Sleep Home > Valerian Root Side Effects

Headaches, morning drowsiness, and an upset stomach are among the possible side effects of valerian root. These side effects can be serious and may require immediate medial attention. Some of the serious side effects of this substance include signs of liver damage and allergic reactions. If valerian root is used for a long time, it may cause insomnia and excitability.

Does Valerian Root Cause Side Effects?

As with any medication or supplement, side effects are possible with valerian root. Like most drugs or supplements used to treat insomnia, valerian root is more likely to have bothersome side effects if you take it at the wrong time of the day (usually, it should be taken at night).
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with valerian root. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of valerian root side effects with you.)

Side Effects of Valerian Root to Report

Some side effects with valerian root, while occurring infrequently, are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Signs of liver damage, such as:
    • Yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin (jaundice)
    • Upper-right abdominal pain (stomach pain)
    • Elevated liver enzymes (found using a blood test)
  • Any unusual side effects after suddenly stopping valerian root (cases of valerian root withdrawal have been reported)
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • Rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Swelling of the mouth or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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