Special Edition: Botanicals
The last of the NY AG 7 is Valerian (Valeriana officinalis), which is most commonly positioned as a sleep aid or to help people with anxiety.
Sales of supplements containing this herb grew 11% from 2014 ($29.0 million) to 2015 ($32.2 million) across natural and mass channels, according to SPINS, but subsequently shrank 9% over the next 52 weeks. Sales for the 52 Weeks Ending August 7, 2016 across the channels were $29.2 million.
The sleep category has experienced significant growth, and valerian has undoubtedly benefited from that. However, the science remains inconsistent on its potential benefits.
A 2010 meta-analysis concluded: “We identify that valerian improved sleep quality when the outcome was measured as a dichotomous variable (yes or not). But we do not identify the efficacy of valerian in improving the latency time in minutes to get to sleep or improvement in sleep quality when it was measured with visual analogical scales.” (Sleep Medicine, Vol. 11, pp. 505–511)
Image © iStock / Katharina Rau