According to a recent news story in the Reuters Health section, many companies selling herbal sleep supplements containing valerian (that stuff that smells like stinky feet, but calms you down…) are not using as much of the key ingredient as claimed on the bottle, and sometimes include deadly substances like cadmium and lead.
As most know, lead can cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death. Cadmium has been known to cause serious liver and kidney problems to employees who work with metal containing the substance.
Of fourteen herbal valerian supplements tested, only four contained the amount required to be clinically effective.
Consumers are warned not to take more of the supplement to compensate, as many valerian supplements also contain many other active and inactive ingredients. Instead, use one of the products tested by ConsumerLab.com found to contain the appropriate amount of Valerian.