Valerian root as the name specifies is the root of the plant Valeria . They are used to improve the quality of sleep and relief Insomnia. They may also help us remain stress-free. It improves the natural cycle of sleep.
Origin of Valerian Plant
Valeria is a plant with white, purple and pink flowers found in Europe and Asia. The root of that plant is used as a medicine. Their Biological name is Valeriana officinali. They are also now grown in North America, China and other countries. Valerian is derived from the Latin verb valere, which means “to be strong” or “to be healthy.” The flowers of the valerian plant have a good smell. But the root has a very strong and earthy odour.
Historical Evidence of Usage
Valerian root has been used since the 2nd century to treat insomnia and depression. They have been primarily used for insomnia and to treat depression. Ancient Greek and Roman literature have mention valerian root used as a medicine. Hippocrates defined its uses and Galen (Greek physician) later prescribed it as a remedy for insomnia. It is believed in ancient times that if Valerian root is placed between 2 fighting people, they will stop the fight. They have such an instant calming effect on mood.
Medical Research on Valerian Root
Some research shows that valerian root improves the quality of sleep /. It should be consumed at least 4 weeks to experience changes. According to the European Medicine Agency (EMA), valerian root provides relief to mild nervous tension as well as sleep disorders. FDA has approved Valerian root as a dietary supplement.
How to consume?
They are consumed in different formulations in capsules, liquid extract and as a herbal infusion or tea. The valerian root is widely consumed as a tea. They can be either consumed as a blend along with other herbal components or as a tisane. However, consuming valerian root as a single element has more benefits and quick results.
When to consume?
Valerian root can be consumed 30 minutes before bed. If taking 200-300 mg every day for 3-4 weeks improve the quality of sleep. It is not only a nice way to unwind and relax at the end of a long day but a healthy way as well. Valerian root has been shown to increase gamma-aminobutyric acid, which decreases electrical activity in the brain resulting in a pleasant, relaxed state of mind. It contains no calories, fat, sugars, sodium or caffeine.
Other uses of the root
Other than sleep disorders, they are also used for conditions connected to anxiety and psychological stress including nervous asthma, headaches, migraine, and stomach upset. Valerian is used for muscle and joint pain. Some women use valerian for menstrual cramps and symptoms associated with menopause, including hot flashes and anxiety. Sometimes, valerian is added to bathwater to help with restlessness and sleep disorders.
Like any herbal drink, valerian root should be consumed moderately. One should always be careful not to consume too much, or to drink it for too long a period. Over usage of the herb may cause headaches, stomach upset, mental dullness, excitability, uneasiness, heart disturbances, and even insomnia in some people.
Pregnancy or breastfeeding: There isn't enough information about the safety of valerian during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Surgery: Valerian slows down the central nervous system. Anaesthesia and other medications used during surgery also affect the central nervous system. The combined effects might be harmful. Stop taking valerian at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.