The Benefits of Using Valerian for Insomnia and Anxiety

The Benefits of Using Valerian for Insomnia and Anxiety

     During this time of the Corona Virus I wanted to share with you some of the natural remedies I have used at different times in my life to assist me with my mental health. So today I am starting with Valerian root. This is not intended to be medical advice and you should alway check with your doctor about using any herbal supplements especially if you are on any medications. 

      Valerian, also known as Valeriana officinalis, is a flowering plant native to Europe and Asia. It is most well known for being a natural remedy for insomnia. There have been some studies done and according to Green Med Info “600mg of valerian extract equalled the benzodiazepine oxazepam while being safer, and in another study it beat it: while both treatments significantly improved sleep quality, the valerian was safer, and 82.2% of people with insomnia felt they had very good results with valerian while only 73.4% felt they did with oxazepam.” Valerian contains a substance known as valerenic acid that is believed to affect gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain. Research has shown  that one of the purposes of GABA is to reduce anxiety experienced when nerve cells are overexcited. Valerian is known as ‘nature’s valium’ because it has shown similar effects on reducing anxiety as the benzodiazepines Valium and Xanax. Valerian may act as an anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing drug) without the side effects. People like using valerian because it does not cause a hangover effect in the morning.

     I learned about valerian some years ago, it was amazing at helping to reduce symptoms of anxiety and gave me the ability to relax. I used valerian powder in non-caffeinated tea about an hour before I wanted to go to sleep. Valerian has a strong aroma and a woodsy taste so putting it in with tea helped me to get use to the taste. You can also find commercially sold teas with valerian in them. I was amazed at how gradual and subtle the effects where and how easily I was able to relax and fall asleep. 

     Of course I alway tell people to do their own research about anything they are going to use. I hope this gave you some new information that may help you during this time. If you have any questions please contact me at 860-977-4418 or email me at kim@drkimandrews.com 

 

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