The Benefits of Valerian Root
Tossing and turning all night? Are you quite literally tired of being tired? Do you regularly experience the ‘tiring’ effects of a sleeping disorder like insomnia or just struggle with sleep quality and falling asleep?
Well, frequently getting a good night's rest is essential to both our mental and physical well-being. Not getting enough sleep can raise your risk of many diseases and disorders. People who regularly miss the recommended 7 or more hours of sleep have a higher chance of recommended 7 or more hours of sleep have a higher chance of having serious health problems like depression, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc.
So, what should we do when we're desperate for a decent night’s sleep, not just for our mental health but for our physical long-term wellness?
There is an incredible natural herb that has been used since the second century A.D. to help with sleeping disorders and anxiety. That herb is valerian root and it is one of the best teas around to help you sleep. Valerian root is a herbal ingredient that has been clinically shown to improve sleep, mood, and more.
What Is Valerian Root?
Valerian is a flowering, perennial herb with sweetly scented pink or white blossoms that are native to parts of Asia, and Europe, and the medicine is made from the root. This root has been used by humans for thousands of years. From the ancient Greeks to Chinese, valerian root has been a staple in teas for sleep around the globe.
In the United States, valerian root is available as a dietary supplement usually in the form of powder in capsules, as a liquid extract, and as a tea, which is our favorite way to get our dosage.
Valerian root is also considered an ayurvedic ingredient and one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda for sleep benefits. Ayurveda is a belief that you can promote good health and wellness by maintaining stability in the balance between your mind, body, and your environment.
While valerian root isn’t as popular as natural sleep remedies like melatonin, you’ve most likely you’ve tried valerian root before but never been aware as it’s common in herbal supplements for stress and sleep.
We’ve been talking about how incredible valerian root is for creating a solid night’s sleep, but why is that? And did you know that valerian root has some more incredible benefits from natural anxiety treatment to lowering circulatory strain?
Let’s discover the benefits of valerian root and why valerian root is one the best teas to help you sleep.
1. Natural Sleep Aid
If you’re looking to read about the benefits of valerian root, you’re most likely here because you’ve heard about the sleep perks and wanted to learn more. As we talked about earlier valerian root is mostly used in the western world for its sleep-aiding boost, but why exactly is valerian root so good for sleep?
Studies have demonstrated how valerian reduces the time it takes to fall asleep and improves the quality of your sleep. Furthermore, unlike many sleep medications, valerian has been shown to cause fewer side effects and is significantly less likely to lead to morning drowsiness.
A review conducted in 2003 found that valerian root may ease mild insomnia with minimal side effects. The researchers found that the effects of the supplement were most effective when taken over a longer period of time.
In fact, a clinical trial indicated that valerian root may support sleep quantity and quality. Over a 28-day course, the 121 people with insomnia took 600 mg of dried valerian root each day and had decreased symptoms of insomnia compared to the participants who took the placebo over the 28-day course.
Another study was done later on which found that adults suffering from insomnia who took one dose of valerian realized deep sleep 36% faster, and therefore the time they spent in deep sleep increased during 14 days of taking valerian.
One main reason why valerian root helps you sleep so well is that it contains a chemical called linarin, which has sedative effects.
GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter and it has been shown that valerian acts via gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic mechanisms. What does this mean? Well, by expanding your brain’s GABA level, valerian can cause sedative effects by calming nervous activity because GABA directs nerve cells.
2. Calms Anxiety
Valerian root has some astonishing anti-anxiety properties and a calming effect, providing relief to people who suffer from insomnia and nervous anxiousness. It does this in a similar way to how it helps with sleep.
Like we mentioned when we were talking about sleep, valerian increases the amount of GABA through GABA receptors. And as we now know GABA can quiet tension and nerves.
This herbal remedy can actually have the same anti-anxiety effects as prescription drugs. Medications for anxiety such as (Xanax) alprazolam and (Valium) diazepam are synthetically designed to also increase the measure of GABA in the brain. So, valerian root may have similar anti-anxiety effects to prescription drugs without the same adverse effects. Pretty cool, right?
Fun fact: interestingly, while valerian root has a calming effect on the human nervous system, it has the opposite effect on cats, often causing hyper-excitability similar to the effects seen in cats when exposed to catnip.
3. Lowers Blood Pressure
We know now that valerian root has a calming effect on both the mind and body, so it won’t come as a surprise when we tell you that it can help lower blood pressure and improve circulatory health.
Untreated high blood pressure and/or hypertension wreaks havoc on not just your heart health but on the whole body, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
If we consider the statistics here in the US revealing that nearly half of the adults in the United States (47%, or 116 million) have hypertension or said simply elevated blood pressure, it is crucial that we be aware of our blood pressure and keep it balanced, as heart-related health issues continue to rise as a major health concern here in the US.
Valerian works to control circulatory strain and regulate blood pressure by using the same components and system that contribute to its effects on sleep and anxiety.
4. Eases Menstrual Pains
The calming nature of valerian root doesn’t only make it great for relaxing through your time of the month, but it also has natural capacities that cause it to act as a natural muscle relaxer, helping relieve menstrual cramps.
Yep, valerian can reduce the severity of stomach and menstrual cramps for people who from PMS symptoms. Valerian root is an antispasmodic, relaxing muscle spasms which eases uterine cramps and menstrual agitation.
A placebo-controlled study conducted by the Islamic Azad University in Iran found that the extent of the reduction in dysmenorrhea (pain associated with menstruation) was larger in the valerian group than the placebo group, with the difference between the 2 groups being statistically significant.
The Incredible Benefits of Valerian Root
Whether you’re looking to improve falling asleep, staying asleep, anxiety, or even ease menstrual cramps, valerian root is the key ingredient to natural improvement you didn’t know you needed. The benefits of valerian root are endless and incredible.
Now you may be wondering what is the best way to enjoy the benefits of valerian root? Well, our favorite way to consume valerian root is through tea. However, valerian root tea tastes very “woody” or “herbaceous”, which some may find too earthy. So, we recommend drinking valerian in herbal tea blends or adding honey to your valerian tea to make it sweeter.
Or even better, you can let us here at Wise Ape Tea do the work for you.
We’ve perfected an amazing adaptogenic super-herbs to support your nightly zen and daily relaxation. Our adaptogenic tea blend Orange Dreamiscle includes valerian root and this relaxing elixir is designed to calm the mind, reduce stress, and help you sink into a restorative night's sleep.
Organic, all natural, whole leaf ingredients, biodegradable pyramid tea bags, plant-based, non-GMO, and plastic free. Orange Dreamiscle tea blend tastes like gentle chamomile with a hint of vanilla cream paired with a mellow orange zest. Trust me, our Orange Dreamiscle tastes oh-so-divine and contains all the benefits of valerian root and more.(Please note: if you have a medical condition or take medications, it’s always best to consult with your doctor before adding anything new like herbs to your diet.)
What is your favorite tea for sleep?
This informative article is written, by Sophia McKenzie. Sophia is head content creator and writer, for several premium websites, where her expertise lies in health, nutrition, and wellness. Her content focuses on providing and sharing doable solutions to help people truly thrive and live their happiest, healthiest, fulfilled lives.