Our day-to-day lives get surrounded by ongoing activities, non-stop workload, and constant stress. While we are all struggling with our daily lives to keep up the momentum, we often tend to forget what our body primarily needs.
From irregular sleeps to unbalanced diet; from tiring workdays to overexerted weekends, we all get surrounded by unhealthy habits that take a toll on our bodies. However, there is always a way out, and that way is simple and effective. If you’re wondering how to tackle such health hurdles, then here are valerian root benefits for you.
What are Valerian Root and Its Origin?
Also known as garden valerian or garden heliotrope, valerian root is a flowering plant. With more than 250 species, valerian root is native to some parts of Asia and Europe. While the plant has been used effectively in recent times to treat insomnia, heart palpitations, headaches, and nervousness, there is a history attached to the real valerian root benefits. Also, the plant has been a useful medicinal herb for treating cough, ulcers, and wounds.
What are the Various Components?
Thanks to the different types of active biological constituents that help make valerian root effective in treating insomnia(1), trembling, and nervous disorders. The components present in valerian root differ from species to species.
Some of the other factors that determine the compound constituency of valerian root are the geographical source, season, the condition of the growth of the plant, storage, and method of processing. However, three primary chemicals are believed to be the active constituents of valerian. These components include:
- Essential oils and valeric acid
- Alkaloids such as creatinine and valentine
6 Significant Valerian Root Benefits and Uses
1. Improving Stress Management
In scientific terms, GABA or Gamma-aminobutyric acid levels in the brain is responsible for stress. Therefore, as per observation that the use of valerian root has led to the increase of the levels of Gamma-aminobutyric acid in the brain, which otherwise are less when a person is in stress.
Moreover, there have been studies that have observed the significant change in stress management in individuals after they have had valerian treatment. Also, there was a study that had 27 patients with intrusive thoughts leading to stress and insomnia. Post valerian treatment, there had been useful results showcasing 89% patients who had better stress management and sleep.
Valerian can be an effective treatment in reducing heart palpitations and physical reactions at the time of taxing situations or conditions. Moreover, regular use of valerian roots may also help in controlling high blood pressure and heart palpitations or increased heart rate.
Day-to-day activities and stressful lives lead to stress and uneasiness. While we all may find ourselves in some of the other situation leading to anxiousness and nervousness, there is always a solution to the same. As mentioned in the case of reducing stress, GABA levels are also related to anxiety and assists in regulating the nerve cells and calming anxiety.
The active components of valerian root such as the valerian and valeric acid are known for containing anti-anxiety properties and help in soothing the nervous system. The increased levels of Gamma-aminobutyric acid assist in calming the mind and body, which means that the valerian root benefits also stretch towards managing anxiety and reducing the same. Therefore, as per observation, regular use of valerian root has significantly led to dealing with anxiety management.
[Read: Natural Remedies For Anxiety ]
There has been a study on roughly 2,500 adults with anxiety and depressive disorders. A weekly dosage of valerian for six weeks has reduced, and in some cases, decreased the symptoms of depression and anxiety by more than 65%.
3. Improving Sleep and Treating Insomnia
With sleep disorders being a widespread issue in today’s world, there have been constant research and studies for the effective treatment of insomnia. As evaluated, approximately 25 to 30% of individuals have trouble getting a sound sleep or face disturbed or incomplete sleep. Health experts recommend a minimum of six to seven hours and the same should be a part of our daily lives to stay fit and get our body rejuvenated.
[Read: Proven Remedies for Insomnia ]
- Research shows one of the universal valerian roots benefits is its effectiveness in improving the quantity as well as the quality of sleep.
- Valerian root for sleep has been observed as an effective treatment as there was a study conducted on 27 middle-aged individuals who were suffering from disturbed sleep or improper sleep.
- Post the study; the report indicated that 12 out of the 27 adults stated that they had a perfect sleep while 24 out of the total number reported having improved sleep after they had taken valerian root.
Although most of the studies or reports conducted on the valerian root benefits when it comes to treating insomnia have been performed on adults only, there are a couple of reviews that show its effects on children with sleeping disorders.
The moderate sedative effects of valerian root were significantly in use for improving the quality and quantity of sleep since the time of ancient Rome and Greece.
Improved sleep in cases such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Therefore, considering all the studies and reports, it has been seen that one of the main valerian root benefits is improving the quality of sleep by helping natural sleep. The results have shown minimal valerian root side effects or risk of addiction.
Regular and supervised intake of valerian root can help in dealing with long-term insomnia or sleep disorders. When taken under supervision, valerian root has also proved to be an effective treatment or a milder treatment option against other harsh medications of sleep disorders.
4. Alleviating Pain
One of the other valerian root benefits is its ability to relieve pain. Valerian is known to be a natural pain reliever. The essential oils in valerian root lead to an analgesic effect on rats. This is not it; these essential oils improve the effectiveness of aspirin.
5. Reducing Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps can get extremely painful and lead to uneasiness. Valerian has also proved to be a useful option when it comes to menstrual cramps. Valerian is an antispasmodic and natural sedative, which helps in relaxing the muscles and eases the painful menstrual cramps.
Moreover, valerian root helps in suppressing muscle spasms as it obstructs the muscle contractions in the uterine, which is commonly experienced by most of the women during menstruation. Therefore, valerian root acts as a useful treatment option for relaxing muscle pain and cramps in the uterus during menstruation.
6. Maintaining the Heart Health
Stressful lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits put immense pressure on the heart, leading to severe heart conditions. Various studies have reported that GABA levels are also directly associated with the regulation of blood pressure. We know that proper management of blood pressure has positive impacts on the heart and therefore, it is essential to keep a check on the blood pressure as higher levels pose a threat on the health of the heart.
One of the critical valerian root benefits is its quality of strengthening the blood vessels, thereby improving heart health. In addition to this, valerian root may reduce hypertension and help in relaxing the blood vessels.
How to use?
- Valerian root tea for relaxing bronchitis – Take 1 part of valerian root extract, quarter inch of ginger and cinnamon chips, and 1-part licorice root to prepare a relaxing tea for bronchitis.
- Mix for easing headache – Take 1-part blue vervain, half a ginger, four parts skullcap, two parts of valerian root, and 2 part of crampbark.
Precautions to be Noted
It is always recommended to consult your doctor before taking valerian root. There might be some compounds in the valerian, which might not go well with your body. In some of the cases, people have experienced headache, restlessness, tiredness or drowsiness after taking valerian root dosage. Therefore, it is best to get your consultation first to avoid any unforeseen medical conditions.
With daily lifestyle being stressful and preoccupied, it is necessary to take proper care of the body and mind, and what best than an ancient remedy that could offer best and effective health benefits.
Valerian root extract has offered extensive health benefits to many – right from valerian root for sleep to treating anxiety and cough and cold, but it is also essential to consult your health expert before taking valerian root dosage. Nevertheless, taking into consideration the valerian root benefits, you would take home – an improved sleep, treating anxiety, pain relief, and stress management!
1. Why Does Valerian Root Smell So Bad?
Valerian root contains valerenic acid that gives it the pungent odor. GABA or gamma-aminobutyric acid is similar in structure to the valerenic acid, which helps in relaxing the central nervous system.
2. Is Valerian Root Safe During Pregnancy?
One must not take valerian root during pregnancy or breastfeeding to avoid any unforeseen complications. It is advisable to consult your doctor before taking any medications during pregnancy.
3. Are Valerian Leaves Edible?
Valerian has been in use as a condiment in the middle ages. It can also be used to prepare tea but be sure to use it in moderation.