In case you have trouble sleeping at night which makes you feel frustrated and annoyed, we have the perfect solution for you. The herb we are going to present below has been used as a treatment for anxiety and insomnia for centuries.
The name of this miraculous remedy we are talking about is Valerian root. It’s beneficial properties for relieving anxiety have even been proven scientifically. This herb is a common ingredient in various sleep promoting tea blends.
Besides promoting better sleep, this remedy is also excellent for easing anxiety, treating high blood pressure as well as other 5 we are going to present.
- Naturally enhances sleep
Many studies have confirmed the ability of valerian root to reduce the time you need to fall asleep and also to improve the sleep quality without the side-effects that most sleeping pills have.
One study performed by the Swedish Health Center of Foellinge has shown amazing results. More than 40% of the participants reported better sleep quality and more than 80% of them claimed that they notice overall improvement in their health without any side effects.
This herb is usually combined with other herbs such as hops and lemon balm to treat insomnia.
Another study published by Phytomedicine showed that children who took valerian root and lemon balm combination slept much better than those who were given the placebo.
Valerian root is efficient because of the sedative effect which is caused by increasing the GABA (inhibitory transmitter which has sedative effects on the body) in the brain.
An in vitro study proven the ability of valerian root to release GABA in the nerve endings in the brain.
- Soothe anxiety
Since valerian root boosts the levels of GABA in the brain, it also works as a treatment for anxiety. The GABA is a chemical which treats anxiety by regulating the nerve cells function.
Valerian root has almost the same effect as Xanax and Valium which is pretty impressive particularly because it has no side effects and does not cause addiction.
- Lower blood pressure
Besides soothing the mind and body, valerian root also helps reduce high blood pressure because of the ability to regulate stress and anxiety levels.
If you have high blood pressure your risk of having strokes and heart attack is much bigger so it is very important to take this health issue very seriously. You can significantly improve your overall health with the help of valerian root because it also balances the blood sugar levels.
- Soothe menstrual cramps
You can naturally relieve the severity of menstrual cramps with valerian root because it has sedative as well as antispasmodic properties that reduce the muscle spasms causing the pain. During menstruation, the uterine muscles contract which often causes unbearable pain that can be relieved with this herb.
- Stress management
Since valerian root works as a sedative and also improves the sleep quality, it also helps to reduce stress levels significantly. Being constantly stressed can cause anxiety, but you can prevent this by naturally boosting GABA levels with the help of this herb.
Origins and chemical properties of valerian root
This herb originates from Europe and some parts of Asia however now it is also spread in North America. It belongs to the Valerianaceae family, and it has a sweet scent. The Latin name of the herb means “to be healthy, strong”.
The valerian root contains three main compounds that are responsible for the relaxing and healing effects. It has been used since Ancient times as a remedy for insomnia.
How to use it
This herb is considered safe and can be easily found in stores or online. It can be bought as a supplement, tea, dry powder extract, essential oil or liquid extract.
Note: Even though the smell of the herb is awful, it does not taste that bad. In order to start feeling the positive effects, you should take the remedy at least several weeks.
Most people start feeling changes in about 2-3 weeks after constant use. The usual dosage for insomnia is 3 times a day, but be careful to take the last dose no later than 2 hours before going to bed.
The recommended doses of this herb depend on the form you are taking:
- Dry powdered extract: 250-600 mg
- Fluid extract: 1-2 ml (1/2 to 1 teaspoon)
- Tincture: 4-6 ml (1 to 11/2 teaspoon)
- Tea: 2-3 gr of dried root (1 teaspoon) in one cup of boiling water. Let steep for 5-10 minutes before consumption. To treat anxiety, consume 120-200mg, 3-4 times a day. For ultimate results, once you notice improvement in sleep continue using the remedy for another 2-6 weeks.
Potential side effects
Even though it is considered safe, there are some possible side effects such as headaches, stomach problems and dizziness. In some cases, it can cause reverse reactions in treatment of anxiety and insomnia and even make the symptoms worse.
Most studies that examined the effects of valerian root on the fetus during pregnancy have shown no side effects, however more studies are to be performed.
If you are pregnant, nursing or you want to give valerian root to your child, always consult your doctor first.
Majority of people who have used this herb have not reported any withdrawal symptoms, but there are some who did.
Instead of completely stopping at once, you should gradually reduce the dose of valerian root particularly if you have been taking it for a long period of time.
Because it promotes sleep, valerian root should not be taken before doing any activity that requires alertness. Also, if you suffer from any kind of liver issue, never consume valerian root.
The following drugs should never be combined with valerian root:
There are also some drugs whose effects can be blocked or altered by valerian root such as melatonin, St. John’s wort or kava.
Valerian root can also impede the effects of some prescription medications and may block or alter the effects of different natural supplements like kava, melatonin, and St. John’s wort.
Sleep disorders such as insomnia are very common and they affect millions of people worldwide. In case you are one of those people, give valerian root a try before you take sleeping pills.
It will not only improve your sleep quality, but it will also improve your overall health without making you dizzy when you wake up.
Valerian root does not disrupt the chemical balance in the body and it promotes sleep in a completely natural way. To summarize, valerian root can be very helpful in treatment of:
- High blood pressure
- Mental Breakdown
- Menstrual cramps
Nature has given us just one remedy for various health issues. So, keep your health safe and avoid side effects from prescription pills by taking natural remedies such as valerian root.
Remember that valerian root takes 2 weeks of uninterrupted use in order to show results. But sometimes it can even show positive effects after the first dose.