This herb is also known as all heal and garden heliotrope. It is a plant, which is native to both Europe and Asia. All heal is found in North America as well.
Its use as a medicinal herb goes back to ancient greek and roman times. Hippocrates described the herb's therapeutic uses.
It has been used over a long period for anxiety and sleep disorders. Additionally it has been used to treat irregular heartbeat, depression (see herbal remedies for depression), headaches and trembling.
The underground stems as well as the plant roots are used to prepare supplements, including tablets, liquid extracts, and capsules.
Some of the human controlled studies that have been done showed that the people who took those who took all-heal had less insomnia as well as better sleep quality.
One random clinical study in Germany evaluated an all-heal plus St John's wort combination to a anti-anxiety drug called diamapanz in one hundred people who have anxiety symptoms.
The trial showed that the people who took herbs showed significant improvement. Another German study did compare all-heal extract to a prescription sedative called oxazepam in two hundred adults over a six-week period.
Those people who took all-heal reported an equal improvement in their sleep quality and the length of time they slept in comparison to the prescribed drug.
Several other studies have shown that all-heal cuts down the time taken to fall asleep. Studies have been done that looked at a single dosage of all-heal tended to show that there was not any sleep improvement.
Longer studies suggested improvement during a period of two to four weeks. This would suggest that if all-heal is going to do any good, then it should be taken over a few weeks. Health officials in Germany have approved valerian as a mild sedative and sleep aid.
There may be mild side affects from taking all heal such as morning fatigue, dizziness and headaches.
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