Valerian root (commonly referred to as “Nature’s Valium”) sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it turns out it’s actually not too good to be true. Scientists studied the effects of valerian root versus the effects of benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax, and what they found was that valerian root produces essentially the exact same response on the body.
Valerian is just a flower, but the stuff that is extracted from it is very powerful for treating both anxiety and insomnia. It’s good to know that valerian is just a plant because this means that it’s completely natural, and the benefits it produces are non habit forming. However, using it by itself can allow your body to build up a tolerance over time.
Valerian Root Benefits
Valerian root benefits are most powerfully felt by people with anxiety or insomnia. While it can produce benefits for just about anybody due to its powerful calming effects, it is best used for anxiety relief and/or insomnia relief.
Anxiety and insomnia tend to go hand in hand. Usually, people who are up late at night having problems falling asleep are also experiencing a great deal of anxiety. Being up too late at night can cause you to start having anxious thoughts and feelings, which becomes very uncomfortable. You could take prescription anxiety medication or prescription sleep medication, OR you could take valerian root, which has been proven to function as both.
Valerian Root For Anxiety
Clinical studies have shown that valerian root has the ability to increase your GABA levels. This is the mechanism through which it is able to help relieve anxiety. GABA is a neurotransmitter that essentially serves the purpose of calming your brain down. It reduces neuron activity and prevents people from experiencing the feelings of anxiety that often come with neurons being overactive.
GABA is your ultimate anxiety relief neurotransmitter, and valerian root boots GABA levels, which is why it truly does work for anxiety. Anything you can take to help get GABA production up is going to calm your mind and produce feelings of calm in your body. Since valerian root is also great as a sleep supplement, it’s best to use valerian root at night even it’s for anxiety relief.
Valerian Root For Sleep
Valerian root has been proven to be a powerful sedative when the dosage is high enough. People refer to it as “Nature’s Valium” for a reason. If you have never taken Valium, you may not know this, but it is a very powerful sedative that makes you feel very calm. It is a prescription drug that is used primarily on people with anxiety disorders.
We like valerian root better than Valium because it’s not just an anxiety cure. As a matter of fact, it’s even better to use valerian root for sleep than it is for anxiety. If you tend to experience most of your anxiety at night, then valerian is the perfect double whammy supplement for you. It destroys anxiety and puts you to sleep very quickly.
Valerian Root Dosage
A solid valerian root dosage for anxiety is about 100-200 milligrams, but if you are more interested in taking valerian root for sleep, then you’ll want to use about 500 milligrams. A valerian root dosage of about 500 MG should calm your nerves, deeply relax you, and put you to sleep within about thirty minutes.
With that being said, taking valerian root every single night can start to become less effective after a while, which is why valerian root is best taken as part of a comprehensive sleep supplement instead of on its own. There are many valerian root based supplements you can explore that tend to include several other great sedatives and anxiety relievers.
Valerian Root Side Effects
Valerian root side effects tend to only occur if you take too large of a dosage too early in the day. With that being said, it’s important to know what the side effects are in case you start experiencing them. Some of the most common valerian root side effects include a headache, drowsiness, upset stomach, and a dry mouth.
In order to avoid having to deal with any valerian root side effects, just take it at night before bed instead of taking it during the day. If you are using valerian root for sleep, make sure you are in bed and ready to fall asleep before you take it because it will start to work pretty quickly.
Valerian Root Conclusion: Should You Take It?
If you are someone who struggles with anxiety or insomnia problems, then you should definitely give valerian root a shot. It is best taken at night because it’s pretty powerful, which means it can cause you to feel tired or drowsy if you take it during the day. Valerian is most effective when taken as part of a comprehensive sleep supplement instead of by itself, otherwise, you could build up a tolerance.
I’m not just a supplement analyst. I’m an extremely qualified one! I am a Certified Nutrition Coach (CNC) and actually received my certification directly from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I am also a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, certified by the American Fitness Professionals Association (AFPA).