Valerian (Valeriana) is a medicinal plant from the family Valerianaceae.
Valerian is used for sleep disorders, especially for difficulty falling asleep (insomnia). It is often combined with hops, lemon balm, hawthorn and other herbs that enhance the relaxing effect.
Valerian Dispert is a product that contains the active ingredient concentrated in one tablet and is therefore very strong.
When is valerian recommended?
A certain number of studies indicate that valerian helps treat insomnia. It guarantees a better quality of sleep and shorter time to fall asleep.
Some studies have shown that it reduces anxiety, but more thorough studies are needed.
Can valerian also be ingested through food?
There are no natural foods that contain valerian. Some manufacturers use valerian as a flavoring agent in foods and beverages.
How to take valerian root:
Valerian root is available in the form of capsules, drops, tablets and liquid extracts.
Usually, the recommended dose depends on the underlying case.
There are several ways to treat insomnia:
– 400-900 mg valerian extract up to 2 hours before bedtime for 28 days, – 120 mg valerian extract together with 80 mg melissa 3 times a day for 30 days, – 180 mg hops extract with 40 mg valerian extract,
2 tablets before bedtime for 28 days.
Valerian must be taken 30 minutes to 2 hours before bedtime.
Lamb’s lettuce (Valerianella) is a different plant, so you should not confuse these two substances with very different properties.
How does valerian work?
Valerian appears to act like a sedative (sedative) on the brain and nervous system.
In the case of insomnia, one should always first determine the underlying cause before resorting to medication. Cognitive-behavioral therapy could be more effective and safer than a drug.
What are the spheres of action of valerian?
The most important indication is sheeplessness, because it is a sedative.
Often valerian is used by people who are trying to reduce or stop taking sedatives.
Valerian supplements are used for conditions associated with anxiety and psychological stress, including nervous asthma, hysteria, agitation, fear of disease (hyperchondria), headaches, migraines and stomach pain.
Some people use valerian to relieve mild tremors, depression, epilepsy, attention deficit, overactivity, and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
This plant is also used for joint and muscle pain. Some women use them for menstrual pain and symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and anxiety.
Some people think that this herb has no positive effect and is only for falling asleep faster.
There is insufficient evidence, but valerian may be beneficial in the following cases:
- Anxiety. There are conflicting statements regarding the effect of valerian against anxiety. Some people have reported that stress has been reduced in social situations. But other studies have shown no effect.
- Hyperactivity disorder.
- Attention deficit (ADHD).
- Muscle and joint pain.
- Other diseases.
Valerian stimulates sexual life: People with low libido can take valerian capsules and thus relieve stress and improve their sexual behavior. A decreased libido is often caused by stress and thus a psychological inhibition. Valerian helps to quit smoking. The tea brewed from this plant gives the tobacco a bad, extremely unpleasant taste; thus the desire to smoke disappears; at the same time, valerian helps to combat the fears caused by lack of tobacco consumption.
Even though valerian is a fairly safe remedy, headaches, dizziness, insomnia, and gastrointestinal problems can set in.
In the case of liver disease, it is better to refrain from taking it.
The occurrence of side effects can be reduced if the drug is taken in the recommended dose and only for a short time.
Valerian can cause side effects such as headache, excitability, discomfort and also insomnia in some people. Some patients feel sluggish after taking valerian in the morning, especially if they have taken higher doses.
It is recommended not to drive or operate dangerous machinery after taking valerian.
Special precautions and warnings:
– Pregnancy and lactation: There is not enough information about the safety of valerian during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
– Children: Valerian must not be given to children under 12 years of age.
– Surgery: Valerian slows down the central nervous system. Anesthesia and other medications used during surgery could be damaging when combined with valerian. It is therefore advisable to stop taking valerian at least two weeks before a planned surgical procedure.
Valerian taken for a long time can cause various side effects, including migraines, high blood pressure, agitation, bradycardia (slowed heart rate) and insomnia.
Long-term use can also lead to mild dependence. If the intake is discontinued, it can lead to even greater sleep disorders.
Alcohol interacts with valerian and causes excessive drowsiness.
For the same reason, the simultaneous intake of valerian with sedative drugs should be avoided.
Examples include benzodiazepines such as:
- Alprazolam (Tafil)
- Lorazepam (Tavor)
- Lormetazepam (noctamide)
- Bromazepam (Lexotanil)
- Triazolam (Halcion)
- Diazepam (Valium)
Valerian with morphine or morphine derivatives is not recommended because the combination could lead to prolonged sedation or excessive sleepiness.
Where to get valerian?
Valerian can be bought at the pharmacy or drugstore, the price is affordable for everyone.
It is available under various trade names: Badriparan, Valerian Dispert®, etc.
See also: Melatonin