This plant has long been a favorite of mankind. Since the second century, Valerian has been used as a folk cure for insomnia, anxiety, nervousness, and many other conditions.
Though there isn’t currently a consensus as to how this particular plant works, it is widely accepted that it does have some effectiveness in aiding with various conditions, even if the research data supporting it isn’t as robust as one might hope.
What is Valerian Root?
Valerian Root comes from a 2-foot-tall plant native to Europe. Though it grows in the wild, it has long been used to decorate gardens (to varying degrees of aesthetic enjoyment).
When it comes to being used a sleeping aid, at least, there is a consensus that the herb is safe, even if it isn’t 100% effective.
Indeed, that seems to be one of the major selling points of the herb on the whole—even if the intended benefit isn’t conferred in all instances, the fact that Valerian is GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) makes it an attractive option for those looking to reap the benefits without risking the side effects.
Those looking for a more surefire solution, though, might find themselves somewhat disappointed with this plant-based remedy.
In addition to helping with insomnia, there are claims that it might also be effective for reducing the symptoms of depression, reducing stress and anxiety and helping users feel more calm overall.
The current understanding of Valerian—that it has an effect on neurotransmitter levels—lends some credence to that suggestion. Clinical studies, however, are not readily available to back this up.
As mentioned, Valerian is generally safe and available for supplementation in the form of capsules and powder. Before taking Valerian, one should be aware of its potential interactions with sedatives and medications with sedative-like properties.
It can behave synergistically with Benzodiazepines, Barbituates, and other supplements like St. John’s Wort and Kava.
Overall, it seems like a worthwhile option, though discovering it’s true level of efficacy might be useful in nailing down why its powers are hit-or-miss and