Latin name: Valeriana officinalis
Health Benefits of Valerian Root
Valerian Root is the most common non-prescription sedative in Europe. There is no rival in the herb world for those who suffer from stress and nervous disorders. Health benefits include:
- A marvelous weapon against stress and nerves because of its calm, healing effect on the nervous system. It acts as a soother and a depressor of the central nervous system.
- Safe natural sedative, especially for insomnia sufferers. It is also nonaddictive.
- Treats depression and heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat.
- In addition to easing stress and reducing hypertension, studies show that it slows the heart rate while increasing the power of each beat, making the action of the heart more efficient and less strained. Since it regulates the heart beat, it is very effective in the treatment of heart palpitations.
- Adding the herb to other herb formulas enhances their tonic, antispasmodic, and nervine properties. For example, a combination of hot valerian and Cayenne Pepper has been used to treat hysteria, convulsions, and colic.
- Has been effective as a pain reliever. This makes it good for migraines and other mild headaches.
- Has been used as a good remedy for ADHD and other nervous disorders and restlessness.
- Is a powerful anti-spasmodic, and can help with many digestive disorders.
Nutritional Benefits of Valerian Root
- Is the very best herbal source of calcium.
- Excellent source of magnesium.
How to Use Valerian Root
- Should never be boiled since much of its therapeutic value is in the essential oils which would dissipate. It is best as a tincture and not a hot tea for this reason.
Cautions and Side Effects of Valerian Root
- Generally not recommended for children or pregnant women.
- Shouldn't be taken with other anti-depressant drugs.
- Shouldn't be taken with alcohol or other sedatives.
- When taking, do not operate machinery or drive. This is because of the sedative properties in the herb.
- Begin with small dosages and increase until you feel the relaxing effects to find your right dosage with this herb.
- About 5% of the population become agitated or restless with this herb, the opposite effect it usually has. Discontinue if that occurs.
Fun Facts About Valerian Root
- Valerian Root has been used over the centuries for many things such as treating horses for distemper and also being worn as a perfume in Europe.
- Cats love it, often better than catnip!