What is Valerian Root for?
Valerian is an herb. Medicine is made from the root.
Valerian is most commonly used for sleep disorders, especially the inability to sleep (insomnia). It is frequently combined with hops, lemon balm, or other herbs that also cause drowsiness. Some people who are trying to withdraw from the use of “sleeping pills” use valerian to help them sleep after they have tapered the dose of the sleeping pill. There is some scientific evidence that valerian works for sleep disorders, although not all studies are positive.
Valerian is also used for conditions connected to anxiety and psychological stress including nervous asthma, hysterical states, excitability, fear of illness (hypochondria), headaches, migraine, and stomach upset.
Some people use valerian for depression, mild tremors, epilepsy, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
Valerian is used for muscle and joint pain. Some women use valerian for menstrual cramps and symptoms associated with menopause, including hot flashes and anxiety.
Sometimes, valerian is added to bath water to help with restlessness and sleep disorders.
In manufacturing, the extracts and oil made from valerian are used as flavoring in foods and beverages.
What is Valerian Root Possibly Effective for?
• Anxiety. There is contradictory evidence about the effectiveness of valerian for anxiety. Some people have reported that it seems to reduce stress in social situations. But other studies have shown no effect.
• Restlessness. A specific combination product, providing valerian root extract 160 mg and lemon balm leaf extract 80 mg (Euvegal forte, Schwabe Pharmaceuticals), has been tried to reduce symptoms of serious restlessness (dyssomnia) in children under the age of 12. Early results show it might be effective, but more research is needed.
• Mild tremors.
• Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
• Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
• Muscle and joint pain.
• Stomach upset.
• Menstrual pains.
• Menopausal symptoms including hot flashes and anxiety.