Valerian root has over 120 chemical compounds that act not only as a sedative but also as an antispasmodic agent. Although valerian can act as a dreamer, there is no known possibility or side effect of being addictive. Valerian is safe and effective and does not impair motor skills. In addition to improving sleep quality, valerian root has a wide range of other uses. Read through this article to find out how this herbal medicine can be one of the main herbal remedies in your wardrobe.
Relieve and treat migraine
Valerian root is very effective in preventing migraines. How it works is not well known, but scientists believe this herbal medicine increases the amount of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. Valerian root helps regulate nerve cells and can soothe migraine symptoms with its sedative effect.
- The correct way to use valerian for the treatment of migraines :
One teaspoon of dried valerian root per cup of boiling water. Pour this root in boiling water After ten minutes, remove the pulp and drink the clear liquid. You can also add a teaspoon of honey to make it delicious.
Relieve muscle pain
Valerian root, when taken orally, as a sedative and natural painkiller, relieves muscle pain by affecting the nervous system. In a study published in the 2005 issue of the Journal of Ethnic Pharmacology, researchers at the Aga Khan University Medical College in Pakistan tested the antispasmodic effects of valerian root on animals. Valerian root extract significantly reduces gastrointestinal muscle tension and spasm in rabbits and guinea pigs. It also showed potent antihypertensive function. Valerian root may affect cells through potassium channels, And it can have a positive impact on the treatment of diseases affecting the digestive muscles.
Valerian root extract may help relieve muscle pain and muscle tension by relaxing, reducing anxiety, and possibly calming the nervous system. Valerian root is a source of chemicals called valproate, which may affect the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid and melatonin in the body and stimulate opioid receptors and serotonin in the nervous system. Excess gamma-aminobutyric acid in the body relaxes and reduces stress levels. For this reason, valerian root is known as a sedative herbal medicine.
Benzodiazepines are highly addictive and often depend on humans physically and mentally. Because of this addiction, when you stop taking these medications, it can cause annoying symptoms. One of the symptoms of quitting benzodiazepines is frequent waking up which can make you not sleep well throughout the night. According to scientific evidence, valerian helps patients to have a good sleep when quitting anxiolytic drugs. Also, the sedative and soothing properties of this medicinal plant help relieve the pain and discomfort of quitting benzodiazepines.
The use of valerian for the treatment of insomnia increases the amount of deep sleep time and the “Rapid eye movement sleep (REM)” phase. Valerian also significantly improves sleep latency (According to researchers, the length of time it takes for a person to fall asleep).
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
Restless leg syndrome is classified as a neurological disorder. A person with restless legs syndrome feels in his legs while sleeping, stretching and beating. This person often cannot sleep well and, as a result, he or she may feel tired during the day. Valerian helps relax the leg muscles and speed up the process of falling asleep.
Treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder – ADHD (In children and adults)
According to scientific evidence, valerian can be used for the treatment of ADHD in children and adults. Valerian works in the brain to reduce overactive stimuli and to help increase one’s mental focus.
Insomnia and anxiety are key causes of depression. As mentioned earlier, valerian helps calm and soothe the nervous system and the mind. Valerian does not help in the treatment of depression, but it can help treat the symptoms of this disorder.
Valerian can relieve menstrual cramps and pain
Valerian can suppress muscle spasm. In cell-based studies, this drug has been shown to inhibit the contraction of the uterine muscles. For this reason, it is commonly used to treat painful menstrual periods by women.
Improves menopausal symptoms
In a study (RCT) of 100 postmenopausal women with insomnia, 30% of participants who consumed valerian experienced an improvement in their sleep conditions after 4 weeks. Another study, which took three months and performed on 60 postmenopausal women, showed that valerian significantly improved the severity and frequency of hot flashes.
Valerian root can improve heart health
In cell-based studies, valerian strengthens the blood vessels and improves their elasticity, which is beneficial to heart health. Besides, valerian may reduce high blood pressure. In animal studies, it has been shown that this medicinal plant broadens and relaxes blood vessels.
Valerian can improve memory and cognitive performance
Older people are most at risk of post-operative memory loss and other cognitive impairments. A study of 61 patients between 30 and 70 years of age showed that valerian reduces the risk of cognitive problems over one month.
Potential harms of valerian
US Food and Drug Administration lists valerian in a list of known harmless food products. Valerian may be harmless, but you should not continue using it for more than eight consecutive weeks. Long-term use of valerian may lead to the following side effects :
- Stomach discomfort
- Skin itching
- Losing sleep quality
Avoid valerian for more than eight consecutive weeks. Interrupting valerian use helps reduce the risk of the above side effects. Just like any other herbal or food ingredient, for the best results, it is advisable to stop using the valerian cycle at specific times.
Who should not consume
- Pregnant or lactating women
- Children under three
- People who take alcohol or sedatives
- Valerian consumption may reduce your focus, therefore, Avoid using it when doing things that require awareness.
Consult a physician or herbal medicine specialist before taking valerian root or any other herbal remedies, Because these medications may worsen diseases you already have. The effects of these drugs on different people may vary.
If you have already tried different ways to treat the diseases mentioned in this article, why not try a natural remedy this time? Valerian has been used as a herbal medicine for thousands of years, and its use has few side effects. Why do you still take hypnotic or anxiolytic medications that can cause discomfort when the valerian root can function naturally in your body and cure your problems instead of hiding them?