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Many people take valerian for insomnia, but is it safe?
Keep reading to learn more about what valerian is. You'll also read the results of some studies that showed whether or not valerian root could help you sleep better.
Many people believe that valerian root promotes sleep. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a natural remedy that was used by the Ancient Greeks. Nowadays, more and more people are making the switch from chemical drugs to this herbal remedy.
In 2005, Laval University researchers in Quebec, Canada conducted a study that showed that a combination of valerian and hops extract appeared safe, produced a modest hypnotic effect and did not cause rebound insomnia when treatment ceased.
In 2007, a German study published in Phytotherapy Research evaluation a similar combination of valerian and hops extract. This combination was determined to be more effective than placebo in making insomniacs fall asleep faster.
You can learn more about various valerian studies in the American Journal of Medicine.
Valerian Root Side Effects
Of course, you could experience side effects from taking valerian root. First of all, you need to ensure it won't interfere with other medications and supplements you may be taking.
The Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics journal published a study in 2005 that concluded that valerian had no measurable herb-drug interaction, but it's best to talk to your doctor.
Some people may have trouble digesting and breaking down this natural remedy, which could cause stomachaches and prevent people from falling asleep.
Consuming valerian for insomnia may obviously cause drowsiness, so it shouldn't be taken before driving or other activity that requires your full attention.
Phytomedicine published a study in 2006 in which valerian was reported as being safe with no side effects. In this study, valerian seemed to positively impact sperm quality. If you are having trouble sleeping AND conceiving, it may be worth your while to contact a naturopath to discuss what valerian could do for you.
Taking valerian for insomnia can be done in many ways. You can take supplements, drink tea, add drops to water, etc. Here are a few products currently being offered on Amazon:
Learn more about sleep and insomnia on these pages:
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