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White Plains, New York, May 31, 2018 — Valerian is often promoted as a sleep aid and to help with anxiety. But does it really work, and if so, which products are best? To find out, ConsumerLab recently purchased and tested popular valerian supplements sold in the U.S., checking to see whether they were contaminated with lead, cadmium or arsenic, and to determine the amounts of valerenic acids they contained. Valerenic acids are the compounds in valerian thought to be responsible for the herb's effects on the nervous system.

The tests revealed that three products did not contain the minimum amount of valerenic acids ConsumerLab expected based on their listed ingredients and/or exceeded ConsumerLab's limit for lead. One product contained just 3% of the valerenic acids expected. Even among products that contained their expected amounts, several provided much lower doses of valerenic acids than shown to be effective in clinical studies. There were also significant differences in the cost to obtain an equivalent amount of valerenic acids: the range was from as little as 11 cents to over $4.

Among the products that passed all tests of quality and provided significant doses of valerenic acids, ConsumerLab identified its Top Picks based on value.

The findings are available online now in ConsumerLab's Valerian Supplements Review, which also summarizes the clinical evidence for and against valerian for insomnia, anxiety and stress; discusses dosage, potential side effects and drug interactions; and suggests what to look for on labels when choosing a valerian supplement.

The Review includes test results and quality comparisons for ten valerian supplements. These include eight selected for testing by ConsumerLab and two valerian supplements that passed the same testing through CL's voluntary Quality Certification Program. Products covered in the review are: Douglas Laboratories Valsed, Gaia Organics Valerian Root, GNC Herbal Plus Valerian Root, Herb Pharm Rhizome With Root Valerian, Herbal Secrets Valerian Root, Nature's Answer Valerian Root, Nature's Sunshine Valerian, Nature's Way Standardized Valerian, NOW Valerian Root and Swanson Valerian Root.

Founded in 1999, is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. Membership to is available online and provides immediate access to reviews of more than 1,000 products from over 400 brands. The company is privately held and based in Westchester, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products.

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