A number of people today use valerian root tea in order to help them sleep. Valerian is a flowering plant native to Europe and some parts of Asia, though it is also cultivated now in the United States.
It was widely used by the ancient Greeks and Romans. It is an herb that is used mostly for its sedative effects and is available in several forms, including capsules and tea.
Benefits of valerian root tea include:
- Combating the symptoms of insomnia. Valerian tea acts as a natural relaxant, allowing the user to achieve restful sleep. It is thought to be most beneficial when taken between 30 and 45 minutes before retiring. Once the sleep pattern has improved, it is recommended that using the tea continue for a few weeks longer to ensure maximum effectiveness.
- Calming restlessness.
- Relieving anxiety in those suffering from stress. As a result it can also have a positive effect on other symptoms that are brought on by stress such as stomach upsets and headaches.
- Relaxing muscles. This makes it a useful remedy for conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.
- Its relaxing properties may also be beneficial to sufferers of depression.
- Valerian tea can be used to help those who are going through menopause or experiencing problems with menstruation, particularly for severe cramps.
- Those with digestive disorders may benefit from valerian root tea. The pain of ulcers can be eased with its use, and it is thought to be able to prevent a build-up of gas in the digestive tract.
- The herb may also be a useful remedy for those suffering from ADHD due to its calming effects.
Some people may find that valerian tea needs to be used for several weeks before getting the maximum benefit from it, while others will see instant results.
Several studies have been carried out into the effectiveness of the herb, which have clearly indicated that the herb does have relaxing properties.
When using the tea, it is recommended to take two or three grams of the herb and steep in hot water for a few minutes. This preparation may be used several times a day.
Side Effects of Valerian Root
There are some side effects of valerian root to be considered when beginning a course of treatment. Some people may experience headaches while using the herb, while it has also been linked to night terrors in others.
Excessive amounts of the herb may bring on dizziness and general disorientation as well as stomach upsets.
Prolonged or excessive use can also cause drowsiness during the day. It can also seem as though mental faculties have been dulled slightly.
Side effects are rare provided the user sticks to the recommended amounts. Allergic reactions are very rare but can include signs such as a skin rash or difficulty breathing.
Those who are pregnant and breastfeeding should avoid using valerian tea, and anyone taking prescription medication should check with their doctor to ensure that the herb will not interact with it.