VALERIAN ROOT HIGH -Are you someone who has trouble sleeping at night? Perhaps you’re dealing with insomnia on a regular basis? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then you can treat your insomnia and restlessness with a special herb called “valerian root.”
This herb has been used as a natural sleeping aid for over 1,800 years. It still works just as well now as it did in the 2nd century.
Doctors and laypeople both recommend valerian root because of its anti-anxiety and sedative properties. In fact, valerian root is sometimes placed in certain tea blends which are supposed to promote a better night sleep.
This means that you might have tried valerian root already without realizing it. Aside from getting a good sleep, valerian root helps you relax when you’re filled with anxiety. It has even been known to reduce blood pressure, along with an array of other benefits.
5 Valerian Root Health Benefits
1. Sleep Aid
Numerous studies have proven that you can fall asleep much faster if you’ve taken valerian root. Not only that, the quality of your sleep will be improved too. Therefore, anyone who has trouble getting to sleep or constantly tosses and turns should try valerian root. It is a better alternative to a prescription medication which has lots of side effects. Valerian root barely has any side effects, so you shouldn’t feel drowsy in the morning like you would with traditional sleeping pills.
In Sweden, the Foellinge Health Center conducted a study which proved that valerian root significantly helped people who had trouble sleeping. Approximately 44% of the participants in the study claimed to have a perfect night sleep; 89% claimed to have an improved sleep. No one experienced any side effects.
Valerian root can be mixed with other herbs that are good for sedation, including lemon balm and hops. Another study in “Phytomedicine” on children with sleeping issues found that 81% of them had slept much better with lemon balm and valerian root.
You might be wondering how valerian root helps people sleep better. Well, there is a chemical in it known as “linarin.” This is the chemical that causes the sedative effect. It does this by increasing the gamma-amino butyric acid, or GABA, level in your brain. GABA serves as an inhibitory neurotransmitter which exists in the central nervous system. If your GABA levels increase, it causes a sedative feeling which alleviates your nervousness or anxiousness.
According to an in vitro study, it is possible that valerian extract allows the nerve endings in the brain to release GABA and then prevent it from reentering the nerve cells. Also, the valerenic acid in valerian root will obstruct a certain enzyme that eliminates GABA. As a result, the GABA levels will not diminish throughout the night while you’re sleeping.
2. Reduce Anxiety
As previously mentioned, when your brain has an increase of the chemical known as GABA, it will calm your anxiety and manage your nerve cells. Doctors like to prescribe drugs, such as diazepam and alprazolam, to their patients which suffer from anxiety because these drugs increase the brain’s GABA levels.
But you can just use valerian root extract for this very same purpose because of its valerenol and valerenic acid properties. Plus, you won’t have to deal with any nasty side effects either like you would with the prescription drugs.
3. Reduces Blood Pressure
Since valerian root can reduce anxiety and help you sleep better, it shouldn’t be a shock to hear that it reduces blood pressure levels and promotes good heart health too. The same properties of valerian root that let it soothe anxiety are also responsible for regulating blood pressure in the body.
You’ll always want to regulate your blood pressure and keep it low so that you don’t run the risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. If you were to take valerian root supplements, this will naturally assist your body in lowering its blood pressure and keeping it at a level that is healthy. This will promote good heart health in the process.
4. Alleviates Menstruation Cramps
If you suffer from menstrual cramps, valerian root can naturally relieve them. All the severe discomfort that you feel from the cramps will be reduced. Women suffering from PMS each month will certainly appreciate this.
Valerian root can do this because it has natural antispasmodic properties. In other words, it has the ability to relax the muscles and reduce muscle spasms.
The pain that women experience from menstrual cramps is due to the contractions of their uterine muscle. Valerian root will relax the uterine muscle while you’re menstruating so that you don’t feel this pain anymore.
5. Boosts Anxiety Management
After the valerian root lowers your anxiety and helps you sleep better and longer, it will be able to help you manage stress better too. You may feel anxious due to chronic stress, but most of the time, it is simply anxiety that is causing it.
Since an increase in GABA will reduce your anxiety, it will also help you feel less anxious. Then your body and mind will feel completely relaxed. You will hardly feel any stress or anxiety at all. Then you can enjoy a better quality of life.
Valerian root is able to lower psychological stress and physical stress by regulating the brain’s serotonin levels. This is a neurotransmitter which is responsible for managing your mood.
Valerian vs. Melatonin
The pineal gland produces a hormone called melatonin. This hormone is linked to the sleep and wake cycle of the body. By nature, the pineal gland produces more melatonin after it turns nighttime and it is dark outside. The melatonin will go into the blood after it is produced. You can expect this to happen at about 9:00 PM.
Once your blood’s melatonin levels are high, you will not be as alert. This will make you feel more like sleeping. Your blood will maintain these melatonin levels for roughly 12 hours. By about 9:00 AM on the following day, the melatonin will be almost completely gone from your blood. However, people who suffer from insomnia tend to have trouble producing melatonin for the blood. This means they won’t feel sleepy when they’re supposed to.
For several hundred years, valerian root has been used as a sedative herb for treating insomnia. When GABA levels are increased in the brain, the activity within the brain is lowered. This is how you will get sleep.
- Sleep issues like insomnia can be treated with valerian root and melatonin. They each have been proven to regulate blood pressure quite effectively.
- Valerian root can treat stress, cramps, anxiety, and muscle spasms.
- Studies are currently being done which suggest that melatonin may help treat cancer. It is not a cure, but it can increase a person’s lifespan and their quality of life.
- Melatonin is a possible treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
Potential Side Effects of Valerian Root:
- Feelings of uneasiness, headache, nervousness, dizziness, and stomach issues.
- Feelings of dizziness, irritability, headache, sleepiness during the day, mild depression, stomach cramps.
- If you take valerian root extract along with other sleeping aid supplements, you will feel extra tired.
- If you are taking supplements which have sedative properties or slow down blood clotting, then be very careful if you’re taking melatonin with them.
- Do not take melatonin and valerian root at the same time because this will make the sedative effect too severe. Since they are each a depressant of the central nervous system, you would be doubling the sedating effect in your body if you took them together.
- If you consume alcohol or take any type of sleep medications, then do not take them with valerian root or melatonin.
The Origin of Valerian Root
Valerian root comes from a perennial flowering plant called valeriana officinalis. This plant features white or pink flowers which are scented and bloom fully in the summertime. Valerian originates from Europe and certain areas of Asia. In modern times, you can find it growing in North America too.
There are volatile oils in valerian root, such as valerenic acids, valepotriates, and sesquiterpenes. When these oils are consumed in the body, it causes the central nervous system to be calmer. Valerian root’s ability to do this was discovered way back in the era of Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece.
Hippocrates and Galen even talked about valerian and how their properties can help people get to sleep. Up until the 19th century, valerian was given to epileptic patients to reduce their convulsions. This was thanks to the chemical in valerian root called isovaleric acid.
Consuming Valerian Root
In the United States, valerian root is considered to be safe to consume. You can purchase it as a supplement at health food stores or over the internet. It comes in many different forms, such as powder, capsule, fluid, tea, or tincture. You can even use valerian root as an essential oil on the outside of your body. However, you might not like the smell because it is pretty rotten.
It is recommended that you take valerian root for at least 2 weeks. This is about how long it takes before you can really feel the effects of the supplement. If you are taking it to treat insomnia, take the valerian root supplement between 1 and 2 hours prior to going to sleep. You could also take it three times throughout the day, but make sure your last time it before you sleep.
To treat insomnia, below is the recommended dosage per supplement form:
- Tincture will require 1 to ½ tsp.
- Tea will require 1 cup of boiling water poured onto 1 tsp of valerian root. Leave it for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Fluid extract will require ½ to 1 tsp.
- Powder will require between 250 and 600 mg
After your sleep quality gets better, keep on consuming the valerian root supplement for the next 2 to 6 weeks. If you are suffering from anxiety, consume up to 200 mg between 3 and 4 times per day.
Valerian Root Warnings and Potential Side Effects
Valerian root is basically safe to take. Some people experience small side effects like stomach issues, headache, or dizziness. In rare cases, the valerian root will make you feel more restless and excited rather than alleviating these symptoms.
Scientific studies do not show a link between valerian root and any negative effects on fetal development or fertility. If you are nursing, pregnant, or have any concerns about valerian root, talk to your doctor about it. You should definitely talk to your doctor if you are thinking about giving children this supplement.
Most people do not have a problem with valerian root. They don’t even develop an addiction or dependency on it either. When you decide to go off it, there will be no withdrawal symptoms. The only exception is if you’ve used valerian root for a lot longer than 6 weeks. Then you may feel some withdrawal symptoms after that. That is why you shouldn’t keep taking valerian root for extended amounts of time. As you start to feel better, gradually reduce your dosage until the day comes when you don’t take it at all.
If you are going to drive or participate in any activity where you need to be alert, avoid taking valerian root supplements beforehand. They should only be taken a few hours before going to sleep. And again, do not combine the supplements with other sleep medications or aids. Do not use them with alcohol, narcotics, or depressants either. You should even be careful when taking valerian with other natural supplements, like melatonin or St. John’s wort. Always seek advice from your doctor to get clarity on this.
Final Thoughts on Valerian Root
Overall, valerian root is a safe supplement to take because it is natural. You won’t have the side effects of those chemical-based prescription medications. Valerian root will help treat health issues, such as anxiety, tension, nervousness, stress, high blood pressure, and menstrual cramps. Take valerian root for at least 2 weeks and then you should notice some results. But you may experience results a lot sooner than that too.
How Does Valerian Root Works?
Individuals have the tendency to believe that valerian root will certainly get you high due to exactly how it actually works. Scientists believe that valerian root causes leisure due to its interaction with a chemical in your mind called Gamma-Aminobutyric acid, or even more frequently referred to as GABA.
GABA has the capacity to lower stress hormonal agents, in addition to impact serotonin. So, in theory, the more GABA you have in your brain, the extra unwinded and anxiety cost-free you will certainly be. This is the reasoning that is often used when one is aiming to get a high off of valerian root.
Theoretically, this could make sense, nevertheless it is not the instance. You need to take care with both valerian root along with GABA, since having too much of either will not as a matter of fact obtain you high, however will likely generate some very unwanted side effects.
Big amounts of GABA can create extreme degrees of sedation, which can be unsafe if you should be driving or running any kind of sort of heavy machinery. It can also inhibit your capacity to deal with your day properly.
Excessive GABA could additionally cause a loss of great activity control, along with serious depression of the main nerves activity. Appears a bit like getting drunk doesn’t it?
This is due to the fact that GABA is most well-known for also being the chemical which is can be located in alcohol. Numerous have also reported experiencing something similar to a hangover the day after eating a large quantity of valerian root.
You shouldn’t experience any type of issues or negative adverse effects if you simply intend to use some valerian root from time to time to assist you sleep. It is entirely safe when utilized as designated or as prescribed. This helps in relaxation and also promptly dropping off to sleep, as well as achieving a good quality as well as relaxing night’s rest.
The Effects of Too Much Valerian Root
Ought to you attempt to obtain an entertainment kind of high by using valerian root, there are an entire host of other problems you will likely run into.
Large dosages of valerian root on its own can cause a loss of both electric motor as well as restraint control. Exceptionally large dosages and/or prolonged misuse of the root can trigger hypersensitivity, nausea or vomiting, throwing up, as well as in some unusual instances, liver damages. Even more mild adverse effects can be an indigestion or a frustration.
It is normally not advised to use valerian root in any type of recreational means, as the negative effects will likely be unpleasant and unpleasant. While the negative effects are not terribly hazardous in most cases, the real worry is the amount of other substances and medicines that valerian root will certainly engage with, a great deal of them being quite damaging. If you are going to take huge amounts of valerian root, and/or you desire to take it routinely for an extended period of time, it would certainly be clever to talk with your physician initially, specifically if you get on other drugs.
You need to pay special focus on various other sedatives, whether suggested or not. Since valerian root has a relaxing and relaxing impact, including this to another medicine intended to induce sleep or leisure can be dangerous. Not remarkably, taking valerian root throughout the day can trigger drowsiness, so utilize with care throughout daytime hours, as well as it is advised to take it with dishes.
Valerian root is broken down by liver enzymes, as well as should as a result be used with care combined with various other drugs being broken down by the very same enzymes. Instances of this are antihistamines and some antifungal medications.
There have additionally been several personal accounts online, especially on Erowid that suggest valerian root can cause light hallucinations, in addition to very vivid desires if taken right before going to sleep. Some of these reports are from people that took valerian root with another thing, however some were an outcome of valerian root by itself.
This is possibly the closest one will certainly get to accomplishing any type of kind of high from valerian root, as well as the dazzling dreams could be helpful in generating a lucid desire circumstance, if one so desires so far.
Valerian root is exceptionally useful for aiding in relaxation and sleep.
While not clinically proven, it has actually also been known to help treat several other conditions such as depression, social stress and anxiety, epilepsy, anxiety, and also attention deficit disorder, among others.
Nevertheless, existing studies as well as various other proof integrated with the long background of valerian root use, reveal that it is ineffective in getting or feeling “high”. The closest you might come is experiencing some very brilliant dreams while asleep, or coming to be exceptionally sedated and drowsy.
That being said, a lot of the time, a large dose of valerian root will just create awkward adverse effects and not the preferred high.
Despite the many theories connecting valerian root to getting or feeling high due to its influence on GABA in the mind, it is not advised to also attempt it. There are many various other compounds as well as drugs that will interact negatively, as well as hazardously with valerian root if consumed in large amounts.
The most vital point to keep in mind when handling valerian root in larger doses or on any type of kind of a regular basis, is to talk to your physician first.
No matter whether you are on any type of routine medication, just like anything, valerian root can be harmful if mistreated.