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?
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).
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.
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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.