Whether your stress or anxiety is mild or severe, valerian may help offer some relief when taken in herbal remedies. However, its side effects -- including sometimes actually causing stimulation instead of relaxation -- should be noted.
Valerian Preparations and Dosage
Valerian root may be dried for teas or capsules or used fresh or dried in tinctures. Below are some suggested recipes.
Capsules: Take 2 to 3 capsules an hour before bed for insomnia, or 1 or 2 capsules at a time, two to three times a day, for anxiety, muscle tension, or high blood pressure.
Tincture: Take 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon at a time. Take 3/4 to 1 teaspoon before bed to improve insomnia. Take one to three times a day for anxiety, tension, and high blood pressure. Start with a low dose and increase as needed.
Bath: Traditionally, a bathtub full of warm water with 2 cups of tea added is considered a
soothing method to restore restful sleep.
Side Effects of Valerian
Valerian occasionally has the opposite effect of that intended, stimulating instead of sedating. When used for insomnia, in rare cases, valerian can cause morning grogginess in some people.
Reducing the dosage usually alleviates the problem. Valerian occasionally causes headaches and heart palpitations in sensitive individuals, when the valerian is old, or when taken in large dosages (several tablespoons of tincture, or 4 or more cups of tea per day).
Valerian Precautions and Warnings
Avoid valerian during pregnancy. However, if not pregnant, valerian can be an herb to try to induce relaxation and calm during times of stress.
To learn more about treating common medical conditions at home, try the following links:
- For an overview of all of our herbal remedies, go to the main Herbal Remedies page.
- To learn more about treating medical conditions at home, visit our main Home Remedies page.
- One of the best things you can do for your health and well being is to make sure you are getting enough of the vital nutrients your body needs. Visit our Vitamins page to learn more.
Jennifer Brett, N.D. is director of the Acupuncture Institute for the University of Bridgeport, where she also serves on the faculty for the College of Naturopathic Medicine. A recognized leader in her field with an extensive background in treating a wide variety of disorders utilizing nutritional and botanical remedies, Dr. Brett has appeared on WABC TV (NYC) and on Good Morning America to discuss utilizing herbs for health.This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in scientific studies. Use of these remedies in connection with over the counter or prescription medications can cause severe adverse reactions. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Each state and each discipline has its own rules about whether practitioners are required to be professionally licensed. If you plan to visit a practitioner, it is recommended that you choose one who is licensed by a recognized national organization and who abides by the organization's standards. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before starting any new therapeutic technique.