Used for centuries for anxiety and as a sleep aid.

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Valerian and its healing properties

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Valerian is a herb native to Europe and parts of Asia but also grows in North America. Its history dates back to ancient Greece, celebrated for its healing properties. The valerian plant has mild sedative properties. Its often used as a natural alternative. There are actually over 250 valerian species; however, Valerian is most commonly used in medicine.

Valerian, the magical plant loved by the ancient greeks

Polemonium caeruleum is (Greek valerian) native to northern and central Europe. Valerian was one of the most commonly used plants during ancient greek times and used to treat various medical conditions. It was commonly used to treat dysentery, animal bites, and toothaches. The plant was also found throughout Europe during the nineteenth century and used as an anti syphilitic agent to treat rabies.

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However, it was most commonly used for sleep disorders, particularly sleep disorders like insomnia. It has an earthy, minty taste. Valerian is known to ease symptoms of anxiety and psychological stress. Although, there is limited scientific research to support some claims. Many people use Valerian to relieve anxiety, depression, and poor sleep. Its also known to ease menstrual and stomach cramps and have a mild calming effect that does not usually result in sleepiness the next day.

Dosage

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For insomnia, Valerian may be taken 1 to 2 hours before bedtime, or up to 3 times in the day, with the last dose near bedtime. It may take a few weeks before the effects are felt. Valerian is a herb that may help improve sleep and appears to be safe and non-habit forming when taken at the recommended dosage. In some cases, some studies claim it may be able to replace benzodiazepines and similar drugs. However, consult your dr before taking or discontinuing any medication.

Side effects 

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Valerian may cause headaches, stomach upset, mental fog, heart disturbances, and sleep disturbances. Some people feel may feel drowsy in the morning after taking Valerian. Other symptoms include dry mouth or vivid dreams. It’s also not recommended to be taken if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

There are also insufficient studies or data to support it being safe for children; therefore, it’s prohibited to give it to a child under three years of age. Valerian should also never be given to any child older than three without consulting a medical professional, nor should it be taken if you suffer kidney-related disorders.

How valerian affects the brain

Valerian is known for its interaction with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical messenger that helps regulate nerve impulses in your brain and nervous system. Researchers have shown that low GABA levels related to acute and chronic stress are linked to anxiety and low-quality sleep.

Available Forms 

Valerian comes in fluid extracts, Powdered, capsule, tablet, and tea form. 

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