Healing Anxiety Naturally: Valerian is Nature’s Valium
Stress and anxiety is the number one reason many people in the U.S. visit their doctor every year. While there are many prescription drugs that will help with anxiety, there are also many herbal and natural remedies that will help heal it naturally, and much more safely. One of these herbs is Valerian (Valeriana officinalis).
Valerian is native to Europe and northern Asia but now also grows in the United States as well. It is now cultivated in central and eastern Europe and sold all over the world. Valerian tends to grow wild in damp conditions and can be found growing in marshy areas. If you want to grow it yourself you can start the plant from seed in spring.
The root and rhizome are what is used as herbal medicine. The roots are pulled in Autumn and must be at least 2 years old. They are then dried and cut for use.
There has been extensive research in Switzerland and Germany on the benefits of Valerian. They have proven that Valerian encourages and improves the quality of sleep. Valerian reduces nervous activity in the brain by prolonging the action of an inhibitory neurotransmitter. Valerian reduces nervous activity by prolonging the action of an inhibitory neurotransmitter. Studies have also shown Valerian to lower blood pressure.
Valerian has been used since the Middle Ages. Then, it was known as “all heal”. In 1592, Fabius Calumna claimed to have cured epilepsy with valerian in a published work on herbal medicine, however his has not been proven.
Valerian reduces mental over-activity and can be used for people who find it hard to “turn the switch off”. It is beneficial for almost any stress related condition because it is calming rather than being directly sedative. It calms the mind, but does cloud it as Valium or other drugs can do. Valerian is used in herbal medicine to treat many symptoms of an anxiety disorder. It helps relieve tremors, panic, palpitations, and sweating. It relaxes over contracted muscles and is helpful for shoulder and neck tension.
How To Use Valerian
For anxiety and stress, you can drink one (1) cup of Valerian tea 2-3 times a day. Valerian has a distinctive smell, one might say of dirty socks. It definitely has a very strong odor . If you have never taken Valerian as a tea, you may have to get over the smell. Holding your nose works too. Do not drink more than recommended by you healthcare provider. More, does not equal better results.
If you don’t like the smell of the tea, Valerian is also available in tincture form. A tincture is an herbal medicine that is made with alcohol. The tincture can act more like a sedative, as it is stronger than the tea. Be sure not to use when you are going to drive until you know how your body reacts. Add 20 drops to a warm cup of tea, or water up to 4 times a day. The alcohol dissipates, so those sensitive to alcohol should be okay in taking a tincture.
If you are overly sensitive, you may want to make or buy Valerian in a glycerite form. Glycerites are made using vegetable glycerin and sometimes honey. As a strong sedative before bed, take one (1) tablespoon of Valerian decoction at night before bed. Be sure not to take during the day, unless you are home or in bed.
Other Preparations Include Valerian pills. You can make them yourself or purchase them at a health food store. Some pharmacies stock herbal preparations as well. Be sure to follow the directions for dosing on the container.
Valerian can cause drowsiness no matter what form you take it in. Do not take while driving or using machinery until you know how your body will react. Do not take while taking other sleep inducing drugs such as Valium.
While herbs are natural, they are still medicine. Please be sure to a qualified health practitioner who specializes in herbal medicine.
This information is given for informational purposes. It is up to the individual to take control of their own health situations properly.