Valerian for Insomnia, Stress & Anxiety – European Remedies
Garden Heliotrope (Valerian) is used to treat insomnia, stress, anxiety and hysteria.
Garden Heliotrope (Valeriana officinalis) is a hardy perennial flowering plant. Valerian root is used as a medicine. Valeriana officinalis was mentioned in the time of ancient Greece and Rome as a medicinal herb. Since 18th century, valerian has been more used by European herbal medicine practitioners for treating insomnia and other types of nervous problems.
Valerian is considered as a nerve tonic. It is calmative, antispasmodic, nervine, sedative, anodyne, carminative, aromatic, and emmenagogue.
Valeriana officinalis is used for nervous and mental hypochondria, including insomnia, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, emotional stress, restlessness, irritability, headaches, migraines, hysteria, epilepsy, convulsions, vertigo, delirium, neuralgia, muscle cramps, spasms, and palpitations.
Valeriana officinalis contains the active compounds called valepotriates. Modern studies suggest that valepotriates may have sedative effects on the central nervous system. Valepotriates reduce nervous activity by prolong the action of an inhibitory neurotransmitter. Recent research conducted in Europe have shown that Valeriana officinalis promotes sleep, relieves insomnia, and improves sleep quality.
Garden Heliotrope (Valerian) is a mild sedative. Compared to the most sleep pills sold in the market, valerian may have no immediate effect. According to a study recently conducted by German scientists, valerian is a slow-effect remedy. It did not demonstrate effects in short-term use. But when used continuously for 28 days, it proved to have an advanced effect to induce sleep. The study suggests that, valerian can help treat some types of insomnia, but may not be effective to treat other types of insomnia; valerian may help relieve insomnia in long-term use, but may not be effective to induce sleep immediately.
Valerian is stated by German health authorities as a very useful remedy for relieving restiveness and sleep disorders. Today, valerian is sold as a herbal dietary supplement in forms of extracts, tablets and capsules.
How to use valerian
Valerian root is used to make extracts by soaking or steeping it in water or alcohol. Traditionally, it is prepared in forms of infusion and tincture for internal use. Fresh or dried roots can be used to make medicine. The fresh root is more sedating than the dried one.
– Take a teaspoon of dried powder
– Steep in a cup of boiling water for 15 minutes
– Drink it before bed
– Grain Alcohol %35-85% 500ml
– Dried root powder 100g (or fresh root 200g)
– Put them into a jar
– Leave for 4-6 weeks
– Strain and store in a bottle
– Consume 20ml, before bed
For supplement products in tablets and capsules, the common dose is 1 to 2 capsules or tablets, up to 3 times a day. For products in liquid extracts, take 10-30 drops, with a cup of lukewarm water, up to 3 times daily. Please follow the directions on the label of the product.
Please note, although the use of valerian is generally safe, but it might have side effects, such as allergic reaction, difficulty breathing or gastro-intestinal problems in some people. You should consult your doctor before using valerian as a remedy for your treatment.
Read more information about natural remedies for insomnia.