I was first introduced to valerian as a sleeping aid. I’ve never personally used it as I’ve been functioning as a perfect morning bird/night owl hybrid for years, but we had some family members struggling with sleep and valerian is something that popped up in research. There’s a little more than sleep associated with valerian and the sleep aspect itself is only the tip of the iceberg.
Valerian is a nervine and a muscle relaxant. It’s especially useful for muscle tension caused by, or leading to, anxiety. So, valerian is great for sleep if the lack of sleep is caused by muscle tension (skeletal muscle spasms AND uterine and intestinal cramping).
Although a sedative for most people, there is a handful of people where valerian gives the opposite effect and can act as a stimulant. So if you try this and find that you’re more awake, don’t be too surprised.
A word of caution, valerian can increase the power of other sedatives you may be taking. So, don’t combine valerian with other sedatives.
It can be useful for headaches as well. Take a teaspoon of valerian tincture, followed by 1/4 teaspoon every 30 minutes until symptoms subside.
Having trouble sleeping from a brain that won’t shut up? Valerian may not be of help, try passionflower.
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