Valerian is a perennial flowering plant with sweetly scented pink or white flowers. Most commonly used in tea however is the root, which has a rather musty scent once it is dried.
Valerian is most commonly used for sleep disorders, especially the inability to sleep (insomnia) and sleep apnea. It is frequently combined with hops, lemon balm, or other herbs that also cause drowsiness. Some people who are trying to withdraw from the use of “sleeping pills” use valerian to help them sleep after they have tapered the dose of the sleeping pill.
Valerian is also used for conditions connected to anxiety and psychological stress including nervous asthma, hysterical states, excitability, fear of illness, hypochondria, headache, migraine, stomach upset, depression, mild tremors, epilepsy, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
Some early research suggests that taking Valerian along with St. John’s wort relieve symptoms of depression. Taking higher doses of Valerian with St. John’s wort improves depression symptoms faster than low doses, however there have been cases of some adverse effects if taken too heavily.
Women can use valerian for menstrual cramps and symptoms associated with menopause, including hot flashes and anxiety. Sometimes, valerian is added to bath water to help with restlessness and sleep disorders.
**Continuous use for several days, even up to four weeks, may be needed before an effect is noticeable. Valerian seems to improve the sleep quality of people who are withdrawing from the use of sleeping pills.**
Two teas we offer that feature this herb as main ingredient are Peace Tea and Fountain of Youth. Be sure to give these great herbal blends a try!