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Complement Ther Med. 2003 Dec;11(4):215-22.

Valerian does not appear to reduce symptoms for patients with chronic insomnia in general practice using a series of randomised n-of-1 trials.

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Herbal Medicines Research and Education Center, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia.



To investigate the effectiveness of valerian for the management of chronic insomnia in general practice.


Valerian versus placebo in a series of n-of-1 trials, in Queensland, Australia.


Of 42 enrolled patients, 24 (57%) had sufficient data for inclusion into the n-of-1 analysis. Response to valerian was fair for 23 (96%) participants evaluating their "energy level in the previous day" but poor or modest for all 24 (100%) participants' response to "total sleep time" and for 23 (96%) participants' response to "number of night awakenings" and "morning refreshment". As a group, the proportion of treatment successes ranged from 0.35 (95% CI 0.23, 0.47) to 0.55 (95% CI 0.43, 0.67) for the six elicited outcome sleep variables. There was no significant difference in the number (P=0.06), distribution (P=1.00) or severity (P=0.46) of side effects between valerian and placebo treatments.


Valerian was not shown to be appreciably better than placebo in promoting sleep or sleep-related factors for any individual patient or for all patients as a group.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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