Powdered Valerian
Powdered Valerian is Valerian reduced to a fine or a very fine powder. It contains no calcium oxalate crystals and no foreign starch granules. It contains NLT 0.3% of volatile oil and NLT 0.04% of valerenic acid (C15H22O2).
•  A. Color Reaction
Sample solution:  0.2 g of Powdered Valerian in 5 mL of methylene chloride. Shake several times, and allow to stand for 5 min. Filter, wash the filter with 2 mL of methylene chloride, and combine the filtrate and washings in one container. Heat the combined filtrate and washings on a water bath for the minimum time required to evaporate the solvent, and dissolve the residue in 0.2 mL of methylene chloride.
Analysis:  To 0.1 mL of the Sample solution add 3 mL of a mixture of equal volumes of glacial acetic acid and 25% hydrochloric acid, and shake several times.
Acceptance criteria:  A blue color develops within 15 min.
•  B. HPLC Identification Test
Analysis:  Proceed as directed in the test for Content of Valerenic Acid.
Acceptance criteria:  The Sample solution chromatogram exhibits a peak for valerenic acid at a retention time that corresponds to that of the Standard solution.
•  Content of Valerenic Acid
Mobile phase:  A (4:1) mixture of methanol and dilute phosphoric acid (1 in 200)
Standard solution:  0.05 mg/mL of USP Valerenic Acid RS in 70% alcohol
Sample solution:  To 2 g of Powdered Valerian add 40.0 mL of 70% alcohol. Shake by mechanical means for 2 h at room temperature. Centrifuge, and use the clear extract.
Chromatographic system 
Mode:  LC
Detector:  UV 225 nm
Column:  4.6-mm × 25-cm; packing L1
Flow rate:  1.5 mL/min
Injection size:  20 µL
System suitability 
Sample:  Standard solution
Suitability requirements 
Tailing factor:  NMT 2.0 for the valerenic acid peak
Relative standard deviation:  NMT 2.0% for the valerenic acid peak
Samples:  Standard solution and Sample solution
Calculate the percentage of valerenic acid (C15H22O2) in the portion of Powdered Valerian taken:
Result = (rU/rS) × CS × (V/W) × 100
rU== peak area from the Sample solution
rS== peak area from the Standard solution
CS== concentration of USP Valerenic Acid RS in the Standard solution (mg/mL)
V== volume of the Sample solution, 40 mL
W== weight of Powdered Valerian taken to prepare the Sample solution (mg)
Acceptance criteria:  NLT 0.04% on the dried basis
•  Articles of Botanical Origin, Volatile Oil Determination 561
Sample:  100 g
Acceptance criteria:  NLT 0.3%
•  Heavy Metals 231: 50 µg/g
•  Microbial Enumeration Tests 2021: The total bacterial count does not exceed 105 cfu/g, the total combined molds and yeasts count does not exceed 103 cfu/g, and bile-tolerant Gram-negative bacteria does not exceed 103 cfu/g.
•  Absence of Specified Microorganisms 2022: It meets the requirements of the tests for absence of Salmonella species and Escherichia coli.
•  Botanic Characteristics
Microscopic:  Numerous fragments of parenchyma cells containing globules of volatile oil and starch granules; fragments of scalariform and reticulate thickened vessels and tracheids and strongly lignified narrow fibers; fragments of periderm and of piliferous layer with root hairs; numerous starch granules, rarely simple, mostly compounds of 2–6 components, spheroidal, plano-convex, 3–20, mostly from 8 to 12 µm in diameter with a central hilum, the starch granules being from 7 to 30 µm in diameter
•  Extractable Matter
Sample:  2 g, carefully dried at 40
Analysis:  Mix the Sample with 20 mL of 70% alcohol, and allow to stand for 2 h, shaking frequently. Filter, evaporate 5 mL of the filtrate on a water bath to dryness, and dry the residue at 105.
Acceptance criteria:  NLT 20%. The weight of the dried residue is NLT 100 mg.
•  Water, Method 1a 921: NMT 5.0%
•  Packaging and Storage: Preserve in well-closed containers, store at room temperature, and protect from light and moisture.
•  Labeling: The label states the Latin binomial and, following the official name, the parts of the plant from which the article was derived.
•  USP Reference Standards 11
USP Valerenic Acid RS Click to View Structure
Auxiliary Information— Please check for your question in the FAQs before contacting USP.
Topic/Question Contact Expert Committee
Monograph Maged H. Sharaf, Ph.D.
Principal Scientific Liaison
(DS2010) Monographs - Dietary Supplements
2021 Radhakrishna S Tirumalai, Ph.D.
Principal Scientific Liaison
(GCM2010) General Chapters - Microbiology
2022 Radhakrishna S Tirumalai, Ph.D.
Principal Scientific Liaison
(GCM2010) General Chapters - Microbiology
Reference Standards RS Technical Services
USP35–NF30 Page 1464
Pharmacopeial Forum: Volume No. 32(2) Page 395