamaican dogwood.
- St. John’s Wort.
- Yerba Mansa.
Are there side effects?
You could have an allergic reaction, so make sure you look for any signs such as hives, difficulties breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. However, if you experience liver problems, headaches, upset stomach, thinking problems, dry mouth, feeling excited or uneasy, strange dreams, or daytime drowsiness.
Even though all valerian side effects are not known, it is thought that using it short term (4-8 weeks) may be considered safe.
List of drugs that will affect valerian
If you are taking medicine for any of the following medical conditions, refrain from using valerian unless determined safe by your physician (drugs.com):
- any type of infection (including HIV, malaria, or tuberculosis);
- anxiety or depression;
- asthma or allergies;
- erectile dysfunction;
- heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD);
- high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or a heart condition;
- migraine headaches;
- psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other autoimmune disorders;
- a psychiatric disorder; or
This list is not complete so there may be potential drugs that may interact with valerian such as over-the-counter medication, vitamins, and other herbal products.
According to WebMD, do not take valerian with:
- Alcohol: it can cause sleepiness and drowsiness.
- Alprazolam (Xanax): this combination can decrease how quickly the liver can break down alprazolam, which can increase the effects and side effects of alprazolam.
- Clonazepam (Klonopin), Diazepam (Valium), Lorazepam (Ativan), Midazolam (Versed), Temazepam (Restoril), Triazolam (Halcion), and others.
- CNS depressants: pentobarbital (Nembutal), phenobarbital (Luminal), secobarbital (Seconal), thiopental (Pentothal), fentanyl (Duragesic, Sublimaze), morphine, propofol (Diprivan), and others.
Other herbs for Erectile Dysfunction
Here is a list of Asian herbals and aphrodisiacs used for managing ED, find the study here.
- Chinese yam: often used as a tonic to the reproductive system.
- Eucommia: it is believed to be a potent herb that treats impotence and fatigue.
- Ginseng: it is believed to help increase sex-related hormones like testosterone and enhances sexual responses in men and women.
- Deer antlers: popular among Chinese medical teaching, where kidneys are believed to control sexual function. This may invigorate impotence and infertility increasing semen production.
- Seahorse: it is believed to promote kidney “yang” and normalizes sexual activity.
- Gingko biloba: it is said to enhance circulation increasing cerebral as well as genital blood flow.
- Tribulus terrestris: it has been used in Eastern Europe and Bulgaria for sexual deficiency. The properties have been associated with an increase in sperm production, sexual endurance, and testosterone levels.
- Tongkat Ali: it is said to enhance testosterone and cGMP production.
- Gambir: this is a powder made into a paste that when it is applied onto the penis is said to create a prolonged erection and retards premature ejaculation.
- Muira puama: it is said to increase libido and penile hardness. It acts as a nerve stimulant to heighten receptiveness to sexual stimuli as well as the physical sensation of sex.
- Yohimbe: used to treat impotency and known as the herbal viagra.
- Wild oats: it is said to have reported effects such as heightened sexual awareness, increased sexual thoughts, more orgasms, and may increase levels of testosterone.
- Catuaba: this extract is considered to be a central nervous system stimulant. It is used in some Asian remedies for sexual weakness and lowered libido.
Why is this blog about does valerian root cause erectile dysfunction important?
As we have discussed, there is no evidence indicating valerian root causes erectile dysfunction but if you are being treated and you are taking prescribed medicine it is important to consult with your doctor before taking it. Especially, because there could be unwanted (but avoidable) side effects.
Moreover, it is important to be aware there is a lack of consistent evidence surrounding valerian root benefits. Also, there is a list of other herbal remedies that need to be used with caution and under medical supervision.
Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about does valerian root cause erectile dysfunction
What are the side effects of valerian root?
Some of the most common side effects of valerian root are headaches, upset stomach, thinking problems, dry mouth, feeling excited or uneasy, having strange dreams, or daytime drowsiness.
Does valerian root affect testosterone?
It is believed that valerian root can (indirectly) boost testosterone by helping you sleep better at night.
What is the best herb for erectile dysfunction?
The best herb for erectile dysfunction is said to be panax ginseng known also as herbal viagra. In addition, it is also believed rhodiola rosea, Dehydroepiandrosterone, L-arginine, acupuncture and Yohimbre, can help treat erectile dysfunction.
When should you not take valerian root?
Children younger than 3 years of age, if you pregnant or breastfeeding, should not take valerian root.
Is it OK to take valerian root everyday?
It is OK to take valerian root every day and even if it is not guaranteed, people who suffer from insomnia and anxiety may benefit from the daily intake. However, taking valerian long-term is not recommended since there are not enough studies to support long term effects.
Everydayhealth.com: “What is Valerian Root?”
Lim P. (2017). Asian herbals and aphrodisiacs used for managing ED. Translational andrology and urology, 6(2), 167–175. https://doi.org/10.21037/tau.2017.04.04