Valerian Root Health Benefits
Treats anxiety and nervousness
Mild pain relief
Helps fight ADHD symptoms
Minimizes IBD symptoms
Promotes heart health
Valerian root is known widely for its varied use, and it is also respected by the general population as well as doctors for its sedative nature as well as its anti-anxiety capabilities. Valerian root is known to be quite commonly used in sleep promoting tea blends, but it is not limited to a good night’s sleep. It is known to contain some amazing natural, calming, anti-anxiety capabilities, and it also helps lower blood pressure. Valerian root is derived from valerian, or Valeriana officinalis, which is a perennial flowering plant from the Valerianaceae family. The plant is known to have a sweetly scented, pink, or, in certain cases, white flower that blooms mostly during the summer. Valerian, which is often misspelled as “valerian,” is said to be native to Europe and certain regions of Asia, and now it is also known to be grown in regions of North America, too.
Valerian root is known to contain volatile oils, which also includes valerenic acids. These active constituents are mostly said to be responsible for the ability of valerian root to produce a very soothing, calming, and restorative effect on the body’s central nervous system. The name of the herb is derived from the personal name “Valeria” and the Latin verb “valere,” which also means to be strong and healthy. Valerian has been used as a medicinal herb since at least from the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Below are a few of the health benefits of valerian root:
- Aids in natural sleep: Research has shown that valerian root helps to reduce the time it takes for an individual to fall asleep and also leads to an improvement in the quality of sleep, hence, if you are unable to sleep, then it may be just what you are looking for. Unlike many other prescription sleeping pills, valerian is known to contain fewer side effects and is a lot less likely to cause any kind of morning drowsiness. Valerian root is often combined with other types of sedating herbs, which can include hops (Humulus lupulus) as well as lemon balm (Melissa officianalis), to treat insomnia. In one study taken of children with minor sleep-related problems, which was published in the journal called Phytomedicine, around 81 percent of those who took an herbal combination containing both valerian root and lemon balm reported that they experienced sleeping that was way better than those who took just a placebo. The question arises as to why can valerian root help one sleep so well? Valerian extract is known to cause sedation, and this is done by increasing the brain’s GABA level. GABA is basically an inhibitory neurotransmitter and, if taken in large enough quantities, it can induce a sedative effect. Results carried out from an in vitro study had suggested that valerian extract may lead to the GABA level being released from brain nerve endings and then block the GABA from being taken back into those nerve cells. In addition, the valerenic acid, which is present in Valerian, is also known to inhibit an enzyme that tends to destroy GABA, which is another way that valerian can lead to an improvement in GABA levels and thereby promote a great night’s rest.
- Calms anxiety attacks: Studies have shown that valerian root leads to an increase in the amount of a chemical known as gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) present in the brain. GABA is said to regulate the nerve cells and also calm down anxiety in an individual. Various medications, such as alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium), are also said to work by causing an increase in the amount of GABA present in the brain. The valerenic acid as well as the valerenol, which is contained in valerian root extract, act as anti-anxiety agents. It is pretty amazing how an herbal remedy such as valerian root can have the same kind of anti-anxiety effects as a prescription drug, without leading to any kind of serious side effects caused from the psychotropic drugs.
- Provides relief from menstrual cramps: Due to the relaxing nature of valerian root, it is known to be a smart choice for natural relief from pain caused due to menstrual cramps. It helps to reduce the severity and discomfort caused due to menstrual cramps, which is a common problem for women who suffer monthly PMS. But the question arises as to how exactly can valerian root help? It is a kind of natural sedative as well as antispasmodic, hence, it means that it suppresses muscle spasms and, at the same time, it also acts as a natural muscle relaxer. Valerian root is known to effectively calm down the severe uterine muscle contractions that lead to the terrible pain which most women experience during their menstruation.
- Helps lower blood pressure: Now that we are aware that valerian root can be so calming to the mind as well as the body, it is probably not a surprise to hear that it can also help to lower blood pressure, thereby improving the health of the heart. The same active components that are known to make valerian root so effective for the management of stress as well as anxiety can also prove to be helpful to the body in terms of properly regulating the blood pressure. High blood pressure is something we all would definitely want to avoid at any case, since it leads to an increase in the chances of stroke and heart attack. The valerian root supplements are known to help naturally reduce blood pressure as well as keep it at a healthy level, which has a direct, positive impact on the health of your heart.
- Improves stress management: With the reduction of anxiety and improvement of the length and quality of sleep, valerian root is known to be significantly helpful with daily stress management as well. Chronic cases of stress are known to make an individual feel anxious, but anxiety can also make you feel more stressed out at certain times. By improving one’s GABA levels, valerian thus makes it easier for both the mind as well as the body to relax. Since relaxation is the antithesis of stress, valerian root is said to be an excellent natural way to help keep the stress down and also bring about improvement in the quality of life. Furthermore, valerian root has been shown to suppress both physical as well as psychological stress, according one set of research.