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Does valerian tea help anxiety?
Welcome back!! This is our 4th tea in this series I have named. “Best Teas for anxiety relief.” and to find that post you can Hit the link below to go right to it!
Click here to go to the very first post all about the teas I am listing. So this 4th tea is a new one that I have found and it’s filled with great health benefits for you to help sleep, less stress, and so much more.
Valerian tea is an herbal beverage made from the roots and underground stems of the valerian plant. And the best part is what this tea can do for you! Does valerian tea help anxiety? Read on to see my answer!
What Is Valerian Tea?
Although commercially sold valerian tea products may contain a range of different herbs, the primary ingredient is usually valerian. The valerian plant (Valeriana officinalis) grows in North and South America but is native to Europe and China. The plant is famous for its distinct smell that many describe as similar to dirty socks.
Valerian is often called a magic sleep potion and according to some reports is the number one non-prescription sedative in Europe. But not everyone consumes valerian in tea form. Some consumers buy the product in pill or capsule form.
Many describe the taste of valerian tea as woodsy. The plant grows well in moist, grassy areas so the tea has an earthy quality that is distinctive. The longer you brew valerian tea, the more intense the taste will be.
How to Prepare Valerian Tea
Valerian root tea—or valerian tea—is sold most often in teabag form, but you can also find some vendors that sell the loose-leaf variety. You prepare this herbal tea as you would prepare most traditional teas.
- Place a valerian tea bag or a tea infuser containing about one tablespoon of loose tea leaves in a teacup. You can also simply place loose tea leaves at the bottom of a cup.
- Heat water to 90-95º Celsius or 194-205º Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a temperature-controlled teapot, bring water to a boil and then let sit for a minute to reduce the temperature just slightly.
- Pour eight ounces of water over the teabag, infuser, or tea leaves.
- Let tea leaves steep for as long as desired. Some drinkers prefer a lighter tea, so a two-minute steep is sufficient. A 3-5 minute steep will brew a stronger cup of tea that provides more intense effects
- Remove the tea bag or infuser or strain loose leaves from the cup before drinking
Tea experts often recommend that you combine valerian tea with other ingredients to “soften” the taste. You may want to add milk or honey to sweeten the flavor. Some people also add mint or chamomile (manzanilla), but since those teas may also provide a calming effect, you may want to be cautious about blending them.
Valerian Tea what is it?
The most widely acknowledged benefit of valerian tea is its sleep-enhancing properties. According to the Therapeutic Research Center Natural Medicine database, some evidence shows that taking valerian can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and may also improve sleep quality.
But most studies are done on valerian in pill or capsule form, not specifically on tea which is likely to provide a lower concentration of valerian.
Some believe that valerian tea may decrease anxiety or psychological stress, but scientific studies have not provided consistent evidence to support this benefit.
Limited lab studies have shown that valerian may help relieve menstrual cramps and two studies have shown that valerian may improve hot flashes and insomnia in postmenopausal women, according to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Valerian root is often referred to as “nature’s Valium.” In fact, this herb has been used since ancient times to promote tranquility and improve sleep. Although it has received a lot of positive attention, questions have also been raised about its effectiveness and safety. This article outlines the benefits of valerian, explores concerns about its safety, and provides guidance on how to take it to get the best results.
What Is Valerian Root?
Valeriana officinalis, commonly known as valerian, is an herb native to Asia and Europe. It is now also grown in the US, China, and other countries. Flowers from the valerian plant were used to make perfume centuries ago, and the root portion has been used in traditional medicine for at least 2,000 years.
Unlike its delicately scented flowers, valerian root has a very strong, earthy odor due to the volatile oils and other compounds responsible for its sedative effects. Interestingly, the name “valerian” is derived from the Latin verb valere, which means “to be strong” or “to be healthy.” Valerian root extract is available as a supplement in capsule or liquid form. It can also be consumed as tea.
Valerian is an herb native to Asia and Europe. Its root has been used to promote relaxation and sleep since ancient times. How Does It Work?
Valerian root contains a number of compounds that may promote sleep and reduce anxiety. These include valerenic acid, isovaleric acid, and a variety of antioxidants. Valerian has received attention for its interaction with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical messenger that helps regulate nerve impulses in your brain and nervous system.
Moreover, researchers have shown that isovaleric acid may prevent sudden or involuntary muscle contractions similar to valproic acid, a medication used to treat epilepsy.
SUMMARY: Valerian contains a number of compounds that may help promote calmness by reducing GABA breakdown, improving stress response, and maintaining adequate levels of mood-stabilizing brain chemicals.
Valerian Root Can Help You Relax
Staying calm while under stress can be difficult. Research suggests that valerian root may help ease anxious feelings that occur in response to stressful situations.
In one study, rats treated with valerian root prior to a maze experiment displayed significantly less anxious behavior than rats given alcohol or no treatment.
A study in healthy adults given challenging mental tests found that a combination of valerian and lemon balm reduced anxiety ratings. However, an extremely high dose of the supplement actually increased anxiety ratings.
In addition to decreasing anxiety in response to acute stress, valerian root may also help with chronic conditions characterized by anxious behaviors, such as generalized anxiety disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
In an eight-week controlled study of adults with OCD, the group who took valerian extract on a daily basis showed a significant reduction in obsessive and compulsive behaviors when compared to the control group.
What’s more, unlike many of the medications commonly used to treat OCD, valerian didn’t cause any significant side effects. Another study suggests that children who have trouble maintaining focus or experience hyperactive behaviors may benefit from valerian. In this controlled study of 169 elementary school children, a combination of valerian and lemon balm improved focus, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness by more than 50% among children with the most severe symptoms.
SUMMARY: Valerian root may help reduce anxiety related to acute stress and improve symptoms of OCD. It may also increase focus and reduce hyperactive behavior in children.
Valerian Root May Help You Sleep Better
Sleep disorders are extremely common. It’s estimated that about 30% of people experience insomnia, meaning they have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or achieving high-quality, restorative sleep.
Research suggests that taking valerian root may reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, as well as improve sleep quality and quantity.
Other Benefits of Valerian Root
There is less published research on the effects on other conditions. However, some studies suggest that valerian root can provide benefits for Menopause: One study in menopausal women found significant reductions in hot flash severity and modest reductions in hot flash frequency during eight weeks of treatment with 765 mg of valerian daily.
Menstrual problems: Women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or painful menstruation may benefit from valerian. One study found it improved physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms of PMS.
Restless legs syndrome: An eight-week study in people with restless legs syndrome showed that taking 800 mg per day improved symptoms and decreased daytime sleepiness.
Parkinson’s disease: A study found that treating mice with Parkinson’s disease with valerian extract led to better behavior, a decrease in inflammation, and an increase in antioxidant levels.
SUMMARY: Early research suggests that valerian root may be helpful for menopause, premenstrual syndrome, painful menses, restless legs syndrome, and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. Are There Any Adverse Effects? Valerian has been shown to be remarkably safe for most people.
Studies have found that it does not cause adverse changes in DNA, nor does it interfere with cancer therapy in patients who take it to relieve anxiety and promote sleep.
Furthermore, it does not appear to affect mental or physical performance when used as directed.
One study found no difference in morning reaction time, alertness, or concentration in people who took valerian the evening before. Unlike many anti-anxiety or sleep medications, valerian doesn’t seem to cause problems with dependency from regular use or withdrawal symptoms if it is discontinued.
Although side effects are uncommon, valerian has been reported to cause headaches, stomach pain, and dizziness in a few cases. Ironically, even insomnia has been reported, although this is rare. If you have liver disease or another serious medical condition, it’s important to speak with your doctor about whether it is safe for you to take valerian.
It is also advised that pregnant women and children under three years of age not take valerian without medical supervision because potential risks for these groups have not been evaluated.
SUMMARY: Valerian has been shown to be safe for most people. However, it should not be taken by pregnant women, very young children, and people with serious disease unless supervised by a medical professional.
Since valerian can cause drowsiness, it’s important not to take it if you plan to drive, operate heavy machinery or perform work or other activities that require alertness. For anxiety, take a smaller dosage of 120–200 mg three times per day at mealtimes, with the last dose just before bedtime. Taking larger doses during the day could result in sleepiness. It is important to note that alcohol, sedative or anti-anxiety medications, herbs, and other supplements should never be taken with valerian because it can increase their depressant effects.
SUMMARY: To maximize benefits, take 400–900 mg valerian for insomnia before bed. For anxiety, take 120–200 mg three times per day. Avoid alcohol, sedatives, and anti-anxiety medications when taking valerian.
Valerian is an herb that may help improve sleep, promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. It appears to be safe and non-habit forming when taken at the recommended dosage. In some cases, it may be able to replace benzodiazepines and similar drugs. Nevertheless, it’s important to speak with your doctor before taking valerian, especially if you’re taking other medications or have a serious health condition. While studies suggest that many people experience great results with valerian, others may not see the same improvements. However, given its safety and potential benefits, you may want to give valerian a try if you have problems with sleep or anxiety. It just may improve your sleep, mood, and ability to deal with stress.
Valerian Tea Side Effects
Since valerian tea has sedative properties, it is not smart to combine this drink with alcoholic beverages or with other pills or medications that promote sleep or muscle relaxation.
In some people, valerian can cause side effects including a headache, stomach problems, fogginess, uneasiness, heart disturbances, and even insomnia. If you take valerian to sleep, it is possible that you will feel sluggish the next day. You should not drink valerian tea or take valerian if you are taking a medication used to treat anxiety, insomnia, seizures, or other psychiatric disorders.
Valerian may interfere with these or other drugs, so it is always important to talk to your doctor before using this or any herbal treatment.
As you know there are always links to go to after reading this so here they are.
This one is a great site that you can learn about anything COFFEE! (Love my coffee too, but i do love tea as well I promise!) LOL. Ok, here is the link to the site, let the owner (My brother Zak.) know that Rebekah sent you there 🙂
This next link is to a site that my mom just started and if you met her, you could tell she loves her dogs oh so much. Click here for the link. it’s filled with info if you know someone looking to buy a pup, go to this site so you know how to take care of one. No, it’s not just that you give it food, water, run the dog a lot. it involves so much more.
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