The second herb I am going to talk about here is Valarian a very powerful herb to help you rest and in many cases sleep better. Contrary to popular myth, the modern drug Valium is not derived from valerian, and there is no relationship at all between them. Valerian root has a long history of use as a sedative in Western Europe, dating back to the time of Hippocrates. Originally native to Europe it is now common throughout North America. Valerian root is widely used in sleep aids and sedatives in various forms including teas, tablets, and capsules. Often, valerian is combined with other herbs traditionally known to promote sleep including hops, passionflower, lemon balm, chamomile, and lavender.
Valerian is traditionally made into teas, tinctures and capsules. Valerian can be combined with St. John's wort to increase its ability to reduce anxiety, or with hops and/or lemon balm to strengthen its sleep-inducing properties. Many people find the taste unpleasant and prefer to take it as a capsule or extract.
Valerian is a calmative and tranquilizer. Its properties have been known at least since the time of Hippocrates, and it was prescribed by the ancient Greek physician Galen for the treatment of headaches, insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, menstrual problems, nervous stomach, and hysteria. Clinical trials have confirmed the use of valerian for treating insomnia, especially the insomnia that accompanies menopause. The advantage of valerian over tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanax is that it reduces the time required to fall asleep, without a period of bedtime drowsiness and without creating a "hangover" or grogginess the next morning. Valerian has greatest effect in treating chronic insomnia, rather than short-term sleeplessness. It also soothes the digestive system and may prevent cramping caused by irritable bowel syndrome.
If you use valerian for several months and suddenly stop using it, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as headache, insomnia, racing heart, and general grouchiness, although rare. Reduce dosage of a period of about a week if you wish to discontinue using the herb suddenly. If you are aspirin sensitive there is a very good chance you will sensitive to Valerian as well.
The things in this post are to inform and should not be used to diagnose or replace the care from your doctor. If you chose to use these herbs do so only after discussing it with your doctor. Abruptly stopping some medications can cause serious problems not excluding death.
Veteran / Herbalist