Valerian: a popular herb that's been used since Ancient Greek times for its insomnia-curing properties. But what exactly is it and is Valerian the ultimate herb for relaxation? Let's find out.
What Makes Valerian the Ultimate Herb for Relaxation?
Valerian is a herb that has been used for centuries to promote relaxation and sleep. With its mild sedative properties, it has been a popular choice for those looking for a natural solution to insomnia and anxiety. But what makes valerian the ultimate herb for relaxation and sleep? Whether you're a seasoned valerian user or simply curious about its benefits, read on to discover why valerian is worth considering as a natural remedy for relaxation and sleep.
What is Valerian?
Firstly, what is Valerian? It's a plant, so it comes straight to us from nature. Just how we like it! Specifically, it's a flowering plant native to Europe and Asia. The root is the part of the plant that has medicinal properties. When dried, potent oil is found in its root, containing a substance named Valerenic acid. That's the compound that then gets used as a herbal remedy.
Valerian is most famous for its sleep-improving qualities, but it's had many other uses over the years. From perfume to bloating relief or good luck charm at weddings, one thing's for sure: its potency has long been revered.
Over the years, many studies have been conducted in order to prove the positive effects of Valerian on the body of mind. In this article, we'll outline just a few of those.
Valerian Reduces Anxiety
When we’re asking, “Is Valerian the ultimate herb for relaxation?” one important consideration is whether or not it helps with anxiety.
Valerian root works on our GABA receptors, the part of our brain that deals with emotional and physical relaxation. Higher GABA levels equal reduced anxiety and stress, and that's precisely how Valerian helps: by telling the brain to increase GABA levels.
As well as this, it seems the combination of chemicals found in Valerian acts together to produce a potent anti-anxiety sedative effect.
Although more research is needed, several interesting studies have already taken place which give us a glimpse into the calming effects of Valerian. What's more, Valerian has also been noted to help with OCD behaviours, which are a common side-effect of anxiety.
So how quickly does it take effect? Well, it depends. Some have found immediate relief, while others find it helpful to take a dosage of Valerian over time. It can take up to six weeks for some people to experience relief. Participants in this 2021 study saw results after taking Valerian for a month.
Valerian Improves Sleep
Another well-known benefit of Valerian root is its effect on sleep. It can help you fall asleep faster and improve your sleep quality. This, of course, could be due to its anti-anxiety properties. After all, insomnia is often caused by an overactive brain. But those GABA neurotransmitters also have sleep regulation qualities; therefore, increasing them with Valerian can have the sedative effect required to fall asleep more easily.
In a 2017 Nature and Science of Sleep study, a group of people taking Valerian reported falling asleep faster, sleeping longer and waking up less frequently during the night compared to the placebo group.
As well as its medicinal properties, taking Valerian at night before sleep can be part of a healthy evening routine, an essential aspect of improving sleep.
Other Benefits of Valerian
Several other benefits have been discovered throughout the many studies undertaken over the years. Though more research is required, we can't ignore the number of positive effects reported.
From the reduction of menopausal symptoms and premenstrual symptoms, stress management, ADHD symptoms, and memory and cognitive function, the list of positive effects of taking Valerian is getting longer and longer.
What to Know Before Taking Valerian
If you’re ready to take the leap and try Valerian for relaxation, there are a few things we want you to know.
Is it Safe to Take Valerian?
The great thing about herbal medicines is that they have few side effects compared to pharmaceuticals, so we always recommend trying them first.
What's more, Valerian doesn't have the addictive qualities that some drugs do and won't leave you feeling groggy in the morning, so long as you stick to the recommended dosage.
In the 2017 study mentioned earlier, none of the research participants reported any adverse reactions and almost unanimously agreed that the herb was safe. And this 2006 meta-analysis found that the evidence studied suggests Valerian can improve sleep quality without producing any unwanted side effects.
The bottom line is that you're unlikely to do any harm with Valerian, so it's worth giving it a go. If it can put an end to the cycle of anxiety or insomnia, what do you have to lose?
How to Take Valerian
You can take Valerian in many forms: tinctures, teas, drops, capsules, tablets, powder, etc. At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. Many people dislike the smell and/or taste of Valerian and, therefore, choose to take capsules or drops.
Deep Sleep Our drops can be taken orally directly into the mouth using the dropper, or you can add the oil to your evening tea - another good nighttime ritual to signal to your body that it's time to wind down. Because our formulation also contains other herbs, such as chamomile and hemp, the taste is delightful.
Deep Sleep Oral Drops - containing Valerian
Contraindications for Valerian
Although there are few, if any, reported side effects in the available studies that have been conducted, it's essential to be aware of the contraindications.
● Valerian could interact with other medications.
● Do not use it during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or if you are likely to become Pregnant.
To be on the safe side, always consult your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any medication or have a medical condition.
Concluding Thoughts on Valerian
While more research is needed, the existing evidence clearly shows an increase in mental and emotional wellbeing in people who use Valerian to help with anxiety and sleep problems. The main reason for this appears to be how it interacts with the brain to produce relaxing properties.
Deep Sleep Oral drops by fmula+ are a great place to start if you're ready to start on your Valerian journey. They're a great alternative to pharmaceuticals that often come with a long list of possible side effects and are an excellent addition to your evening routine, along with a scented candle and some relaxing music.