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Health benefits of valerian

What is Valerian Used for?

Valerian is used for easing symptoms of nervous tension, irritability, and stress. Its effectiveness is confirmed in treating epilepsy, hysteria, spasmodic pain around the heart, spasms in the airways, and nervousness, which is manifested in the stomach and intestines.

For insomnia it can be combined with chamomile in order to make calming tea.

With high blood pressure and heart hardships caused by stress you can mix Valerian with lime and hawthorn, for further relief of the heart muscle.

Valerian is used for different health conditions:

  • general anxiety and nervousness that can be aggravated due to irritability,
  • insomnia as a result of nervousness,
  • the nervous disturbances followed by heart palpitations and a sense of fear in the area of the heart.

How Does the Valerian Work?

Valerian exhibits sedative and spasmolytic effects. It reduces locomotor activity and aggressive behavior. This natural remedy is used in the case of anxiety, headaches caused by tension, migraine and depression.

Because of its sedative property, valerian reduces attention and concentration, so it should not be taken before driving, running a gadgets and machinery and other activities which require high concentration.

Valerian shows sedative-hypnotic, anxiolytic (reduces anxiety and tension), antidepressant, anticonvulsant and spasmolytic (reduces spasms) effects. It also decreases blood pressure.

What Does Researches Show?

German Commission E has approved using valerian in insomnia, nervousness and anxiety. Some phytotherapists recommended valerian for treating hypochondria.

Most researches show that taking valerian reduces the sleep start and improves subjective sleep quality. The best effect achieves by using 400-900 mg of valerian extract up to 2 hours before bedtime. It is often combined with other sedative herbs such as melissa, hops and mint. Valerian improves sleep quality in patients who have recently stopped with benzodiazepines therapy.

How to Use Valerian?

Valerian can be used as a tea made of 2-3 g of valerian root poured with a cup of boiled water, several times a day.

It also can be used in the form of tincture in the amount of 20-30 drops three times a day.

In What Cases Valerian Should not be Used?

Valerian should not be used during pregnancy, breastfeeding and with the simultaneous application of sedatives, barbiturates and narcotics. It does not cause physical dependence, but sometimes people rely on valerian too much. It shouldn't be used during long time, without revealing the real cause of tension.

Side Effects

Large doses of valerian may cause headaches, restlessness, excitement, insomnia, difficulty awakening and mydriasis. Valerian should not be used before driving. After a long-term use of valerian, dose should be gradually lowered.

Contraindications

Alcohol increases valerian effects so their parallel use should be avoided. Concomitant use of benzodiazepines, hypnotics and antipsychotics with valerian is contraindicated.

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