6 Health Benefits and Uses for Valerian

In my early adult years, I managed two health food stores–one of which I owned. After trying a product called Nerves and Stress, I decided to stock it in the stores. It contained valerian, which is known to relax the nervous system and alleviate the tension linked to stress. Many of my customers who complained of high stress levels reported excellent results with this product. Today, many people have lost interest or forgotten about valerian but I hope I can help restore this plant to its rightful place in the world of herbal medicine.

Anxiety Alleviator: Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is well-documented for its antianxiety effects that can be attributed (at least in part) to the compound valerenic acid.

Fibromyalgia Fix: Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers tend to experience sleep disturbances, such as difficulty falling asleep, interrupted sleep, and a lack of deep sleep. One of the goals in the treatment of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome is to improve sleep quality to enable sufferers of these debilitating conditions to sleep more deeply. Deeper sleep allows the body a greater opportunity to heal at the cellular and tissue level.

Insomnia Solution: Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers are not the only ones who can benefit from using valerian root tea to help with sleep.

Bipolar Disorder Remedy:†Many people who suffer from the high and low moods of bipolar disorder also suffer from anxiety and insomnia, researchers assessed the potential effectiveness of eleven different herbs as possible natural treatments for these individuals. In an article published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry,†scientists found that valerian showed the greatest promise for the treatment of both anxiety and insomnia in people suffering from bipolar disorder.

Muscle Tension and Cramp Alleviator: Because valerian helps alleviate tension, it is often effective in the treatment of muscle and uterine cramps.

Childhood Restlessness and Hyperactivity Remedy: Researchers who assessed a combination of valerian root extract and lemon balm extract to reduce restlessness, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness in elementary school children found that the blend was effective and also significantly improved concentration after seven weeks of treatment.

Using Valerian

Enjoy valerianís ability to help you relax and cope with stress with this decoction. Combine two quarts of water and three tablespoons of dried valerian root in a medium to large pot and bring to a boil. Once it boils, cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and let the liquid simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Strain and drink as desired, storing any remaining tea in the refrigerator for up to three days. Drink one to three cups daily for best results.

Alternatively, use one-half to one teaspoon of the tincture at a time, up to two teaspoons daily. Some people express concern about a possible interaction of valerian with benzodiazepines, a class of drugs used as antianxiety medications (such as Valium), anticonvulsives in epilepsy, and muscle relaxants, which have a long list of potentially harmful side effects. A study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that valerian extract had no chemical affinity for benzodiazepine binding sites, suggesting that the herb and the drugs have different mechanisms of activity and that interaction between them is unlikely. It can induce sleepiness or drowsiness, but these are typically the intended effects. In extremely rare instances, people have the opposite reaction to valerian, finding that it actually has a stimulating effect. If you discover that youíre one of these people, simply discontinue use.

Related:

Donít Believe in Herbal Medicine? 10 Things to Change Your Mind

The 5 Best Herbs to Soothe Your Nerves

Should You Actually Starve a Fever?

 

Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-news Worldís Healthiest News, president of PureFood BC, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include the upcoming book: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty & Cooking.

88 comments

Melania P
Melania Padilla2 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 months ago

That's good if you can get it past your nose. The stuff really stinks!

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Gudrun K
Gudrun K.5 months ago

A year ago, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. After years of going to see the doctor, I finally got some answers. The pain I feel seems to never go away-hurting in my lower back, legs, neck, even sometimes radiates to the very tip of my toes,I couldn't move my right arm with out getting a lot of pain. I was 32 years old and I didn't know if I want to see how I feel at 40 because the pain was very intense. I was taking Lyrica, it helps but I still have to be careful not to over do things. I was trying to have a child-don't know if I'll be able to do it! i searched for alternative treatment online and In November, 2016 I started on Health Herbal Clinic fibromyalgia disease natural herbal remedy, my fibromyalgia symptoms including Severe fatigue , Insomnia, nausea and vomiting, deteriorated over the first 6 weeks of the Fibromalgia herbal formula usage, i am now 34 with no trace of Fibromyalgia, visit the clinic website www. healthherbalclinic. net or email info @ healthherbalclinic. net The Fibro herbal formula helped me in a way i just didn’t imagine, this is a breakthrough for all fibromyalgia disease patients.

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Jetana A
Jetana A5 months ago

Although it's good to use natural herbs, some taste pretty bad. If you don't like the taste of valerian, Nature's Way makes a coated tablet "odor free" "Natural Sleep Aid" that also includes lemon balm.

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Peggy B
Peggy B5 months ago

Noted

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Teresa Antela
Teresa Antela5 months ago

Thank you.I use for anxiety and insomnia.

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Monica C
Monica C5 months ago

I wish doctors would tell me more a

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Margie F
Margie F5 months ago

Thank you for another informative article Michelle.

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ERIKA S
ERIKA S5 months ago

good informations,thank you

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sandy Gardner
sandy G5 months ago

Thank You!

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