AHPA Counters ConsumerLab: Valerian Report Faulty

November 29, 2010

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA; Silver Spring, MD) has questioned a recent ConsumerLab.com report that stated only 22% of the valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) products ConsumerLab tested passed quality review.

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA; Silver Spring, MD) has questioned a recent ConsumerLab.com report that stated only 22% of the valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) products ConsumerLab tested passed quality review.

AHPA is questioning ConsumerLab’s testing threshold-that is, for products tested that list their levels of valerenic acid, that the amount of total valerenic acids detected in a product comprise at least 0.17% of the amount of valerian root in the product. While 0.17% is a threshold minimum established by the European Pharmacopeia (EP) for whole, dried valerian root, AHPA says that the EP’s threshold for valerenic acid derived from dried valerian root in cut form is lower, 0.10%, which reflects “changes that may occur during processing.”

Although ConsumerLab did not disclose why it chose 0.17% as its threshold, AHPA suspects that the company used the EP threshold.

 “ConsumerLab arbitrarily chose to apply the 0.17% standard to all forms of valerian root in their attempt to determine the quality of these products,” said Steven Dentali, PhD, AHPA’s chief science officer. “This is clearly not correct for products made with cut or fresh valerian root.”

AHPA says that most of the products ConsumerLab tested do in fact meet standards established by the EP and FDA.

“Taking into account the actual forms of valerian in the tested products, a re-analysis of ConsumerLab’s data indicates that six-not four-of the tested products contain levels of valerenic acids claimed,” Dentali added.

Read the entire AHPA press release here.