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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.

Valerian was also used as an early epilepsy remedy up until around the 19th century. Researchers found that isovaleric acid, a chemical contained in valerian, may prevent convulsions, similar to the effects of the anticonvulsant medication valproic acid.


Naturally Aids Sleep
Studies show that valerian reduces the time it takes to fall asleep and improves sleep quality, so if you can’t sleep, it may be just what you’re looking for. Unlike many prescription sleep medications, valerian has fewer side effects and is a lot less likely to result in morning drowsiness.

In one double-blind study conducted by the Foellinge Health Center in Sweden, the effects of valerian on poor sleep were significant. Of the study participants, 44 percent reported perfect sleep while 89 percent reported improved sleep when taking valerian root.

Calms Anxiety
Scientists have found that valerian root increases the amount of a chemical called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) through GABA receptors. 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 valeric acid, valerenic acid and valerenol contained in valerian root extract act as anti-anxiety agents.

It’s pretty amazing that an herbal remedy like valerian root can have the same anti-anxiety effects of prescription drugs without all the serious side effects of psychotropic drugs. If you are taking other calming medications or antidepressants (such as tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline or tetracyclic antidepressants), do not take valerian at the same time.

Lowers Blood Pressure
Now that you know that valerian root can be so calming to the mind and body, it’s probably not surprising to hear it can also help lower blood pressure, improving heart health. The same active components that make valerian root so effective for stress and anxiety management can also help the body properly regulate its blood pressure.

High blood pressure is something you definitely want to avoid since it increases the chance of stroke and heart attack. Studies indicate that valerian root supplements can help naturally reduce blood pressure and keep it at a healthy level, which has a direct positive impact on your heart health.

Eases Menstrual Cramps
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.

How exactly can valerian root help? 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, as a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study from Islamic Azad University in Iran showed.

Improves Stress Management
By reducing anxiety and improving the length and quality of sleep, valerian root can significantly help with daily 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. Since relaxation is the antithesis of stress, valerian root is an excellent natural way to help keep your stress down and your quality of life up.


Early physicians observed that hops pickers tired very easily during the harvest and assumed that a sticky resin excreted by the cut plant caused this effect. In recent years, scientists have confirmed that humulene and lupuline found in hops have mild sedative properties that may have applications in medicine.

Other research has focused on using hops along with valerian to treat insomnia. According to a 2010 review of studies from Australia, pairing hops with valerian may help treat insomnia. Of the 16 reviewed studies, 12 found that the combination improved sleep quality and reduced the time it took to fall asleep.

In some cases, this translated to two and a half hours of additional sleep per night and a 50% decrease in the number of nighttime awakenings. These effects may be especially beneficial in people with rotating work shifts and may even prove useful in treating mild anxiety.


Lavender is widely used as an aromatherapy agent and supplement to help with anxiety, depression, and fatigue. 

Studies suggest that compounds in lavender may stimulate activity in certain areas of the brain and influence the transmission of impulses between brain cells in ways that boost mood and produce a calming effect (1Trusted Source

May boost sleep 

The calming effect of lavender in the body is also thought to boost sleep.

One study in 158 new mothers in the postpartum period found that women who took lavender 4 days a week for 8 weeks had significantly sleep quality .

Another study on 79 college students who reported sleep issues showed that proper sleep and improved sleep quality after taking Lavender.


The relaxing properties of chamomile promote healthy sleep and fight insomnia. A 2006 case study explored the inhalation effects of  chamomile on mood and sleep. The results found the volunteers experienced more drowsiness and calmness, demonstrating its potential to improve sleep and help enter a restful state. Chamomile reduces a stress-induced increase in plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone levels. 

Fights Anxiety and Depression
Chamomile has been used as a mild sedative to calm nerves and reduce anxiety by promoting relaxation . Research shows that chamomile has been used for relief of depressive and anxiety symptoms all over the world, including a number of regions in southern Italy, Sardinia, Morocco and Brazil. 

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