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Susan Ivy
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4058
Experience:  BSN, MSN, CNS
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I typed in a question regarding using Valerian and Hops for

Customer Question

I typed in a question regarding using Valerian and Hops for a sleep disorder. I paid $9.00, then a screen said I had to go to another websie as the site was having difficlty. I did not receive an answer. Can I still get one now?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 8 years ago.



Thank you for coming back to JustAnswer after this problem. I looked and cannot find a record of your prior question about Valerian and Hops. Could you please specify your question?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I had a kidney transplant 6 years ago. Two years ago I went trough my only kidney rejection episode. My kidney function has stabilized at 1.8.


I have sleep apnea and can not tolerate a cpap machine. So - I take Ambien at night and use oxygent (2). I also have neuropathy and my feet cause a great deal of discomfort. I take 1 tylenol 3 at night with the ambien;


I don't want narcotics to be the answere. Would it be saft to take a Solarary Dietary Supplement "Sleep Blend SO-17" that main ingrediates are Valerian & Hops.


Thank you.

Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 8 years ago.

Hello and thank you for responding to my reply.


I do keep up with information on herbal products and their safety.


One thing to consider is that it is noted in the literature that valerian in combination with other sleep aids, which would include Ambien can cause potentiation. This means that more sedation may be caused than would be expected when the two are taken in combination (or three are taken in combination).


For information on the safety of Valerian, the most "scientifically based" information that I have found comes from Purdue University, where uses of plants are studied: and


They report that "no toxicity has ever been demonstrated in intact animals or human beings".


It is also noted that Valerian is not useful for an "acute" case of insomnia, because it takes several weeks of before results are noticed.


My recommendation is that if you decide to try an herbal or non-prescription product to help with sleep stick with a product that has only one ingredient. This way you can begin with a low dose for awhile and see if you personally have any allergy or side effects from the product.


Solaray is a well known, long standing and respected company. They probably make a single Valerian product as well as the combination product. "Nature's Way" is another company that has a standardized Valerian extract that also has a slight amount of calcium in it.


As a matter of fact, a calcium and magnesium supplement is helpful with relaxation and sleep in many cases. If you are not already taking this, you may want to consider this as well. Usually a good ratio is 6 to 2 or around 600 mg Calcium to 200mg magnesium. I've found that CVS makes a combination product that is 600mg calcium with around 222mg magnesium. Please clear any supplement with your physician first.


Because of your creatine level, which is normal for one kidney, from what I understand (and I am not a kidney specialist!) this should be safe for you, if you start at a low dose and give it time to work, but again, your physician that knows you best should also give input into your decision.


As you may know it can be a slight struggle to get off of sleeping aids such as Ambien that you have used for a long time, there will need to be a slow taper, and you must have direction from your doctor before you would start this.


By the way, I have written up some information on other measures to take for insomnia along with some references. If you would like this information I'd be happy to include it too. It is basic information, but some of the information is not generally known, so it may be helpful for you too. Just let me know if you would like me to attach that too.



Susan Ivy and 3 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 8 years ago.
Thank you very much, and you have a good nights sleep soon!