Composition of Valerian
The amino acid valine is named after this plant. Valerian root is widely used and respected by the general population and physicians for its sedative effects and anti-anxiety capabilities. Unlike many prescription sleeping pills, valerian has fewer side effects and is a lot less likely to result in morning drowsiness.
Scientists have found that valerian root increases the amount of a chemical called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA helps regulate nerve cells and calms anxiety. Drugs such as alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium) also work by increasing the amount of GABA in the brain. The valerenic acid and valerenol contained in valerian root extract act as anti-anxiety agents Valerian root contains volatile oils, including valerenic acids, less volatile sesquiterpenes and valepotriates (esters of short-chain fatty acids). These active constituents are likely responsible for valerian root’s ability to produce a calming and restorative effect on the body’s central nervous system.
Health benefits of Valerian
Anxiety and stress
Valerian root may have sedative and anxiolytic effects. Valerian root has been used to ease insomnia, anxiety and nervous restlessness since the second century A.D. It calms anxiety and can even lower blood pressure, among other tremendous benefits.
Valerian improves Stress Management. Chronic stress can make you feel anxious, but anxiety can also make you feel more stressed out. By improving GABA levels, valerian makes it easier for both the mind and body to relax.
The relaxing nature of valerian root can make it a smart choice for natural relief of menstrual cramps. It can reduce the severity and discomfort of menstrual cramps, which is a common problem for women who suffer monthly from PMS.
It’s a natural sedative and antispasmodic, which means it suppresses muscle spasms and acts as a natural muscle relaxer. Valerian root can effectively calm the severe uterine muscle contractions that cause the terrible pain many women experience during menstruation.
Valerain works as a sedative and muscle relaxant and can help you get the rest you need while you are quitting cigarettes.
Quitting smoking is an incredibly challenging process. Many people are quite hard on themselves while trying to quit, feeling as though if they don’t manage to kick the habit they have “failed.” A former smoker once shared a slightly different way to look at it. She said that each time she tried to quit but went back to smoking, that she was just practicing, getting a little closer each time to her goal. It wasn’t that she had failed at quitting, but that she was just getting good practice in and getting better and better at quitting each time. Eventually the practice of quitting became the new habit. She succeeded in fully kicking the habit and hasn’t smoked in about 7 years.
Valerian, also known as tobacco root, sometimes as nature’s Valium, may help you deal with withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, depression, restlessness and anxiety. The effect of its natural components have been found to be very effective in reducing the body’s dependency on nicotine, which eventually reduces cravings for cigarettes. In addition to that, valerian also reduces stress, muscle tension, anxiety and even insomnia, which are all some of the most common smoking withdrawal symptoms.
Valerian is a sedative herb that has been used for centuries for the treatment of insomnia. Valerian increases GABA levels in the brain, helping reduce brain activity allowing users to fall asleep more easily.
Kidneys and Bladder
Valerian has been used for thousands of years as a calmative for a variety of disorders. Over the past three decades it has been the subject of extensive study. It contains a variety of constituents including esters known as valepotriates and valerenic acid. It has been recommended for medical problems including urinary tract disorders. It relaxes both smooth and skeletal muscle and is used for acute muscle spasms. Studies have shown it to be free of side effects.
History of Valerian
Valerian has been used as a medicinal herb since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome. Hippocrates described its properties, and Galen later prescribed it as a remedy for insomnia. In medieval Sweden, it was sometimes placed in the wedding clothes of the groom to ward off the “envy” of the elves.
Valerian has been used to ease insomnia, anxiety, and nervous restlessness since the second century A.D. It became popular in Europe in the 17th century. It has also been suggested to treat stomach cramps. Germany’s Commission E approved valerian as an effective mild sedative and the United States Food and Drug Administration listed valerian as “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS).