The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Thinking of taking valerian to help you sleep?

    Before you do, consider these quotes.

    From the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements

    • “Although the results of some studies suggest that valerian may be useful for insomnia and other sleep disorders, results of other studies do not.”
    • “Overall, the evidence from these trials for the sleep-promoting effects of valerian is inconclusive.”

    National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

    • “Valerian may be helpful for insomnia, but there is not enough evidence from well-designed studies to confirm this.”
    • “NCCAM is funding a study to look at the effects of valerian on sleep in healthy older adults.”

    • “A recent government review of studies done on valerian found the evidence was inconclusive.”

    A 2006 University of California, San Francisco review of the literature

    • “Identified 16 eligible studies examining a total of 1093 patients.”
    • “Most studies had significant methodologic problems.”
    • “The valerian doses, preparations, and length of treatment varied considerably.”
    • “There was evidence of publication bias.”
    • “The available evidence suggests that valerian might improve sleep quality.”

    And then there’s this from in 2001.

    • “Only 9 of the 17 valerian products passed testing.”
    • “Four products completely lacked the marker compounds that identify the presence of Valeriana officinalis.”
    • “Four others had roughly half of the expected levels.”

    Also, don’t take it if you are scheduled for surgery.

    12/18/06 20:58 JR

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