Valerian is primarily used as a relaxant and for managing anxiety. Valerian depresses the central nervous system and relaxes and sooth the muscle tissue. The research shows that it improves the quality and duration of the sleep. However, it won’t be much help if you are trying to get rid of jet lag or one-off disturbance. Whereas if you have a chronic sleep issue, valerian can help you if you use it for 6-8 weeks to develop a good sleeping schedule.

The new research suggests that valerian can improve the sleep in children.Valerian is much safer than prescription or over the counter sleep aids. Both the American Pharmaceutical Association and Natural Health Products Directorate in Canada have given valerian a high rating for safety and efficacy.

Here are the various uses of valerian

Now the researchers are

  • Insomnia and depression
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • As a sedative
  • For digestive upset
  • For liver disorders
  • To lessen the severity of epileptic seizures

Now the researchers are getting closer to understand the compounds in valerian, as well as the mechanism responsible for its sedative effects. GABA is one of the major inhibitory neurotransmitters in the central nervous system and its receptor GABA-A is the target of many drugs to reduce the anxiety or to aid sleep such as benzodiazepines. The valerianic acid and velerinol the compounds found in valerian root have been strongly binding the GABA-A receptors and they play a major role in therapeutic effect.

How to use Valerian?

Tea: – Steep 1 teaspoon valerian root in 1 cup water for 10 minutes. Strain it. Drink it 30 minutes to 60 minutes before bed.


Capsules: – Take 2 to 3 grams of dried valerian root 30 minutes to 60 minutes before bed.


Extract: – Doses of 300 to 900 mg of valerian extract standardized to valerianic acid were used in clinical trials.


Tincture: – Generally 5-10 ml 30 minutes to 60 minutes before bed.



Some people experience slight ‘hangover’ effect, dizziness, foggy head or a headache. Do not mix it with alcohol, alprazolam ( Xanax), benzodiazepines, or central nervous system suppressant medications. Do not take it if you are pregnant.



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