Valerian is a perennial pink or white flower native to parts of Europe and Asia. Its benefits have been known for centuries. Some even call Valerian the “heal all” plant and the essential oil extracted from its roots has dozens of benefits and uses.
Some of the first recorded use of Valerian for medicinal purposes dates back to the Greeks and Romans. The upper class citizens would obtain sleeping draughts from their trusted apothecary or in-house physicians. Oftentimes, dried Valerian roots were used in teas and tinctures for those suffering with insomnia and as a calmative for the nervous and anxious. Throughout history, this traditional medicine has stood the test of time and is still prominently used around the world today.
There is nothings that cramps your style like no sleep. Counting sheep doesn’t do it and using pharmaceuticals can be harsh on the body, so what’s the solution? When looking for natural sleep aids, Melatonin usually tops the list and Valerian Root is often over looked. They affect the body in similar ways (and should not be used together). It is often used in capsules or teas to induce a more restful sleep.
While Valerian Root is most notably known for aiding sleep and anxiety, its benefits go beyond that. It is often used to help improve cardiovascular health, specifically to help regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart issues and strokes.
Along with the heart, Valerian has been used to improve cognition and reduce the possibility of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. It is also sometimes used to ease stomachaches, induce healthy bowel movements, and improve metabolism.
Sleep: Place one drop on the palm, cup hands and deeply inhale through the nose 5 or 6 times.
Anxiety: 5 drops each Valerian, Vetiver, Cedarwood, and Ylang Ylang into a 10ml roller bottle. Top with preferred carrier oil (FCO, Sweet Almond, etc). Apply to bottoms of feet and/or pressure points as need. (If you are taking other calming medications or antidepressants, do not take valerian at the same time.)
Menstrual Cramps: Place 1-2 drops over lower abdomen and rub in with a small amount of carrier. Repeat as needed.
*Herbalists advise only using valerian for 2-3 weeks and then taking a break for an equal length of time before starting up again. Herbalists recommend this break because some people who have used valerian for extended periods have reported adverse side effects, such as headaches, depression, or withdrawal after stopping. Working with a naturopath could be beneficial when determining use and dosage.
*Not recommended for those pregnant or breastfeeding, or if suffering with liver issues.
*Increases potency of other sleepaids and depressants such as melatonin, Ambian, alcohol, narcotics, etc. so do not use Valerian Root in combination with such substances.
*Avoid use right before/while driving or operating heavy machinery.