What valerian root benefits and uses make it one of the most popular medicinal herbs today? There are a number of valerian benefits as well as advantages be it in form of capsules or tea. Read on to find out the health benefits of valeriana officinalis for sleep, anxiety, depression, headaches, muscle pains and other beneficial uses for pets such as dogs.
What is valerian root good for? What makes it a potent herb that has sedative and therapeutic effects? We will start with a few quick facts about this herb to help you understand how the health benefits are derived from its root extract.
Valerian is one of the less common herbs of Europe that is sold as a dietary supplement in many countries, including the United States. The benefits of valerian root extracts are derived mostly from its use in most products that are marketed and sold as sedatives. As you will see below, it is used mainly as a sleep aid for people with insomnia.
Although the herb is widely used for treating insomnia, scientific and clinical research is yet to prove with evidence of its efficacy as a viable medicine for people with sleeping disorders. However, tests have shown that the root extract has sedative effects in laboratory-tested animals. This has contributed to it being used by humans regardless of the few side effects it has.
Valerian Root Benefits -Health & Medicinal uses
Valerian is not just a flowering plant, the root of this herb can be squeezed dry for use as herbal medicine
According to most historical fact-sheets, valerian root benefits have been enjoyed by people for a long time. It has been used in different continents for various differing utilities. Since ancient Rome and Greece, valerian has been used for its therapeutic benefits, especially by Hippocrates during the second century.
- During the second century, valerian was discovered to have benefits that treated nervousness, headaches, trembling and heart palpitations.
- England discovered the valerian root benefits in relieving stress during World War II, when soldiers seemingly became stressed over overhead air raids.
- Another notable medicinal use and benefit of valerian root is its ability to work as a stimulant.
These are not all. Many online resources documenting the profile of the herb and the valerian roots benefits indicate that there are not scientific studies proving its benefits and uses, but it is also used for epileptic seizures, distress, gastrointestinal spasms, ADHD and many other disorders.
The following are some of the benefits of valerian roots:
Valeriana officinalis potential to relieve you of menstrual cramps is explained by its effect in reducing the involuntary muscle contractions of the uterine muscles and natural sedative effects which suppress muscle spasms.
Stomach ache and other Digestive problems
Conditions that mostly affect the cardiovascuclar muscles and especially the digestive muscles normally result in either stomach aches or unexplained cramps. Researchers have found that the antispasmodic action of the valerian root extract works well via the potassium channels on the cells, which makes it a good remedy for cramps and stomach ache treatment.
The drug has great effects on reducing the contractions of the gastrointestinal smooth muscles. This is especially in spasms that cause a lot of pain in the digestive tract.
On the other hand, it can be used against diarrhea. The effect of juice or powder made from this root corrects your stomach problems in a very short time without causing other side effects of other drugs like nausea.
You can use valerian root as a natural sedative treatment. This is explained by the ability of this root to ease anxiety and promote sleep as well as cause other nervous system effects. This gives it the credit to be used as a mild sedative treatment.
Does valerian root cause headaches? Are headaches and migraines side effects of using valerian root extract? Or is treating headaches and migraines one of the valerian root uses? There are quite many aspects that show confusion on whether this extract is used for treating headaches or if it cause headaches, as one of its side effects.
According to Migraines.com on valerian, “Scientists and researchers are not sure how Valerian works to ease migraine symptoms in some sufferers.” However, the website indicates that one of the uses and benefits of using valerian is that it helps with headache and migraine relief. It is thought to sstop the triggers of headaches. If you get frequent migraines, you need to try valerian root and see how well it can work for you.
It has been found out that consumption of a dried valerian root tincture significantly improves memory. The acid in the root is the one responsible for memory improvement.
Improvement of menopause symptoms
According to a study at the School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, this herb may be effective in treating menopausal hot flashes. The use of about 255 mg of the root three times a day works pretty well.
Stops hand tremors
The root causes your nerves to calm down and relax. To do this grind the valerian root and then mix with water, then wait for about 5 minutes and then take. This is very effective in managing the hand tremors.
Improves heart health
It strengthens blood vessels and improves their elasticity. Apart from that, it normalizes the blood pressure.
Treat restless leg syndrome
The root helps to relax the leg muscles and aid you in falling asleep faster. Relaxation of the leg muscles is one of the most important remedies in the restless leg syndrome.
It relieves knee pain
Apart from the other effects on anxiety, tension, irritability and insomnia, it can be very useful especially in injury induced pain on the knee.
It is used for obsessive compulsive Disorder
The root has shown to improve the effects of this disorder on the lifestyle of those affected. The herb has shown more desirable effects than most pharmaceutical medications.
By the fact that the root improves length and quality of sleep and reduces anxiety, the herb can be used in the management of stress. Further, valerian root has been shown to suppress both physical and psychological stress. This is according to a research published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
It reduces epilepsy
The herb reduces the frequency of the seizure episodes that are very common with epileptic patients. There are several studies in animals that have been tried and proven this.
Sleeplessness is a common effect in patients suffering from hyperthyroidism. Since it is very effective in sleep disorders, it can help in over active thyroid gland.
It is used in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
The herb works to decelerate triggers that may cause hyperactivity and help in individual’s concentration. The dose for this is 300 to 1000mg in adults.
Treatment of shin splints
The root can help in making the muscles relax. This is in return makes you feel less pain fast in your shins. Apart from that, it is a tranquilizer as it makes you feel less affected by pain and hence calmer.
It is a home remedy for vertigo
Anxiety and insomnia are some of the common occurrences of vertigo. This herb works perfectly well to rid you of these symptoms. To make this remedy follow the following outline:
Dried valerian root- 1 teaspoon
1 cup of water
First put the dried valerian root into the cup of water.
Now, you let it steep for about 5 to 10 minutes.
After that, you strain this tea.
Finally, you drink it slowly.
You should do this way up to three times per day for at least 2 weeks.
Valerian Root Muscle Relaxer Uses
Valerian root muscle relaxer properties are commonly found in the pills. Most people who suffer from muscle strains such as cramps take the pills to help relax the muscles and soothe them to do away with pain.
Valerian root extract has been referred to as “nature’s valium,” this herbal root does not pose the danger of addiction as it is common with most other muscle relaxers. When using valerian root muscle relaxer, ensure that you do not exceed 15 grams a day. The dosage instructions have to be followed carefully to prevent any unprecedented side effects of using the valerian root pills for their benefits.
So, why is valerian root muscle relaxer applied as a treatment? Does it have any medicinal benefits that make it a potent relaxant? The Indian and Mexican varieties of valerian root are highly potent with chemical substances called valepotriates. These are said to have medicinal or pharmacological properties that make it to be used as an analgesic.
When you apply valerian root uses as a muscle relaxant, the medicinal compounds in the plat work on your nervous system directly, making it a natural pain reliever. According to a research by the Aga Khan University Medical College, “Valerian root extract significantly reduced the tension and spasming of digestive muscles.”
The root is specifically important if you have tried other alternatives for anxiety without a breakthrough. It does this enhancing the inhibitory effect of activity of the brain signal transmitter known as GABA. Therefore, the excitability state in the brain when in anxiety is countered. This herbal product is of more importance compared to other synthetic drugs because it has fewer side effects.
Read more on valerian root and anxiety review
Research shows that millions of Americans are suffering from insomnia and they have not found a suitable remedy yet. The root is useful because it reduces the time required for you fall asleep. Similarly, it brings about a calming effect and therefore inducing sleep.
Find out more on how valerian root works for sleep plus dosage and reviews
Other Valerian Uses & Benefits for Pets Dogs & Cats
Valerian root is not only beneficial for human beings but also for healthy living of your pets. It is used as anti-anxiety and a famous sedative herb.
Occasional nervousness and anxiety in dogs needs to be taken care of. If you have a pet then you definitely love keeping and seeing it healthy. Valerian root is a herb that is readily available and you can use it to restore restfulness in your dog.
If your dog is suffering from stomach upsets, you can also offer it treatment using this magic herb. Valerian root soothes the stomach by correcting any digestive problem. Apart from that you could administer some valerian root drops to your dog to relieve it from stress.
However, there are things you need to know before administering this treatment to your dog. Valerian root should not be used for dogs that run hot since the herb is considered hot and a warming herb. This root should also not be used for pregnant dogs since large dosages lead to digestive upsets. 
Valerian root corrects sleeping patterns as well as helping in relaxation. This something your cat may need. Valerian root helps in transforming your cat to one that loves exercise, especially if you have a fat cat. What makes it easy for you to use this root for your cat is that the cats actually like it and they love eating it.
The valerian plant has nice smelling flowers but it is not the flowers that excite the cats but rather the roots. When cats sniff the root extracts of this plant, it sends them to a euphoric frenzy. It acts as a stimulant.
You can lower the blood pressure of your cats and decrease its heart rate by use of valerian root. An injection of valerian root will work very well for your cat. Apart from that, you will realize that your cat becomes less aggressive and calmer following the injection.
If your cat has gastrointestinal pain, you could try this root. You however need to seek expert advice before administering the valerian root since over dosages may do more harm than good. 
Valerian Root Capsules/Pills, Tea, Oil Benefits
Valerian root comes in different forms and you may prefer one over the other depending on the benefits of each. Such available forms include; capsules, valerian root tea and oil.
Are capsules any better than other forms of this root? Well, taking the supplement in the form of refined capsules is said to have better results and fast action.
This is the easiest way to acquire the valerian root benefits since you simply buy it from your nearest drug store. Taking it inform of a pill helps you avoid the unpleasant taste that is associated with other forms such as valerian root tea. 400 to 900 milligrams is the recommended dosage
If you are looking for a quick relaxing effect on your nervous system, take tablets or capsules such as those of Nature’s Way Valerian Root to tranquilize your body.
Most of the recommended capsules are taken about an hour before bedtime for individuals who suffer the tears of hectic lifestyles and heavy work. These capsules will help you relax fast and get sound sleep. Now that you know valerian root benefits, go ahead and try it – safely!
Valerian Root Tea Benefits
If you do not like pills, then you can treat some health problems using valerian root tea. Valerian root tea is a great way to consume the root and obtain its benefits. When taken as tea, some of the effects that come with any drugs are taken care off. All you need is to add valerian roots powder to hot water and then add a sweetener and you will be good to go.
The sweetener is added since the herb is very bitter. It is preferred to the capsules since it can be used as a fresh extract of the roots when harvested and dried and hence you obtain all nutritional benefits. Even that, the taste may still be unpleasant even with a sweetener added to the tea.
Preparing valerian root tea is said to have many benefits as most people boast of it as one of the best all-natural remedy for many maladies, including the ones listed above.
Basically, valerian root tea benefits originate from its ability to soothe and relax the body fast. Other than that, there are other health benefits of valerian tea that you can derive from making this tea. Some of the these are discussed in the section below. But first things first, what are the benefits of valerian root tea?
- Valerian root tea works as a digestive aid. If you have symptoms of indigestion, the tea will help you ease them, thanks to its power to relax gastrointestinal muscles.
- Do you have a problem catching sleep? Reviews of valerian root benefits have shown that taking a cup of this tea will help you sleep with ease and soundly.
- For people who suffer from irritability and muscle tensions, it is advisable that you make and take a cup of this tea to help yourself relax.
- The tea is also good for combating other problems such as headaches and migraines.
Valerian Oil Benefits
The oil made from valeriana officinalis is very beneficial when you wish to relieve stress or in treatment of insomnia. You can either apply a few drops of this oil on the affected area. You could also directly inhale to diffuse it.
The valerian oil has other ingredients added to it and that means it is not used in its pure natural form. Pills and tea are in most cases preferred forms of valerian root as compared to the essential oil.
As you have noted throughout this article, it is worth noting that the herb has medicinal benefits, which can also translate to health benefits.
Taking the herb in the form of tea or capsules can help you improve your health in one way or another. But, before you try out the valerian root benefits, it is important to note that the herb interacts with alcohol, some psychotropic drugs and narcotics. Some antihistamines too. Therefore, do not apply it as one of your dietary components if you are at any risk.
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Sources and References