NCI Drug Dictionary
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Valeriana officinalis extract
An herbal extract isolated from the root of the plant Valeriana officinalis with sedative and anxiolytic activities. Valeriana officinalis extract contains four distinct classes of phytochemical constituents: volatile oils; sesquiterpenoids, including valerenic acid and its hydroxyl and acetoxyl derivative; valepotriates; and volatile pyridine alkaloids. Although the exact mechanism of action has not been established, the sequiterpenoids in Valeriana officinalis extract, particularly valerenic acid, appear to account for its sedative and anxiolytic effects. Valerenic acid is both a subtype-selective GABA-A receptor agonist and a 5HT-5A receptor partial agonist. The sedative-hypnotic benzodiazepines are GABA-A receptor agonists. Check for active clinical trials or closed clinical trials using this agent. (NCI Thesaurus)