Valerian is a flowering perennial that has been used medicinally since the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Its sweet pink and white flowers have historically been used to make perfume. In some medieval cultures were placed in wedding garments to ward off elves bent on mischief-making. Valerian is primarily noted for its root, which has endured as a potent medicinal agent to the present day. Used by folk and medical practitioners for centuries, valerian root appears to offer many important health benefits that range from treatment of anxiety to cures for insomnia. If you do choose to take valerian root for any reason, it’s still important to consult your healthcare provider about dosing and whether or not it is safe to take in conjunction with other medications you may be taking.
Treatment for Sleep Disorders
Folk practitioners have long prescribed valerian root as a potent but safe sleep aid and cure for insomnia. Modern medicine is now confirming the plant’s efficacy in this regard. According to Mayo Clinic, valerian root may, indeed, have the power to reduce the time it takes for a person to fall asleep. Valerian root also appears to enhance the quality of sleep. Insomnia sufferers have reported getting a better night’s rest after taking valerian root. Although valerian root can produce mild side effects like a headache or upset stomach, many users report no ill effects at all. Since prescription sleeping pills are typically associated with more side effects, individuals looking for a natural cure for insomnia favor valerian root.
Valerian root is most popular in the United States as a sleep aid. And it is increasingly used in Europe as an effective remedy for anxiety and restlessness. Valerian root contains gamma-aminobutyric acid. This is a neurotransmitter that many believe can help regulate the central nervous system and relieve symptoms of anxiety. While worry and stress may be endemic to the human experience, they can greatly detract from a person’s quality of life and even interfere with tasks at home or work. For bouts of anxiety, valerian root is worth trying as many people have reported relief with its use. If anxiety persists or worsens, it’s probably best to consult a medical professional for a thorough evaluation.
Help for Migraines
Migraine headaches can be so severe that they render a person unable to perform any of their routine tasks. Migraines can cause throbbing headaches that may be accompanied by nausea or dizziness. Some migraine sufferers have turned to valerian root, which has a reputation for soothing the migraine beast. While there have been few conclusive studies associated with valerian root and migraine headaches, many alternative health practitioners favor it as a natural cure for migraine headaches. Since many users tolerate this plant quite well, it may be worth trying as an alternative to prescription drugs. If you have been taking prescription medications for your migraines or aren’t sure if what you’re suffering from is a migraine, be sure to consult your healthcare provider before embarking on a valerian root course.
With its natural calming properties, valerian root has recently been looked at as a way to calm people and children suffering from hyperactivity and associated disorders. There have been studies that suggest that valerian root in combination with lemon balm can help hyperactive children sit calmly. And long enough to perform their daily school lessons. Many people have a hard time focusing on tasks when they are in a hyperactive state. Parents reported that their children also exhibited improved sleep and reduced signs of hyperactivity in the home. Parents who may be on the fence about giving their kids prescription drugs to reduce symptoms of hyperactivity might want to consider giving natural valerian root a try first.
Enhanced Cognitive Performance
Even people who do not suffer from hyperactivity prefer to take valerian root to enhance their focus and improve their memory. There are increasing numbers of people who are taking valerian root to enhance their cognitive performance. Many researchers are currently studying valerian root is associated with age-related cognitive decline. Some researchers are also studying the efficacy of valerian root treatment for patients who have recently undergone surgery. Since it is sometimes associated with a temporary reduction in cognitive function. If you have an important week coming up at work that requires great focus, you might consider a natural supplement like valerian root to sharpen your mental acuity.
Menstrual Pain Relief
Menstrual pain can range from mild to severe. Some women find performing their usual tasks difficult while suffering strong menstrual cramps. Valerian root appears to have the power to stop uterine muscle contractions and ease muscle spasms. One recent medical study by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics demonstrated that women reported valerian to be effective for treating the pain of menstrual cramps. If you are prone to cramping, you can try valerian root instead of common over-the-counter medications for pain relief. Since cramps often strike just before or at the beginning of a woman’s period, it’s a good idea to try valerian root at this time.
Digestive complaints can come and go. Some people are more prone to bouts of digestive problems because of their diet or health make-up. Alternative medicine practitioners have long prescribed valerian root as an antispasmodic. It may help relieve some types of gastrointestinal complaints including a simple bout of indigestion. While there is not currently conclusive medical research on the matter, many people have relied on valerian root to ease their indigestion woes for centuries. Keep in mind that stomach upset is a possible side effect of valerian root. So if your pain worsens or your indigestion does not improve, this herbal remedy might not be the right one for you.
Arthritis Pain Relief
The Arthritis Foundation lists a wide array of treatments, therapies, and alternative remedies for joint pain, which is a hallmark of this arthritis. Included in this plethora of information is the valerian root. The foundation suggests the use of this herb for reducing pain and its sedative effects. Relief, however, may not occur overnight. The foundation stated that it typically takes two to three weeks on a course of valerian root for its pain-relieving effects to occur. Sufferers can take a capsule supplement or drink valerian root tea during their treatment course. If you suffer from arthritis pain, valerian root is a natural remedy you can consider.
Some people with depression have reported improvements in their symptoms after taking valerian root. Many people experience anxiety and depression as a pair or become depressed after a serious bout of anxiety. The common belief is that valerian root eases the stress that depression sufferers feel so that they get some mental rest. A reduction in stress and improvements in sleep can certainly make depression sufferers feel better. While there aren’t conclusive modern medical studies to confirm valerian root’s efficacy as a treatment for depression, one study did find that valerian improved depression in rats. If you don’t tolerate antidepressants well or simply want to treat this condition naturally, valerian root is worth considering.
Help for Hypertension
Many people suffer from high blood pressure. High blood pressure is associated with an increased risk for heart disease. A study appeared in American Family Physician several years ago that demonstrated that patients suffering from hypertension enjoyed reductions in blood pressure after taking valerian root. This effect might simply be due to valerian’s ability to soothe stress and anxiety. The further effect of reduced blood pressure could have a tremendous impact on people suffering from hypertension. If you have high blood pressure but want to avoid taking a pharmaceutical drug, consult your doctor about giving valerian root a try. You could note positive results as soon as a couple of weeks.