The root of the Valerian plant is pressed into a fresh juice or made into a powder and used for medicinal purposes. A native of Europe, this perennial plant grows wild in grasslands but is also used as a garden decoration. It grows to around 2 feet in height and its straight stems have umbrella-shaped heads and dark leaves.
This extract is available in several forms including capsules, tablets, and tea. It is mainly used to aid sleep and promote a feeling of calm.
Valerian has a very long history of use; it has been taken to treat insomnia, nerve conditions like anxiety and restlessness dating back to the second century and in Europe, it found new popularity during the 17th century.
While all herbal remedies need to be treated with a degree of caution, it has been approved in Germany as a mild sedative and regarded as generally safe by the food and drug administration in the United States.
What Are The Valerian Root Benefits & Uses On Health?
Valerian is famous for its anxiolytic, sedative, anticonvulsant, antibacterial, anti-diuretic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is used in the natural treatment of anxiety, sleep disorders, blood pressure, menopausal symptoms, menstrual cramps, headaches, and joint pains. This herb has been used for chronic fatigue syndrome, epilepsy, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, stomach upset, and other conditions. However, more evidence is also needed to rate its effectiveness for these uses.
1. Treat Sciatica
Valerian root helps you to reduce pain and keep your muscles relaxed. Valerian is also effective in curing sciatica pain related to a muscle spasm. This is because valerian root contains the volatile oil that helps to relax your muscles and reduce the tension. Furthermore, it is an excellent remedy for patients with sleep deprivation.
You can drink valerian tea to deal with this condition. To make this tea, add 1 tbsp. of dried valerian root to 1 cup of boiling water. Then, cover it and steep it for 10 minutes. Have several cups of this tea per week for several weeks. Or, you can also take its supplement after consulting a consult.
2. ADHD Treatment
Valerian works together with your brain to decelerate triggers that may cause hyperactivity and aid in the individual concentration. Adults can take about 300 to 1000 mg. Remember to consult a physician before giving this herb to a child.
3. Reduce Epilepsy
Valerian root helps to decrease the frequency of seizures occurring in epileptic patients because it contains sedative effects on your nervous system. Using it as an antiepileptic treatment has been supported in several animal studies.
4. Treat Hyperthyroidism Disease
This herb is famous for its muscle relaxing and sleep aiding effects. As you know, sleeplessness is a condition that is common for many patients with hyperthyroidism. When there is the overactive thyroid gland, it isn’t strange that you will suffer from insomnia as a normal result. Not only does this cause the weakness of your health but it also lessens the strength in the daily activities. Valerian root helps to increase the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid in the body that is a neurotransmitter or a healthy chemical used by your nervous system in order to direct messages to the brain, thereby calming down the nerves.
5. Memory Improvement
The dried valerian root tincture can improve memory performance and some problem-solving skills in children and adults. According to a research in aged mice, the valerenic acid present in this herb has powerful effects on the memory function.
6. Menopausal Symptoms
According to a study at the School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, this herb may be effective in treating menopausal hot flashes. In this study, 68 menopausal women took valerian capsules having 255 mg of this root 3 times per day within 8 weeks. The results showed a significant reduction in the condition of hot flashes after 8 weeks. Based on these things, you may try taking 255 mg of its capsules 3 times daily to help to reduce the number and severity of hot flashes related to menopause.
7. Treat Sleep Disorders
Valerian root has been used in various ways as a sedative and sleep aid. Valerian works by increasing the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid that aids you in regulating your nerve cells and contains a calming effect. Thanks to its calming effect, it is also widely used as one of the remedies for anxiety. Therefore, it is also one of the natural remedies for sleep disorders. You can have a cup of this tea with raw honey or take its capsules.
8. Stop Hand Tremors
It can cause your nerves to calm, relax, and have sound sleeps. For this, grind the valerian root well and then mix it with water. Wait for about 5 minutes and have it. This herb is also effective in managing hand tremors. In addition, lavender or chamomile teas are also great for hand tremors.
9. Home Remedies For Vertigo
You can try valerian whenever vertigo attacks you. It may deal with this problem such as anxiety and insomnia that are the causes of vertigo. Moreover, you should follow these detailed directions here to relieve vertigo attacks quickly:
- Dried valerian root – 1 teaspoon
- Water – 1 cup
- Firstly, you put the dried valerian root into the cup of water.
- Now, you let it steep for about 5 to 10 minutes.
- After that, you strain this tea.
- Finally, you drink it slowly.
You should do this way up to three times per day for at least 2 weeks.
Nevertheless, there is an easier method to treat vertigo fast. You take 1 teaspoon of valerian tincture for one or two times per day on the daily basis. And you can do this remedy for 2 or 3 weeks. In addition, you should ask the doctor before taking valerian tincture.
10. Treat Shin Splints
Using this root aids in making your muscles be relaxed. Hence, you will feel less pain fast in your shins. In addition, valerian root is also a tranquilizer. It makes you feel less affected by pain and calmer. You should have valerian root tea regularly for better results.
11. Relieve Insomnia
Insomnia is a real issue these days and estimates suggest that it is so common that some 60 million Americans are affected at some point. Sleep deprivation can have very far-reaching consequences including the following:
It causes accidents
Sleep deprivation is a major cause of work and road accidents in the US alone it is estimated that some 100,000 accidents resulting in over 1500 deaths are the direct result of sleep deprivation. Work accidents are also far more likely when employees are fatigued not to mention the amount of work absenteeism caused by insomnia.
It can dumb you down
Adequate amounts of good quality sleep are essential to learning and thinking. Without the required amount of sleep, you will have trouble focusing at school or at work.
Sleep cycles are also very important when it comes to consolidating your memories meaning that you will have more trouble taking on board new information gleaned during the day.
It can lead to health problems
Apart from the mental problems it causes, sleep deprivation can have grave consequences on your physical health. Lack of sleep puts you at a far greater risk of severe illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Estimates suggest that around 90% of insomniacs have at least one other serious health condition.
It kills your sex drive
Unfortunately, a lack of sleep can also pull you right out of the mood for love. Lack of sleep significantly depletes your sex drive which obviously has serious knock-on relationship effects.
Other potential effects of insomnia include depression and anxiety, poor skin health and even potential weight gain so it is vital that we do all that we can to ensure that we are getting enough sleep. There are a number of potential home remedies and tactics that you can try and one such natural treatment is valerian root.
Unlike more powerful pharmaceutical medication, it is root is considered to be gentle and safe when used properly and several studies confirm its use for those who are seeking a good night’s sleep.
A number of studies have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of valerian root as an alternative insomnia remedy.
It might not work immediately and you will need to exercise a degree of patience. One very well designed study using 184 adults was published in 2005 and found that valerian root was no better than a placebo for the first 14 days of treatment but after 28 days, it significantly improved the quality of sleep of the subjects who took it.
Not every piece of research has been so positive and the jury is still out on how well valerian root can actually help with insomnia. The evidence is still contradictory with many pieces of research noting no difference between the effects of valerian treatment and a placebo.
A meta-analysis of the published research conducted in 2010 was not entirely conclusive and suggested that it may be beneficial for insomnia but that more research was necessary to quantify its objective benefits.
Drink valerian tea to treat this problem:
- One-half tsp of nutmeg and valerian root
- 2 cups of hot water
Firstly, you mix the nutmeg and valerian root in 2 cups of hot water. Next, you steep the mixture for fifteen minutes. Then you strain and drink this tea. Remember that you should not use the method on a regular basis for a long time because it may cause heart problems.
Simply, you should drink the valerian tea to get rid of insomnia.
Another way you should try is to dilute a half tsp of valerian tincture in fresh water and drink it. You had better have 3 times daily.
12. Home Remedies For Palpitations
When you feel anxious and quick heartbeats, try valerian because it may make you calmer and restore the heartbeat. Moreover, it can also promote your sleep. You can use valerian tea or take valerian supplements after consulting a doctor. However, pregnant women should avoid using this method.
13. Heart Health
Valerian aids in maintaining your heart health. It can strengthen your blood vessels and improve its elasticity. Valerian can also help to normalize the blood pressure. Considering that one of the biggest causes of death in the United Kingdom is cardiovascular disease, this herb can be a popular choice for many people.
14. Home Remedies For Anxiety
If you are prone to anxiety, you will be very familiar with its horrible effects and will have doubtless tried a number of remedies already. If you are at your wit’s end and feel like nothing is helping, then it might provide a safe and natural solution.
Many experts recommend valerian root as an alternative treatment for anxiety because of its ability to increase the brain’s GABA levels. There is some scientific evidence supporting its use for anxiety but as with insomnia, the results are far from conclusive.
One study published in 2006 was conducted to evaluate the effects of valerian in combination with lemon balm on anxiety. It concluded that a combination of these herbs had an anxiolytic effect and was worthy of more study in the future.
15. Treat Fibromyalgia
This has high effects on treating sleep disorders and myalgia or muscle tension. Basically, valerian root is known as a sedative herb that increases the sleep quality for people suffering from Fibromyalgia. Moreover, this herb has the ability to increase concentration and attention. Therefore, it helps you to relieve the brain fog that occurs when you suffer from Fibromyalgia.
16. Valerian Root Benefits – Treat Restless Leg Syndrome
People with restless leg syndrome often have trouble getting restful sleep and experiencing daytime fatigue. Valerian root helps to relax the leg muscles and aids you in falling asleep faster. Relaxation is crucial with restless leg syndrome and valerian root is certainly famous for this condition. Take about 250 to 900 mg of valerian root. Remember to consult a physician before using valerian.
17. Relieve Migraine & Headaches
Migraine sufferers will be familiar with the severe throbbing pain and nausea that they can cause. Many people who suffer from migraines are in an endless search for a working remedy so having suffered my first ever migraine headache recently I was interested to find out that valerian root may be an effective natural treatment.
I should point out that there is no research that proves its efficacy for migraines and that valerian has only been approved as a treatment for insomnia but a migraine focused websites recommend it especially to treat triggers for headaches such as anxiety and stress. With valerian being so well tolerated, then it would certainly not hurt you to give it a try.
18. Lowers Blood Pressure
Now that you know that valerian root can be so calming to the mind and body, it’s probably not surprising to hear it can also help lower blood pressure, improving heart health. The same active components that make valerian root so effective for stress and anxiety management can also help the body properly regulate its blood pressure.
High blood pressure is something you definitely want to avoid since it increases the chance of stroke and heart attack. Valerian root supplements can help naturally reduce blood pressure and keep it at a healthy level, which has a direct positive impact on your heart health.
19. Relieve Knee Pain
To relax your pain, try using valerian root. This herb has been used for centuries and supported human beings in reducing anxiety, stress, tension, irritability, and insomnia. You can use this tea daily to relieve knee pain.
20. Treat Lower Back Pain
Treating lower back pain is another of valerian root benefits on health that you should know. To relieve lower back pain perfectly, try to drink 1 cup of valerian tea per day.
21. Treat Menstrual Cramps & Premenstrual Syndrome
The antispasmodic, soothing, calming, and anti-inflammatory effects of valerian root help to relieve the discomfort caused due to menstrual cramps & premenstrual syndrome. Depending on the level of cramps, start drinking 1 cup of valerian tea 1 or 2 times daily for 3 days before your period.
22. Great For Digestive Problems
There is little or no research regarding the use of valerian for digestive complaints but it has been used traditionally to treat many stomach disorders. It is used by some as an antispasmodic especially for cramping caused by nerves and menstrual cramp.
Some of the complaints that it is said to help include intestinal cramps, colic, bloating and diarrhea. It may also be used to help with migraines and rheumatic pain but there is no evidence beyond the anecdotal.
23. For Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD is a relatively common condition characterized by the need to check things repeatedly and the need for routine. While it does not sound especially serious, it can have a major impact on quality of life and sufferers often seek medical help to improve the condition.
With herbal remedies being a more desirable and safer option for treatment than pharmaceutical medication, a study was published in 2011 which evaluated valerian’s effects on OCD. The 8-week long study found that valerian had some effect in treating compulsion and obsession and that it was well tolerated by the participants.
24. Improves Stress Management
By reducing anxiety and improving the length and quality of sleep, it can significantly help with daily stress management. Chronic stress can make you feel anxious, but anxiety can also make you feel more stressed out.
By improving GABA levels, valerian makes it easier for both the mind and body to relax. Since relaxation is the antithesis of stress, valerian root is an excellent natural way to help keep your stress down and your quality of life up.
- Further, valerian root has been shown to suppress both physical and psychological stress, according to research in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
What Is Valerian Tea?
Although commercially sold valerian tea products may contain a range of different herbs, the primary ingredient is usually valerian. The plant (Valeriana officinalis) grows in North and South America but is native to Europe and China. The plant is famous for its distinct smell that many describe as similar to dirty socks.
Valerian is often called a magic sleep potion and according to some reports is the number one non-prescription sedative in Europe. But not everyone consumes valerian in tea form. Some consumers buy the product in pill or capsule form.
Many describe the taste of valerian tea as woodsy. The plant grows well in moist, grassy areas so the tea has an earthy quality that is distinctive. The longer you brew valerian tea, the more intense the taste will be.
How to Prepare Valerian Tea
Valerian root tea—or valerian tea—is sold most often in tea bag form, but you can also find some vendors that sell the loose leaf variety. You prepare this herbal tea as you would prepare most traditional teas.
- Place a valerian tea bag or a tea infuser containing about one tablespoon of loose tea leaves in a teacup. You can also simply place loose tea leaves at the bottom of a cup.
- Heat water to 90-95º Celsius or 194-205º Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a temperature-controlled teapot, bring water to a boil and then let sit for a minute to reduce the temperature just slightly.
- Pour eight ounces of water over the tea bag, infuser, or tea leaves.
- Let tea leaves steep for as long as desired. Some drinkers prefer a lighter tea, so a two-minute steep is sufficient. A 3-5 minute steep will brew a stronger cup of tea that provides more intense effects
- Remove the tea bag or infuser or strain loose leaves from the cup before drinking
Tea experts often recommend that you combine valerian tea with other ingredients to “soften” the taste. You may want to add milk or honey to sweeten the flavor. Some people also add mint or chamomile, but since those teas may also provide a calming effect, you may want to be cautious about blending them.
Source used: Amy Li