Heard of Valerian Root? Learn How It Helps Reduce Anxiety
Valerian root has so many benefits, it’s surprising how easy it is to get! Science has found it to reduce anxiety, insomnia, symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder, and nerve conditions. Even the FDA admits it’s a safe sedative. It’s particularly helpful for those recovering from alcohol abuse and/or Xanax addiction; alcohol and Xanax impede the brain’s production of GABA, which helps us feel good.
Healthyfocus.org states that “popular pharmaceutical anxiety drugs like Xanax and Valium work in exactly the same way by increasing GABA levels within the brain, though Valerian offers a weaker yet more natural and less addictive remedy.” Although people using Valerian root regularly shouldn’t stop using it abruptly, Valerian is non-addictive.
Many people drink Valerian tea to help them sleep, so most doctors advise against driving after ingesting Valerian. For a small percentage of people, Valerian can have the opposite effect and keep them awake (similarly tohow Ritalin can be calming to some people). Because of this, you should consult with a physician about using Valerian to make sure there are no harmful drug interactions. Herbs are powerful and should be well researched before introducing them into your daily life.
Here are some of the most common benefits of Valerian. I hope this information helps you and your loved ones find a healthy alternative to dangerous pharmaceutical drugs that are claiming the lives of so many innocent people across the country.
Top Science-Backed Benefits of Valerian
People use Valerian for migraines and even lowering blood pressure. It’s been used to help children focus and improve disruptive behavior. Women have also found it helpful in reducing menstrual cramps.
For people who experience insomnia or wake up frequently throughout the night, ingesting Valerian before bed can help achieve a deeper, more restful sleep. This ties into the important regeneration processes of our organs and brain that allow us to stay healthy and alert. Many people turn to addictive sleeping pills for their sleep issues. Sleeping pills can lead to dependency and addiction. We rarely hear about situations like this because of the shame people have about it. This article has more information about sleeping pills and why it’s not a good idea to use them.
Many people have genetically inherited anxiety and aren’t aware of it. They may develop social anxiety, reach for substances like drugs and alcohol, or become obsessive compulsive, controlling or insecure. Anxiety can reduce the quality of life that people could have if their nervous system was able to relax. Taking a mild sedative can help a person combat mild to severe anxiety and the behaviors that may have become habits as a result. We are often not aware of how much anxiety may truly be affecting us until it reaches extreme levels.
Anxiety can turn into racing thoughts and cause hyperactivity, when the nervous system is on overdrive and makes it hard to concentrate and sit still. Instead of the types of drugs offered to children and adults, both Valerian root and lemon balm have been found to be effective for the restlessness, lack of focus, and impulsive behaviors that make school or work difficult for people. To read more about this, check out this article.
How NOT To Use Valerian Root
Sleeping pills, anti anxiety or anti depression pills, seizure medication, narcotic painkillers, muscle relaxers and alcohol do not mix well with Valerian. Xanax, Valium, Lunesta and many of the drugs people use to manage sleep, anxiety, and stress should not be combined with Valerian root. This is why it is so important to talk to your doctor before you try Valerian for yourself.
Combining Valerian with other alcohol and other mind-altering substances can cause extreme sedation. Valerian lowers alcohol tolerance, which can be dangerous for many reasons. You may think consumption of small amounts of alcohol won’t affect you very much, but it’s best not to take the risk at all.
Hopefully, doctors will begin to become aware of the scientific studies that have found Valerian to be an effective alternative for pharmaceuticals. I really can’t say enough good things about this non-addictive gift from nature.
As far as dosage goes, the typical amount is 300-600 milligrams daily depending on what you’re dealing with. It’s recommended that you take it two hours before bed if you’re using it for sleep problems. Although it can be taken up to 3 times throughout the day, Livestrong recommends drinking lots of extra water to avoid dehydration and headaches from increased urination. It is also not to be taken during pregnancy. Again, be sure to consult with a trusted healthcare provider.
Finally, give the root some time to help you. Don’t expect an immediate cure although you may notice immediate effects. Track your progress over the course of a few weeks or months in a journal. See which brands work better than others for you specifically. Personally, I’ve found tablets work well for anxiety and sleep. Tea is also a good vehicle as it ensures hydration.
What’s your favourite way to use Valerian root? How does it affect you? We’d love to know about your unique experience.