Select Page

Did you know 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders or sleep deprivation?  Out of the 50 to 70 million Americans who suffer with sleep disorders, 9 million take prescription sleep aids. There are so many different factors that contribute to a restless nights including anxiety, depression, insomnia, muscle spasms, PMS and a wide variety of other physical and mental ailments. What if I told you there was something natural that could knock out every health ailment stated above? Well, there is! Below we will talk about this amazing herb that surely make you want to visit your health food store and stock up on it.

Valerian Root (Valeriana Officinalis)

Valerian root has over 120 chemical components that act not only as a sedative but as an antispasmodic. Although valerian can act as a mild hypnotic, it has no known side effects or possibility of becoming addictive. Valerian is safe, effective and doesn’t impair your motor skills. At least two double-blind studies have demonstrated that valerian root can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes people to fall asleep without changing the normal stages of sleep. Aside from sleeping, valerian root has a wide array of other uses. Read below to find out how this herb may become a staple in your medicine cabinet.

8 Uses of Valerian Root

1. Migraine Relief

The root of the valerian plant is effective more from a preventative standpoint for migraines. How it works is unknown clearly, but scientists believe that it increases the amount of GABA (Gamma Amino butyric Acid) in the brain. It helps regulate your nerve cells and has a calming effect, which may lead to the relief of migraine symptoms.

Dosage for migraine relief:

  • Tea: use 1 teaspoon of dried root per cup of boiling water. Steep 10 minutes, strain, and then drink. You can add 1 teaspoon of honey for a better taste.
  • Tincture: use 1 to 1½ teaspoons (or 4 – 6 ml).
  • Fluid extract: use ½ to 1 teaspoon (or 1 – 2 ml).
  • Dry powdered extract: use 250 to 600 mg.

2. Muscle Pain Relief

When you use valerian root internally for muscle pains it works on the nervous system as a natural pain reliever or analgesic. In a study published in “The Journal of Ethnopharmacology” in 2005, researchers from the Aga Khan University Medical College in Pakistan tested the antispasmodic effects of valerian root in animals. Valerian root extract significantly reduced the tension and spasms of digestive muscles in rabbits and guinea pigs, and also demonstrated a strong hypotensive action on blood pressure levels. Valerian extract likely works via potassium channels on the cells, and would benefit conditions that affect both digestive and cardiovascular muscles.

Dosage for Muscle Pain Relief:

  • Tea: use 1 teaspoon of dried root per cup of boiling water. Steep 10 minutes.
  • Pill or Powder: 300-600 mg

3. Anxiety Relief

Extracts of valerian root may help to reduce your muscle pain and muscle tension through inducing relaxation, reducing anxiety and possibly sedating the nervous system. Valerian root is a source of plant chemicals called valepotriates, which may affect GABA and melatonin levels in the body, while stimulating opiate and serotonin receptors in the nervous system. Extra GABA in your system promotes relaxation and lowers stress levels. For this reason, valerian root is known as a sedative. This effect is supposed to be very similar to benzodiazepines, which are sedative drugs commonly prescribed for depression and sometimes prescribed for anxiety, also trigger GABA receptors in the brain.

Dosage for Anxiety Relief (Same as Migraine relief):

  • Tea: use 1 teaspoon of dried root per cup of boiling water. Steep 10 minutes, strain, and then drink. You can add 1 teaspoon of honey for a better taste.
  • Tincture: use 1 to 1½ teaspoons (or 4 – 6 ml).
  • Fluid extract: use ½ to 1 teaspoon (or 1 – 2 ml).
  • Dry powdered extract: use 250 to 600 mg.

4.Used to Wean off of Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines are quite addictive and often create a dependency both physical and psychological. Because of that dependency you experience what we call, withdrawal when quitting Benzodiazepines. One of the withdrawal symptoms of discontinuing Benzodiazepines, is a rebound waking effect, where you stop sleeping throughout the night. Valerian has been shown to help patients stay asleep when trying to wean off anxiety medications. Its sedative and relaxing properties also help with the pain and discomfort associated with Benzodiazepine withdrawals.

Consult a physician before discontinuing any prescription that may cause you to have withdrawals. Valerian may need to be administered in a higher dosage regulated by your physician. If your physician is not open to helping wean you off a benzodiazepines, or any other drugs, find a new physician who cares for your well-being enough to help you get off drugs, not onto new ones.

5. Insomnia

Using valerian to treat insomnia increases the amount of time spent in deep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Valerian also significantly improves sleep latency, which is how researchers describe the time it takes a person to fall asleep. One study found that valerian halved the time it normally took volunteers to fall asleep. In one double-blind study, 44 percent of insomniacs who took valerian described the quality of their sleep as “perfect,” and 99 percent said their sleep had improved significantly.

Dosage for Insomnia Relief:

  • 300 mg to 900 mg- It is best to try it at night first, 30 minutes to two hours before bedtime. If you find that it does not work quickly enough for you, then you may try taking it a little earlier in the evening to give it more time to absorb.

6. Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

RLS is classified as a neurological disorder. You experience throbbing and pulling sensations in your legs while attempting to sleep. People with RLS often have trouble getting restful sleep and experience daytime fatigue as a result. Valerian helps relax the leg muscles and helps you fall asleep faster. Relaxation is key with RLS and Valerian is certainly known for creating that type atmosphere.

Dosage for RLS Relief:

  • 250 mg to 900 mg

*Consult a physician before incorporating Valerian into your night time routine if you suffer with RLS.

7. ADHD Treatment (children and adults)

As a treatment for ADHD in children and adults, valerian has shown some benefits. It works together with the brain to slow down triggers that can cause hyperactivity and help the individual concentrate.

Dosage for ADHD Treatment:

  • Consult a physician (or herbalist) before administering it to a child.
  • Adults may take 300-1000 mg

8. Depression Relief

A huge portion of depression is due to insomnia and anxiety. As we talked about above, valerian helps calm and soothe your nervous system and your mind. It does not help an imbalance but it can treat the symptoms accompanied with depression.

  • 250-900 mg


You can find valerian in capsule form, pill form, loose tea, bagged tea, herbal droppers and powder form.

(Refer to dosage on the bottle or box you chose to purchase to make sure you are consuming an adequate amount for your ailment.)

Is Valerian Safe?

The FDA listed Valerian Root as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe). Valerian is likely safe but you shouldn’t use it more than eight weeks at a time. Long term usage may result in these side effects listed below.

  • Upset stomach
  • Dizziness
  • Itchy skin
  • Inability to sleep better

Refrain from taking Valerian more than 8 weeks at a time. Taking a break will help lower the chances of experiencing the side effects listed above. As with any herbs or foods it is best to cycle their use on and off for best results.

Who should not take Valerian Root?

-Pregnant or nursing women

-Children under the age of three

-Under the influence of alcohol or other depressants

-If you are taking ginkgo bilboa

-Valerian may make it difficult to concentrate, so you must be careful when driving, operating machines, or doing anything that requires you to be alert or awake.

**You can consult you doctor, herbalist or physician before taking valerian root or any sedative type herbs as they may make a previous medical condition worse. Results may vary.

If you’ve tried everything for one of these ailments listed above, why not give something natural a try? Valerian has been used for thousands of years and produce very little side effects, if any. Why experience withdrawals from a sleep aid or anti-anxiety medication when valerian root acts naturally with your body and helps rectify the issue instead of masking it? My personal experience with valerian has been outstanding and I hope yours will be too.

Get Valerian Root Extract (Liquid) here. You can get organic Valerian tea here.

Sources: MigraineCocktail.Com, HerbWisdom.Com, Livestrong.Com, NaturalRemedies.Com