Valerian Root for Your Mind, Valerian Root for Your Body
Botanical name: Valeriana officinalis
Valerian Root for Your Mind, Valerian Root for Your Body
If you have ever had a valerian root tea, then you probably know that it has significant health benefits for your body. This root has been used since ancient times, but it is now widely know that it can aid your body in several ways. It is time for you to get on board with this natural remedy!
Where Is This Root From?
Valerian root is a perennial flowering plant. It has sweetly scented pink heads or white flowers that blossom in the summer. Unlike the flowers, the root itself has a potent, unpleasant smell. The root consists of a vertical rhizome and several smaller rootlets, which are harvested and dried at temperatures lower than 105 degrees F.
This plant was used as medicinal herb from ancient Greece and Rome times. Even Hippocrates described its properties, and Galen prescribed it as a remedy for insomnia. In the 16th century it started being used as treatment for those having seizures and pain.
Peek Inside of Valerian Root
Valerian roots have a number of different biochemical components that contribute to its medicinal effects. Some include alkaloids such as actinidine, chatinine, shyanthine, valerianine, and valerine. The root also has isovaleramide, and isovaleric acid.
Most importantly, this root also has levels of Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and contains iridoids, including valepotriates. Finally, it also has sequiterpenes, and flavonones.
Valerian Root Helps Your Health
Having some valerian root extract or tea can aid several health issues. Here are some of them:
- Digestive problems: because of its relaxation properties, valerian root is often used as a treatment for cramping and stomach pain. It helps soothe cramping due to menstruation or nerves. Its antispasmodic properties help intestinal cramps, colic, bloating and diarrhea too.
- Migraines: the sedative and relaxing effects of this root ease migraine symptoms, such as tension on your head and face, and sensitivity to light.
- Blood pressure: since valerian root has GABA, it helps regulate blood pressure, which instead helps promote a healthy heart and a normal blood flow.
- Menopause: taking valerian root can reduce the severity of hot flashes in menopausal women.
- Arthritis: when used in combination to arthritis medicine, valerian root can help ease joint pain and inflammation. Its antispasmodic effect aids individuals suffering from stiffness and cramps by relaxing joints and muscles.
- Menstrual cramps and PMS: the calming, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic results of taking valerian root relieves discomfort caused by menstrual cramps, but it also helps prevent premenstrual syndrome as it relaxes the body.
Valerian Root To Help Your Mind
Cognitive health is also part of the wellness benefits that this root provides, especially because it has high levels of GABA and because of the biochemical properties it provides. Here are some of the effects valerian root has on your brain:
- Insomnia: unlike medication, valerian root is safe to take for healthy sleep cycles. Since it has sedative and relaxing properties this root can induce sleep in individuals suffering from insomnia. If you plan on taking valerian root for sleep purpose, then it is necessary to continue to do so for various days, and not stop taking it after sleep cycles have been established.
When mixed with hops and lemon balm, valerian root is particularly effective in treating sleep problems.
- Anxiety: the ability of valerian root to increase GABA levels in the brain promotes feelings of calmness and relaxation. Better sleep also prevents anxiety.
- Stress: since valerian root reduces anxiety and improves sleep quality, it can also significantly reduce stress. Improving GABA levels makes it easier for the body and mind to relax, which means that those stress triggers can be pushed aside or ignored by our minds for a while.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): this relatively common condition that is characterized by the absolute need to check and control certain things, activities, and routines, has a major effect on the quality of life of individuals.
Valerian root is a good addition to treatment and management of OCD, as it diminishes compulsion and obsession by reducing anxiety caused by these. It is also well tolerated by people.
- Hyperactivity: using valerian root mixed with lemon balm in children who suffer from a deficit disorder, or who are hyperactive, has shown to improve their focus, relax them, and help them concentrate on given tasks at a time.
Restlessness is a big issue with hyperactivity, but by using valerian root, those suffering from it can find mental stillness.
- Learning: by increasing focus and attention, this root makes learning and cognitive activities much easier. Easing the mind from negative or anxiety-triggering thoughts can help individuals concentrate more and record information better.
Ready To Try It? Here’s How To Take Valerian Root
So now you know that valerian root can make your cognitive health more stable, but you should also know how to consume it safely and more effectively. As with any natural remedy, it is best to first speak to your doctor or physician about using this root as a health supplement.
Valerian root can be taken in many forms, including capsules, tablets, tinctures, oil and teas. Here are some common doses for valerian root:
- Tea: 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoonful (2-3 grams) of dried root.
- Tincture: 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon
- Fluid extract: ½ to 1 teaspoon
- Capsules: take one whole capsule a day
Make sure you stick to the lower dosage at first, and as you see results, you may increase it under the direction of your physician.
Time To Settle Down The Mind
As you can see by now, valerian root is used widely for issues with your brain, from insomnia to anxiety, and attention. However, it is also soothing for your body and can help in many of ways. Start taking some valerian root as part of your daily diet, but watch that it doesn’t make you too sleepy as it can cause trouble performing in daily activities.
What do you think? Does this root sound like it can change your mind and body? Let us know if you have taken it, if you have any questions, or if you know about another benefit it has on your cognitive health!