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I am trying to determine if valepotriates (valerian extract) is a diuretic or an antidiuretic. Some individuals take valerian as an herbal supplement for anxiety disorders. Some individuals claim that valerian extract can act as a diuretic, while others claim that it is an anti-diuretic. I am trying to determine which it is - diuretic or antidiuretic?

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  • $\begingroup$ I couldn't find credible sources on the effect of valerian on the kidneys. One case report mentions hyponatrema (due to excessive diuresis), but relates it to excessive water consumption instead. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Jun 16 '16 at 18:38
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    $\begingroup$ where have you seen these claims that is has diuretic or anti-diuretic properties? $\endgroup$ Jul 4 '16 at 2:40
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    $\begingroup$ Without a source, this question is unclear. $\endgroup$
    – James
    Jul 4 '16 at 8:49
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There is one study that I can find that has been cited in the medical literature that examines individuals taking valerian extract for generalized anxiety disorder. In this paper, there do not appear to be any claims that valerian has any diuretic or anti-diuretic properties. However, that's not to say that those properties don't exist. Additionally, there is no indication that the extract is associated with hyponatremia or hypernatremia, which are two other signs of disorders affecting salt/water balance. Overall, it sounds like if there is a diuretic or anti-diuretic effect of valerian, it is not well-described (yet).

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The Natural Medicines Database monograph for Valerian includes a pooled adverse effects analysis of more than 20 clinical trials with Valerian for various indications. No diuretic effects were identified in any trials.

Natural Medicines Database monographs are available by subscription only and are considered by the vast majority of healthcare professionals to be the gold-standard source for any natural supplement, herbal or food supplement evidence-based information. www.naturaldatabase.com

Professional Opinion (Pharmacist): The specific mechanism of Valerian is unknown. Valerian is possibly effective for insomnia and it is suggested that it is also helpful for anxiety, depression and stress (insufficient reliable evidence to rate). A large number of pharmaceutical products that have similar uses (tri-cyclic antidepressants, mirtazapine, trazodone) can cause urinary retention, sedation and dry mouth by anticholinergic effects. If I had to guess whether it would have diuretic or antidiuretic properties, I would go with antidiuretic effects secondary to anticholinergic effects.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to BiologySE - thanks for your answer. It would definitely strengthen your answer if you could add some links to the database that you mention so other users can read about your answer. Also, you may want to check out the help center for how to write a good answer for some additional pointers - it will help you gain more reputation points in the community. Link: biology.stackexchange.com/help $\endgroup$ Jul 4 '16 at 14:47

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