Valerian is a popular herb to look out for. The medicinal properties of this plant, have the effect of making it easier to cope with stress and insomnia.
Valerian is the name of preparations obtained from medicinal valerian roots. In addition to a strong sedative effect, valerian improves concentration and improves the ability to think. As a supplement, it most often comes in the form of tablets or drops. Multiple studies on the effects of valerian have confirmed its beneficial effect on the general state of human health, and the best results are achieved by long-term treatment.
How does valerian work?
Valerian is an herb that grows in Europe, parts of Asia, and also in North America. The plant is characterized by small pink or white-purple flowers with a sweet scent, and it blooms mainly in the summer, in June.
This variety of valerian is called valerian and is used in herbal medicine. There is also another type of plant called valerian impatiens. It only serves an ornamental function as it is famous for the beautiful coloration of its petals.
The properties of valerian were already known in the times of ancient Greece and Rome. At that time, the plant became famous for its sedative effect and was also used to treat insomnia. All because valerian directly affects our brain and nervous system. Valerian is still a natural remedy for soothing nerves, anxiety, and fears. However, it does not disturb concentration, does not make you lazy, and, most importantly, is not addictive.
Use of valerian
The most popular use of valerian is as a supplement to help you fall asleep. This herb is definitely a better and more natural alternative to popular sleeping pills. Studies show that valerian root can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep from 20 to 15 minutes. Valerian affects the quality of sleep as it does not interfere with its healthy cycle.
Not everyone responds to the effects of valerian, as it is only effective for 10-15% of the population. If we want to see if we fall into this minority, we need to test valerian and see if it works for us. In order to do so, you need to take it for several days or even for four weeks. This is necessary for the effect to start being noticeable.
Valerian herbs are also good for muscle tension. Valerian helps your muscles relax. The effect of the plant is fast and effective.
The active ingredients that make valerian root effective in treating stress and anxiety also help regulate blood pressure. When it is too high, the risk of stroke and heart attack increases. Valerian naturally lowers BP and keeps it at the right level, which has a great impact on our health.
Valerian medications are recommended for women struggling with menopause. When used for some time, they are able to reduce the severity and frequency of hot flashes during this period.
However, pregnant and breast-feeding women, as well as people with allergy problems, should not use valerian. Interestingly, valerian also has an effect on animals, especially cats, which simply adore it. The herb has an aphrodisiac-like effect on these animals, giving them pleasure.
Already in antiquity, it was recommended as a diuretic and in lung diseases. Since the Middle Ages, valerian has been used to treat epilepsy and diseases of the nervous system. Despite the unpleasant smell, it is successfully used medicinally in almost all European countries. Valerian has a soothing and slightly hypnotic effect thanks to the active substances of the root and rhizome.
Valerian is successfully used for headaches of the migraine type , neurosis, problems with the circulatory and digestive systems. In comparison to other medicinal preparations, valerian generates relatively few undesirable effects. The preparation taken in a dose many times higher than the recommended one may cause cold hands and feet syndrome, excessive fatigue and digestive system discomfort.
It is an excellent alternative to drugs used in psychiatry, which are often highly addictive. The active substances contained in valerian reduce the activity of the nervous system, thanks to which there is a marked reduction in anxiety and an increase in the feeling of relaxation. Valerian is an excellent remedy for fighting insomnia as it helps you fall asleep.
The root and rhizome of valerian have been used for centuries in alternative medicine as a means of fighting diseases of the digestive and urinary systems. Valerian has a carminative and diastolic effect, it also increases the production of gastric juices. It is often recommended for women struggling with painful menstruation as well as for those suffering from premenstrual syndrome.
The healing properties of valerian depend on the method of production of the preparation. Valerian dissolves better in alcohol than in water, hence alcohol extracts have a stronger effect than water extracts.
Side effects of valerian
Although valerian is considered a safe herb, some people who use it may experience side effects. These include headache and dizziness, stomach problems, feeling drowsy during the day, mental dullness, hyperactivity, and dry mouth. You should also not drive or operate machinery after taking valerian.
Medicinal products containing valerian root can be purchased primarily at herbal stores and pharmacies. They are sold in various forms including valerian drops, powdered herb,s and valerian tablets. However, remember to use valerian on a short-term basis and in moderation.