Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) otherwise known as garden heliotrope is a plant native to Europe that has been traditionally used to treat insomnia, anxiety, headaches and trembling.
Valerian contains many different biologically active compounds including valepotriates, essential oils (valerenic acid and valenol) as well as several alkaloids.1
The herb can be included in specialty teas and essential oils in addition to being a popular supplement. When sold as a supplement in the form of valerian extract it is frequently standardized to valerenic acid.
Valerenic acid has been shown to inhibit the break down of GABA in the brain which results in feeling calm and relaxed.
Valerian extract is included in Sleep Support by Beyond Vita®.
1. Helps Improve Sleep
Low quality sleep is a frequent problem for many. An estimated 30% of people have difficulty staying asleep, falling asleep or waking up feeling refreshed in the morning.2
A double blind placebo controlled study of young adults found that after taking valerian extract 89% reported improved sleep with 44% reporting perfect sleep.4
Valerian can also help with falling asleep faster. In a study on adults with insomnia researchers found that valerian allowed participants to fall asleep 36% faster while increasing the time they spent in deep sleep.5
In a study on post menopausal women with sleep disturbances, valerian was found to improve sleep and help alleviate insomnia.6
Valerian extract helps with falling asleep, staying asleep and waking up feeling refreshed.
2. Promotes Relaxation
Many people have pent up stress and anxiety in today’s world.
Research indicates that valerian root may be useful in alleviating stress and anxiety.9
A preliminary study found that the valepotriates from valerian extract may lessen the symptoms of anxiety.10
Another study from 2011 found valerian extract has anti-obsessive and compulsive effects due to it’s action on GABA which indicate it may be helpful in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).11
A placebo controlled study in 2014 of 169 children suffering from hyperactivity and concentration issues found that valerian helped to reduce impulsiveness and improve concentration.12
Valerian extract can help reduce stress, anxiety and compulsiveness.
3. Hot Flashes
Women during menopause may experience hot flashes.
A 2013 study of 68 women with menopause over eight weeks showed that valerian reduced the severity and frequency of hot flashes.13
Valerian extract may help with alleviating post menopausal hot flashes.
4. Menstrual Problems
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menstrual cramps are frequently experienced by many women.
A 2016 study found that women who took valerian root extract displayed reduced emotional, physical and behavioral symptoms of PMS.14
Another study discovered that valerian may be an effective treatment for menstrual cramps due to how it reduces muscle spasms.15 It has also been shown to have direct inhibitory effects on the contractility of the uterus.16
Valerian root extract has been shown help alleviate premenstrual syndrome and menstrual cramps.
Valerian root extract is an important herb that can help with sleep and anxiety in addition to other benefits.*
We recommend Sleep Support by Beyond Vita®. It includes the best science supported natural ingredients including valerian root extract.
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