Categories: Medicinal plants

5 Benefits of valerian root and side effects

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Discover the 5 shocking health benefits of Valerian root and side effects.

Do you suffer from insomnia or are you just tired of not getting a good night’s sleep? Did you know that there is an herb that has been used to relieve insomnia, anxiety, and nervous restlessness since the 2nd century AD?

This natural and herbal sleep aid can be obtained through the benefits of valerian root.

Valerian root is widely used and respected by the general population and physicians for its sedative effects and anti-anxiety abilities.

It’s very common for valerian root to be included in sleep-promoting tea blends, but not only does it offer a solid night’s sleep, but it is also amazing for calming anxiety and even lowering blood pressure, among other tremendous benefits. You may even have tried valerian root without noticing it.

5 shocking health benefits of Valerian root


Health benefits of Valerian root

1.- Benefits of valerian root for sleep

Studies show that the health benefits of valerian root reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and improve the quality of your sleep, so if you have constant sleep disturbances, valerian root is what you are looking for.

Unlike many prescription sleeping pills, valerian has fewer side effects and is less likely to cause morning drowsiness.


It is important to note that during a study carried out in Sweden, it was shown that the effects of the benefits of valerian root on poor sleep were significant, of the study participants, 44 percent reported perfect sleep, while 89 percent reported improved sleep when taking valerian root.

It is common for valerian root to be used with other types of sedative herbs such as lemon balm and hops to treat sleep problems.

Some studies have found that 81 percent of those who took a herbal combination of valerian and lemon balm reported much better sleep than those who took a placebo.

How does valerian root help you sleep so well? Valerian contains a chemical called linamarin, which creates a sedative effect.

Valerian extract can cause sedation by increasing the level of GABA in your brain; gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, in large enough quantities it can cause a sedative effect, calming nervous activity.

According to a series of investigations, it was known that valerian extracts can cause the release of GABA from the nerve endings of the brain and then block them so that they do not reappear in the nerve cells.

Additionally, the valerenic acid in valerian inhibits a GABA-destroying enzyme, another way that valerian can improve your GABA levels and promote a great night’s rest.

2.- Benefits of valerian root for anxiety

Recently it was discovered that the benefits of valerian root increase the amount of a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain.


In addition, it helps regulate nerve cells and largely calms anxiety; Medications like alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium) also work by increasing the amount of GABA in the brain.

Herbal remedies based on valerian root are quite good since they have the same anxiolytic effects as the drugs prescribed by specialists, the best thing is that they have the same effect but do not have the excessive amount of side effects that they can generate these drugs.

If you are taking other pain reliever or antidepressant medications, do not take valerian at the same time.

3.- Benefits of valerian root for blood pressure

Once you know the number of benefits of valerian root to treat various complications of the body, it is probably not surprising to hear that it can also help reduce blood pressure and improve heart health.

The same active components that make valerian root so effective in managing stress and anxiety can also help the body properly regulate your blood pressure.

High blood pressure is something you should avoid as it increases the chance of stroke and heart attack.

Valerian root supplements can help lower your blood pressure naturally and keep it at a healthy level, which has a direct positive impact on your heart health.


4.- Relieves menstrual cramps

Another of the particularities of the benefits of valerian roots is that they are an excellent option to guarantee natural relief from menstrual cramps.

It can reduce the severity and discomfort of menstrual cramps, which is a common problem for women who suffer from PMS every month.

How can valerian root help? It is a natural sedative and antispasmodic, which means that it suppresses muscle spasms and acts as a  natural muscle relaxant.

The benefits of valerian root can soothe the uterine constructions that cause the excruciating pain that many women experience during menstruation, as demonstrated by a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study from the Islamic University of Azad in Iran.

5.- Improve stress management

By reducing anxiety and improving the duration and quality of sleep, valerian root can significantly help with daily stress management; chronic stress can make you feel anxious, but anxiety can also make you feel more stressed.

By improving GABA levels, valerian facilitates relaxation of the mind and body. Since relaxation is the antithesis of stress, valerian root is a great natural way to help keep stress down and improve quality of life.

Additionally, valerian root has been shown to suppress physical and psychological stress by helping to maintain serotonin levels, according to research from BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine; serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood.


Valerian vs. Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone produced in the pineal gland and is highly correlated with the body’s sleep-wake cycle; When the sun sets and darkness occurs, the SCN “turns on” the pineal and begins to actively produce melatonin, which is released into the blood.

This usually occurs around 9:00 PM. As a result, melatonin levels in your blood rise sharply and you begin to feel less alert; the dream becomes more welcoming.

Melatonin levels in the blood remain elevated for about 12 hours, throughout the night, before the light of a new day when they return to low daytime levels around 9:00 a.m. M; daytime melatonin levels are barely detectable; low melatonin levels are linked to insomnia.

Valerian is a sedative herb that has been used for centuries to treat insomnia; Because valerian increases GABA levels in the brain, it helps reduce brain activity and allows users to fall asleep more easily.

• Both melatonin and valerian are used to treat insomnia and sleep. Both have shown positive effects on blood pressure.

• Valerian is also recommended to treat anxiety, stress, muscle spasms, and cramps.

• Melatonin is being investigated to help with cancer care (improve response rates, survival time, and quality of life). Melatonin also shows promise for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as  Lou Gehrig’s disease ).


-Supplementary Interactions:

• Valerian: can cause severe tiredness when combined with supplements that have sleep-inducing properties.

• Melatonin – Be careful when combining melatonin with supplements that slow blood clotting and those with sedative properties.


• Valerian and melatonin: The safest bet is not to take them together because the combined sedative effect could be too strong.

Both are considered depressants of the nervous system, producing a sedative effect as they promote sleep. You should not take melatonin with any other type of sedative because it can be unsafe.

• It is also best not to combine melatonin or valerian with any other over-the-counter or prescription medicine or any product that contains alcohol.


Origin of valerian root and chemical properties

Valerian root is derived from valerian ( Valeriana officinalis ), a perennial flowering plant in the Valerianaceae family; the plant has sweetly scented pink or white flowers that bloom in the summer; Valerian (often misspelled “valarian”) is native to Europe and parts of Asia and now grows in North America as well.

Valerian root contains volatile oils, including valerenic acids, less volatile sesquiterpenes, and valepotriates (short-chain fatty acid esters) These active components are likely responsible for the ability of valerian root to produce a calming and restorative effect on the system. the central nervous system of the body.

The name of the herb is derived from the personal name “Valeria” and the Latin verb “valere”   (to be strong, healthy); Valerian has been used as a medicinal herb since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome; Hippocrates described its properties, and Galen later prescribed it as a remedy for insomnia.


Valerian was also used as an early remedy for epilepsy until around the 19th century; Researchers found that isovaleric acid, a chemical contained in valerian, can prevent seizures, similar to the effects of the anticonvulsant medication valproic acid.

How to use valerian root

Valerian has been classified as generally recognized as safe in the US; Valerian root can be purchased as a supplement in a variety of forms online or at your local health food store.

It is sold as a dry powder extract in capsule, tea, tincture, or fluid extract form; Valerian can also be used externally as an essential oil.

I’ll warn you now so you’re not surprised: Valerian root smells pretty bad, but luckily it doesn’t taste as bad as it smells.

Valerian appears to be most effective after taking it regularly for two or more weeks; It may take a few weeks before the effects of valerian root supplementation are felt.


For insomnia, it can be taken one to two hours before bedtime or up to three times throughout the day, with the last dose close to bedtime.

What is the best-recommended dose of valerian root for insomnia?

The recommendations may vary slightly, but for insomnia, it can be taken in the following ways at the recommended doses:

• Tea: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon (2 to 3 grams) of dried root, steep for 5 to 10 minutes.

• Tincture (1: 5): 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon (4 to 6 ml)

• Fluid extract (1: 1): 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (1 to 2 ml)

• Dry extract powder (4: 1): 250 to 600 milligrams

Once sleep improves, it is recommended that you continue taking valerian for two to six weeks. For anxiety, try 120 to 200 milligrams, three to four times a day.

Side effects of valerian root

Although valerian root is generally considered safe, side effects such as headache, dizziness, or stomach problems can occur.


Sometimes people can have a reaction to valerian that is the opposite of what they were looking for – feeling anxious and restless rather than calm and sleepy.

Most studies show no harmful effects on fertility or fetal development, but more research is needed; check with your doctor before taking valerian root if you are pregnant or breastfeeding; you should also speak with a doctor before giving valerian root to children.

For most people, valerian root does not seem to cause any type of dependency; it also does not cause withdrawal symptoms in most people; however, withdrawal has also been mentioned as a negative effect of valerian root.

If you want to stop taking valerian after a long period, then you should reduce the dose gradually instead of stopping all at once to be on the safe side.

Because valerian can cause drowsiness, do not take valerian root supplements before driving, operating heavy machinery, or engaging in activities that require alertness. If you have liver disease, avoid taking valerian.

Valerian root can increase the effects of other sleep aids, so combining valerian with other sleep aids is not recommended.

It should also not be combined with depressants, such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, and narcotics, as valerian can increase the sedative effect of depressants.

Valerian can also interfere with some prescription medications, and it can interact or increase the effects of other natural supplements such as  St. John’s wort, kava, and melatonin.


Check with your doctor before taking valerian if you have any chronic health problems, and also to make sure that valerian does or does not interact with any of your other current medications or supplements.

Final thoughts on the benefits of valerian root

Valerian root is a safe and natural way to help with one of the most annoying and common health problems: poor sleep; With minor and rare side effects, it may outperform prescription sleep medications when it comes to their overall effect on your health.

Many prescription sleep medications leave you groggy the next morning, not to mention all the other scary and more serious risks on those long labels; Valerian root benefits work with your body chemistry to help get your night’s rest back on track.

Additionally, valerian root offers relief from many other common health concerns through its natural sedative abilities. It has helped many people with:

• anxiety

• nervousness

• tension

• stress


• menstrual cramps

• high blood pressure

Don’t forget that it may take up to two weeks before you see results from valerian, but you may also see improvement after just one dose


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