Valerian root is an herb grown in Asia and Europe and has been around since ancient times to improve sleep, boost feelings of relaxation, reduce anxiety, and more. In this 3-minute article we discuss the 3 proven benefits of valerian root, additional uses, and how it works.
There are a number of compounds and antioxidants in valerian root that have a unique interaction with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is a chemical messenger that helps regulate nerve impulses in your nervous system and brain. Research shows that low levels of GABA are linked to chronic stress, anxiety, poor sleep, and depression.
OCD, anxiety, sleep, depression, there are a number of various health benefits of supplementing with valerian root.
Studies show that valerian root can help reduce anxious feelings that occur during stressful situations. For example, a 2021 study that included 39 participants found that after taking 530 mg of valerian root 1 hour before bed significantly improved not only sleep quality but symptoms of depression as well.
A separate 2014 study with 169 elementary school children with hyperactivity and concentration difficulties found that daily treatment of 640 mg of valerian root coupled with 320 mg of lemon balm extract was extremely effective in improving measures of focus, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.
Perhaps the most well-known benefit of valerian is its ability to improve sleep. Studies show that valerian can reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and actually increases the amount of time spent in deep sleep. A 2020 systematic review of 60 different studies concluded that valerian is a safe and effective treatment to improve sleep and prevent "associated disorders."
For example, a 2017 study with 120 participants who experienced frequent sleep disturbances found that those who took an herbal supplement called Vagonotte 30 minutes before bed significantly reduced the amount of time it took to fall asleep and improved sleep duration as well. Vagonette is a mixture of valerian root, jujube, and hops.
In 2011, 100 postmenopausal women who were experiencing insomnia supplemented with 530 mg of valerian root twice daily for 4 weeks. The results showed that those who consumed valerian experienced improved sleep (over 30%) whereas the placebo group only 4% reported improved sleep.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by unreasonable thoughts or fears that lead to compulsive behaviors. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study that included 31 individuals with OCD, found that those who took valerian root on a regular basis showed a "significant reduction in obsessive and compulsive behaviors."
Other health benefits of this ancient herb include: :
Since valerian is a supplement and not a medication there are no definitive dose recommendations. Common valerian root doses range from 100 mg to 900 mg taken once or twice daily.
Easy Sleep is an all-natural sleep aid formulated by doctors and neuroscientists designed to deliver better sleep results. This novel formulation is a mix of passionflower, L-theanine, magnesium citrate, melatonin and valerian root. Shop now.
There have been very few reported serious side effects of valerian root. Funny enough, the most common side effects were actually reported by users who took a placebo or ineffective pill.
Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk to their doctor first before supplementing with valerian.
Valerian root is an herb native to Asia and Europe and has been around since ancient times to improve sleep, boost feelings of relaxation, and reduce anxiety. It has also been shown to benefit those who experience hot flashes due to menopause and Parkinson's disease patients.
There are very few reported side effects of valerian root and of those reported many were from individuals who received a placebo or ineffective pill.