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? ConsumerLab.com purchased and tested popular brands and reviewed the latest clinical research to find out.
Compounds known as valerenic acids are thought to be responsible for valerian's effects on the nervous system. However, our tests found that many valerian supplements don't provide the amount of valerenic acids shown to be effective in some studies, and a few don't even contain levels expected from the amounts of valerian listed on their labels. Lead contamination was also an issue with two products.
Fortunately, we also identified several products that passed all of our tests of quality and provided significant doses of valerenic acids — without unacceptable lead. Some even cost less than lower dose products. We selected two products as our Top Picks for best valerian.
You must be a ConsumerLab.com member to get the full valerian supplements test results and reviews for 10 valerian products including root powders, extracts, and tinctures. Eight of these were selected for review by ConsumerLab.com and two others passed the same testing in CL's voluntary Quality Certification Program. In the review, you'll learn:
- ConsumerLab's Top Picks for valerian supplements based on quality, purity, dose, and value
- Which products passed or failed our tests and why
- How valerian supplements compare on ingredients, dosage, amounts of valerenic acids, and cost
- Amounts of valerenic acids in each product
- Price comparisons showing how to get the best valerian at lowest cost
- Clinical information about whether or not valerian works for sleep and anxiety and dosage
- Safety, side effects, and potential drug interactions with valerian