Dried Valerian roots in wooden spoon on sackcloth background

Valerian Root, Insomnia and Anxiety – How It Helps

Realizing how to overcome anxiety and insomnia through the natural benefits of valerian root can seem like an overwhelming task, especially if you suffer from these conditions regularly.

Luckily, valerian root isn’t just safe to use when treating these issues, but it’s also incredibly effective at reducing your symptoms without the side effects commonly associated with prescription drugs.

Keep reading to learn about all the health benefits of valerian root and how it can help you recover from anxiety and insomnia quickly and safely.

What is Valerian Root?

Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) is a herb that’s used in Europe as a mild sedative. The most important ingredient in valerian root is called actinidine; actinidine promotes sleep by relieving anxiety, reducing tension and improving sleep quality.

Valerian root also has sedative properties; it promotes sleep through the relaxation of muscles. Other ingredients in valerian root include essential oils including azulene, which gives valerian its characteristic odour.

How Does It Help Anxiety and Insomnia?

Valerian root is a natural supplement that is known to help with insomnia and anxiety. Its medicinal properties have been used for over 2000 years.

In fact, it’s been recommended by numerous reputable sources including The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and WebMD.

Valerian root has been touted as effective in helping people suffering from insomnia due to stress. Because of its relaxing qualities, it’s also used to treat nervousness or tension before going to bed or while trying to fall asleep at night.

This herb works because it contains a key ingredient called valerenic acid which helps balance our GABA levels.

Is There Any Scientific Proof That Valerian Works?

Yes. A number of studies have been conducted on valerian root as a treatment for anxiety and insomnia.

In one study done at Tufts University in 2007, 100 people who suffered from insomnia took either a placebo or a low dose of valerian extract before bedtime.

Over a five-week period, those who used valerian scored significantly higher on sleep quality tests than those who didn’t use it. In addition to helping people fall asleep faster, they also slept more soundly throughout the night.

How long does valerian take to work?

People often wonder how long it takes for valerian to start working. Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer—valerian works differently in different people.

Some people feel its effects immediately; others need up to four weeks of regular use to notice any difference at all. The only way to know if valerian will work for you is to try it and see.

Most people find that it has a mild sedative effect and is helpful for inducing sleep—but it’s not meant as a magic pill with immediate relief.

If your goal is relief from anxiety or stress-related insomnia, research indicates that you may want to give valerian a try alongside traditional anti-anxiety medications or sleeping pills such as Ambien or Lunesta.

But Wait, What About Those Side Effects?

Valerian is generally well-tolerated by most people. Some research studies have even reported that it can be used as a long-term treatment for insomnia. However, because it acts on a number of neurotransmitters in our bodies, there is a small risk of side effects. These can include dizziness, dry mouth and headaches.

If you’re thinking about trying valerian to help treat your anxiety or insomnia symptoms, just know that those risks are very minimal but should still be considered.

In conclusion

Valerian root is one of those long-standing herbal supplements that’s been around for hundreds of years. There are many factors why valerian root helps with insomnia and anxiety including its sedative properties that help to calm your nerves while also reducing stress and tension in your body.