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

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was 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.

  • 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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