Ingredient Highlight; Valerian officinalis (common name: Valerian Root)
By Dr. Peter Klapper Ph.D.
Get to know more about the healing powers of Valerian Root. Commonly called Valerian Root, Valerina Officinalis is often used as a sleep aid, but that’s not this perennial plants only potential health benefit…not by a long shot.
What is it:
Valerina Officinalis is a perennial plant native to Europe and Asia that also grows in North America. This plant can reach five feet tall and emits a strong odor. Its roots and underground stems treat insomnia, migraine, fatigue, and stomach cramps. Valerina Officinalis has been used to treat these conditions since ancient Greek and Roman times.
How is it taken?
Valerina Officinalis is sold as a supplement, liquid, or topical preparation. Dried roots can be prepared as teas or tinctures too. For added benefits, Valerina Officinalis may be combined with other calming herbs, including passionflower, hops, lemon balm, skullcap, and kava. Sleep Well Control, a topical roll-on product that promotes good quality sleep, comprises a blend of organic Valerian, Kava, and Lavender. Heartburn & Acid Reflux Relief includes Berberis Vulgaris, Iris versicolor, garlic, marigold, and ginger.
How does it work?
Exactly how Valerina Officinalis helps cure what ails you is not fully understood. Still, researchers believe that it increases the amount of a brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which has a calming effect. Stress exacerbates heartburn symptoms and causes sleep loss and other physical complaints.
How well does it work?
Some studies show that Valerina Officinalis helps people fall asleep faster and improves their sleep quality, so they wake up feeling more refreshed. Unlike many prescription sleeping pills, Valerina Officinalis doesn’t cause morning drowsiness. Valerina Officinalis may also help ease anxiety and depression and reduce menstrual and stomach cramps.
Is it safe?
Valerina Officinalis is generally regarded as safe when used for up to 28 days. Side effects may include headache, upset stomach, and brain fog, but these are mainly seen when Valerina Officinalis is taken as a pill or drink. Of note, Valerina Officinalis should not be taken with alcohol or sedatives as it may worsen drowsiness associated with both. There’s also not a lot known about the use of this herb in pregnancy, and during breastfeeding, so most doctors will tell you to avoid it during these times.
Where can I learn more?
Check out these websites for more information on Valerina Officinalis.
- University of Michigan Health. “Valerian.”
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. “Valerian Fact Sheet for Health Professionals.”
- The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Valerian.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, roll Sleep Well Remedy under your nose, on your forehead, upper chest, back of your neck, and feet upon early awakening to go back to sleep. If heartburn is causing your distress, place six to nine drops of Heartburn & Acid Reflux Relief under your tongue and repeat this every 15 minutes until symptoms improve.