Alternative practitioners believe that valerian root can treat a variety of health conditions, including insomnia, anxiety, headaches, digestive problems, menopause symptoms, and post-exercise muscle pain and fatigue. The evidence supporting these claims is generally mixed.
Valerian is an herb native to Asia and Europe. Its root is commonly used as a natural treatment for symptoms of anxiety, depression and menopause.
Valerian root is also one of the most commonly used sleep-promoting herbal supplements in the US and Europe.
Uses & Effectiveness?
Inability to sleep (insomnia). Although some conflicting research exists, most studies show that taking valerian can reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep by about 15 to 20 minutes. Valerian also seems to improve sleep quality. Some studies show that valerian can help improve sleep when combined with other herbs, including hops and lemon balm. Taking valerian might also improve the sleep quality of people who are withdrawing from the use of sleeping pills. However, some research suggests that valerian does not relieve insomnia as fast as “sleeping pills.”
Menopausal symptoms. Research shows that taking 675-1060 mg of valerian root daily for 8 weeks can reduce the severity and frequency of hot flashes in postmenopausal women.