Herbal remedies are quite popular in this day and age. They give those looking to improve a specific area of their wellness the ability to do so without having to rely too heavily on prescription medications, which may come with the risk of dependency and unwanted side effects. If you’ve been looking to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and sleeplessness, you may have been looking into herbal remedies like Valerian Root.
But what is Valerian Root, is it safe to take, and what are some of the benefits that it may offer you when you start taking it regularly? Let’s explore this natural supplement to answer all of these questions and more.
Interested in exploring natural solutions for sleep, discomfort, or general wellness? Start here with FOCL! We offer a wide range of premium hemp products formulated with potent CBD, healing botanicals, and powerful adaptogens designed to enhance your health and wellness routine. Whether you want to Chill Out with our Full Spectrum + products or try out our broad-spectrum CBD Gummies, we have something here for everyone. Shop now or take our Product Finder Quiz to get matched with the perfect CBD products for your needs.
The Definition: Valerian Root is the root of the Valerian plant, a perennial plant found throughout Europe and Asia. Valerian Root is typically used to reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress as well as promote better sleep.
The Process: Valerian Root is crushed and ground down into a powder. From here, the roots and other plant matter can be incorporated into a supplement (via capsules or tablets) or brewed into tea. You may even be able to find tinctures and extracts made from Valerian Root that you can use.
How To Take: While the dosage will vary depending on the type of product you wish to use, the most common form of Valerian Root is capsules and tablets, and these can be taken in doses of anywhere from 300 to 600 up to two to three times a day (or one to two hours before bedtime).
History: Valerian Root has a long and rich history in various cultures, being used throughout the Middle Ages, by the Greeks and Romans, and even in Traditional Chinese Medicine, all of which focused on its ability to reduce anxiety and promote sleep.
The Breakdown: What Is Valerian Root?
Valerian Root, also known as Valeriana officinalis, is a perennial plant native to Europe and parts of Asia. It has a long history of use in traditional medicine, primarily as a natural remedy to alleviate insomnia, anxiety, and stress. The root of the Valerian plant contains various compounds, including valerenic acid and valerenal, which are believed to contribute to its therapeutic effects. Valerian Root may be used on its own or combined with other herbal remedies like passion flower.
Why Is Valerian Root Important?
Valerian Root has gained significant importance as a natural alternative for those seeking relief from sleep disturbances and anxiety without the use of harsh chemicals or prescription medications. Its effectiveness in promoting relaxation and improving sleep quality has made it a popular choice among individuals searching for a holistic approach to wellness. While it may take longer to kick in than some other herbal remedies or medications, it might be the right solution for many in need of this specific form of support.
How Does Valerian Root Work?
The exact mechanism of how Valerian Root works is not fully understood, but researchers believe that it interacts with the GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptors in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that inhibits brain activity, promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety. Valerian Root seems to increase GABA levels, leading to its calming effects. Valerian Root also requires a longer administration window before it seems to work, with many only reaping the full benefits after taking it for at least two weeks.
What Are The Benefits Of Valerian Root?
Valerian Root offers several potential benefits that make it perfect for individuals looking to relax and unwind. Here are a few of the most notable benefits you might experience when taking Valerian Root.
Valerian Root is widely recognized for its ability to enhance sleep quality, reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and decrease nighttime awakenings. Some studies have backed these assertions, showing potential for the herbal supplement in home settings.1
The calming properties of Valerian Root may help reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, promoting a sense of tranquility. Some studies have found that specific populations have benefitted from incorporating Valerian Root into their wellness routine, with the herb alleviating both anxiety and serving to enhance overall mood.2
Valerian Root may help ease muscle tension and discomfort, contributing to an overall sense of relaxation. While there’s a great deal of data related to how Valerian Root affects smooth muscle, there’s not as much on how it impacts skeletal muscle. However, some studies have shown that Valerian Root may relax this type of muscle as well.3
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can be difficult to cope with for many women, and traditional OTC medications might not offer the help that they’re looking for. The good news? Some studies suggest that Valerian Root may help alleviate symptoms associated with PMS, including menstrual cramps, changes in emotional state, and beyond.4
Are There Any Downsides To Valerian Root?
While Valerian Root is generally considered safe for short-term use, it may not be suitable for everyone. Some potential downsides related to using Valerian Root include side effects like headaches, upset stomach, anxiousness or excitability, heartbeat issues, brain fog, and difficulty sleeping. Some users also report drowsiness when taking larger doses the night before, so exercise caution when operating heavy machinery if you’re still feeling the effects of Valerian Root.
Additionally, Valerian Root can potentially interact with a wide range of medications. Beware taking Valerian Root with:
- Anesthesia (taking it prior to any procedures you may have)
- Statins (cholesterol medications)
- Antifungal drugs
- Benzodiazepines like Xanax
- Lunesta, Ambien, and other drugs designed to treat insomnia
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- And other medications that are metabolized by the liver…
Always consult a healthcare professional before using Valerian Root alongside other medications to better understand potential interactions and whether or not Valerian Root is the right fit for your needs.
What Are The Alternatives To Valerian Root?
If Valerian Root is not the right fit for you, there are several alternatives to consider that may also aid in promoting relaxation and better sleep. These include:
Chamomile is a popular herb featured in herbal teas and remedies known for its relaxing properties, which are often leveraged for better sleep and alleviating symptoms of stress.
Essential oil or tea made from lavender flowers may promote relaxation. Some may even wish to use aromatherapy via oil diffusers or oil roll-ons to receive similar effects.
Passion flowers are a unique type of flower that is often used to reduce anxiety. Just make sure you know which type of passion flower you’re working with as there are hundreds of types of passion flowers.
Melatonin is a hormone that’s naturally produced by the body to regulate sleep-wake cycles. Some take it as a supplement to get more of it in their body and potentially help the body drift off to sleep with greater ease.
L-theanine is an amino acid that can be found in tea and some mushrooms. It’s known for its relaxing properties and may be taken in supplement form (or naturally through tea leaves and mushrooms) to support stress relief and better sleep.
Cannabidiol is a hemp-derivative renowned for its wide range of potential benefits, including stress reduction and potentially offering support with sleep. If you’re interested in seeing how CBD might benefit your sleep and stress, explore our premium CBD products now!
How Is Valerian Root Prepared And Used?
Valerian Root is available in various forms, each offering its unique benefits and convenience for consumption. The appropriate dosage of Valerian Root can vary based on factors such as age, weight, and individual response to the herb. Here’s what you need to know about the different types before you start taking Valerian Root yourself.
Dried Valerian Root: Steep one to two teaspoons or two to three grams of dried Valerian Root in hot water for five to 10 minutes, up to three times daily.
Tinctures: Take one to two teaspoons (about 4 to 8 mL) of Valerian Root tincture before bedtime.
Capsules And Tablets: Valerian Root available in capsule or tablet form is typically taken in doses ranging from 300 to 600 mg, 30 minutes to two hours before bedtime.
Combination Products: Valerian Root is often found in combination with other herbal ingredients like chamomile or passionflower, creating synergistic blends that enhance relaxation and sleep quality. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions as dosage will vary depending on the blend featured.
How Long Does Valerian Root Last?
Based on studies, Valerian Root needs to be taken consistently for several weeks before users will notice significant results. Valerian Root's effects can also depend on factors such as the dosage, preparation method, and an individual's sensitivity to the herb.
What Is The History Of Valerian Root?
Valerian Root's history as a medicinal herb can be traced back thousands of years. Here are some key points that highlight its historical significance:
Ancient Roots: Valerian Root has been used for its therapeutic properties since ancient times. Ancient Greeks and Romans were among the early civilizations to recognize its potential for promoting relaxation and aiding sleep.
Traditional Remedies: In traditional medicine systems such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Valerian Root was valued for its calming effects and its ability to address various ailments, including insomnia and nervous disorders.
Medieval Europe: During the medieval period, Valerian Root gained popularity as a remedy for anxiety and stress, and even as protection against the plague.
Colonial America: Valerian Root was introduced to North America by European settlers, where it continued to be used for its calming and sleep-enhancing properties.
What Is The Current Environment Of Valerian Root?
In the present day, Valerian Root remains a prominent player in the realm of natural wellness and herbal remedies. Here's an overview of its current environment:
Mainstream Recognition: Valerian Root has gained significant recognition in mainstream wellness circles as an effective natural sleep aid and anxiety reducer.
Consumer Demand: With an increasing number of individuals seeking natural alternatives for managing stress and sleep disturbances, the demand for Valerian Root products has grown steadily.
Scientific Studies: Valerian Root continues to be a subject of scientific research, with studies exploring its mechanisms of action and potential benefits for various health conditions.
Holistic Wellness: As the focus on holistic wellness and self-care intensifies, Valerian Root's reputation as a gentle and non-addictive herbal remedy aligns perfectly with the ethos of mindful living.
Regulatory Considerations: Valerian Root is recognized as safe by regulatory authorities in many countries, making it widely accessible to consumers seeking a natural solution for sleep and relaxation.
What Is The Future of Valerian Root?
Looking ahead, Valerian Root's future appears bright as an essential topic within the Wellness brand landscape. Here are some factors that may shape its trajectory:
Continued Research: As scientific interest in natural remedies grows, more studies are likely to explore Valerian Root's potential benefits and applications, further solidifying its position in the wellness market.
Integration In Modern Healthcare: Valerian Root may find its way into integrative medicine practices, where healthcare professionals combine conventional therapies with evidence-based natural remedies to enhance patient outcomes.
Innovative Product Formulations: With advancements in technology and product development, we may witness new and innovative ways to consume Valerian Root, making it even more accessible and appealing to a broader audience.
Sustainable Sourcing: As the wellness industry places greater emphasis on sustainability and ethical sourcing, Valerian Root's cultivation and harvesting methods are likely to align with these principles.
Global Reach: Valerian Root's reputation as a natural sleep aid and relaxation promoter transcends cultural boundaries, making it a potential staple in wellness practices worldwide.
FOCL FAQs: Valerian Root
Can Valerian Root be habit-forming?
Valerian Root is not considered addictive or habit-forming when used as recommended. However, long-term, high-dose usage should be avoided.
Is Valerian Root safe for children and pregnant women?
Valerian Root is not recommended for children under the age of 3. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using Valerian Root due to limited safety data.
Can I take Valerian Root with other medications?
It's essential to consult a healthcare professional before combining Valerian Root with other medications, as there may be potential interactions. You can take a closer look at whether or not Valerian Root is right for you in the sections above.
Is Valerian Root the same as Valerian oil or extract?
Valerian Root is often used to make valerian oil or extract, which concentrates its beneficial compounds for easier consumption.
Is Valerian Root safe for long-term use?
Valerian Root is generally safe for short-term use. Long-term usage should be discussed with a healthcare professional as we don’t have any data on how long-term use affects the body.
Does Valerian Root have any sedative effects during the day?
Valerian Root's sedative effects are more pronounced in the evening, making it an excellent option for promoting relaxation and sleep. However, some may experience drowsiness if you take it earlier than planned. Avoid operating heavy machinery or doing anything that could put your health and safety at risk.
Can Valerian Root be used as a natural remedy for migraines?
While Valerian Root may help ease tension and promote relaxation, it is not a specific treatment for migraines. If you suffer from migraines, consult a healthcare professional for appropriate management.
Is Valerian Root suitable for vegans and vegetarians?
Yes, Valerian Root is typically suitable for vegans and vegetarians. However, it's always a good idea to check the product label for any additional ingredients. Some products may use certain ingredients that are not vegan or vegetarian-friendly.
- Balderer, G., & Borbély, A. A. (n.d.). Effect of valerian on human sleep - psychopharmacology. SpringerLink. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00432503
- Tammadon, M. R., Nobahar, M., Hydarinia-Naieni, Z., Ebrahimian, A., Ghorbani, R., & Vafaei, A. A. (2021, March 31). The effects of valerian on sleep quality, depression, and state anxiety in hemodialysis patients: A randomized, double-blind, crossover clinical trial. Oman medical journal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8077445/
- Caudal, D., Guinobert, I., Lafoux, A., Bardot, V., Cotte, C., Ripoche, I., Chalard, P., & Huchet, C. (2017, October 12). Skeletal muscle relaxant effect of a standardized extract of valeriana officinalis L. after acute administration in mice. Journal of traditional and complementary medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5934700/
- Behboodi Moghadam, Z., Rezaei, E., Shirood Gholami, R., Kheirkhah, M., & Haghani, H. (2016, January 19). The effect of valerian root extract on the severity of pre menstrual syndrome symptoms. Journal of traditional and complementary medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4936757/