If you’ve been suffering from lack of night sleep or maybe insomnia, we’re here to present you a herb that will help you overcome those problems! It has been used for centuries and it can also treat nervous restlessness and anxiety. This herb is called valerian root!
Numerous doctors and experts claim that it possesses anti-anxiety and sedative properties. It can be found on the packages of some tea blends, because it’s natural and it’s abundant in benefits.
5 Valerian Root Benefits
1.It Helps The Process of Sleeping Naturally
If you’re experiencing trouble with falling asleep, maybe you need this herb. It is natural and it won’t cause any side-effects.
It is often used together with lemon balm (Melissa officianalis) and hops (Humulus lupulus). There are numerous studies which show the efficiency of this root in people with insomnia. They were also calmer.
Valerian root has been scientifically proved to be able to calm anxiety better than diazepam (Valium) and alprazolam (Xanax). As we already said, it possesses anti-anxiety agents.
The best thing is that it doesn’t cause any side-effects.
3.Decreases Your Blood Pressure
Valerian root has very calming effects, so it’s no wonder that it can decrease your blood pressure, but also improve your heart health.
Decreasing high blood pressure means that you’ll also decrease the chances of heart attack and stroke.
4.Eases Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps can also be alleviated because of the relaxation properties this herb has. It’s an amazing natural solution for women who have problems with PMS or cramping.
It is a natural antispasmodic and sedative herb.
5.Improves Stress Management
Valerian root can help you cope with stress every day. Chronic stress is something that makes you very tired and anxious.
Your mind and whole body will be relaxed with the common use of valerian root.
Valerian Root vs. Melatonin
One of the hormones related with the cycle sleep-wake is called melatonin. It is made in the pineal gland. It produces melatonin which is released into our blood as soon as becomes dark e.g. the sun goes down.
If we have low levels of melatonin, we might experience insomnia.
Melatonin and Valerian Root Benefits:
Valerian has been used to treat sleep problems since ancient times, but also melatonin.
Melatonin is also connected to good results in cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, otherwise known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, but also Alzheimer’s disease.
Possible Side Effects of Melatonin and Valerian Root:
Valerian: stomach problems, excitability, headaches, uneasiness, dizziness;
Melatonin: daytime sleepiness, headaches, irritability, dizziness, stomach cramps, short-term feelings of depression.
Valerian — If it’s combined with supplements which induce sleep, it can cause severe tiredness.
Melatonin — You should be extra careful if you combine it medicines that have sedative properties or cause slow blood clotting.
Valerian and melatonin — You shouldn’t combine them both because their effect would probably be too strong. They promote sleep but also cause a sedating effect. Make sure you don’t combine them with other medicines that are against insomnia or alcoholic beverages.
Valerian Root Origin and Chemical Properties
Valerian root is extracted from perennial flowering plant called Valeriana officinalis. This plant has pink flowers which bloom during the summer period. It originates from Europe, but also parts of Asia and North America.
Valerian root is abundant in volatile oils, like for example valerenic acids, valepotriates (esters of short-chain fatty acids) and less volatile sesquiterpenes. They are the ones to cause its calming effects.
Its name is from the Latin verb “valere” which means to be strong and healthy. It has been very popular in ancient Greece and Rome.
How to Use Valerian Root
This amazing herb is considered to be very safe. You can buy it in the form of tea, capsules, powdered extract, fluid or tincture. It can be used as an essential oil, too.
Its smell is rather terrible, but the taste isn’t that bad.
If you take it more than 2 weeks, you’ll feel amazing results.
In cases of insomnia, take it at least 2 hours before you go to bed.
Here are some examples how you can use it in cases of insomnia:
Tea: Put 1 teaspoon of dried root into 1 cup of boiling water. It should steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
Tincture (1:5): 1 to 1 ½ a teaspoon (4 to 6 mL)
Fluid extract (1:1): ½ to 1 teaspoon (1 to 2 mL)
Dry powdered extract (4:1): 250 to 600 milligrams
When you notice that your sleep has improved, continue taking the valerian root for 2 to 6 weeks more. In cases of anxiety, you should take 120 to 200 milligrams, three or four times every day.
Possible Valerian Root Side Effects & Caution of Valerian Root
As we already said, it is considered to be safe, but it can still cause stomach problems, dizziness or headaches. There are some people who take it against anxiousness, but feel the opposite, or feel restless when they should feel sleepy and calm.
According to studies, it doesn’t have a harmful effect in cases of pregnancy or if you’re nursing, but you should still check with your doctor first.
This herb can’t cause any withdrawal symptoms or dependency. In case you want to stop using it, decrease the dosage gradually.
As we already said, it has a sedating effect, so make sure you avoid using it before using heavy machinery or driving. You should also avoid it in cases of liver problems.
Don’t combine it with alcohol, other calming medications, benzodiazepines, depressants or narcotics.
Valerian can increase the effect caused by melatonin, St. John’s wort and kava. If you have some chronic problems, speak to your doctor before you decide on taking valerian.
Final Thoughts on Valerian Root
Using valerian root is a natural way to help you in cases of insomnia. It doesn’t cause any side-effects, or if it causes them they’re very rare and they aren’t that dangerous.
Here are some of the cases where valerian root has helped people to use its sedative effects in the best possible way:
- high blood pressure
- menstrual cramps
Even though you might need at least 2 weeks to notice the very first results, just be patients and think about all the improvements it can cause. You’ll get rid of all the anxiety and sleepless night with a natural remedy, so you’ve got nothing to use! Try it out today!