Valeriana: anxiety, sleep, taste.

Botanical name: 

Newsgroups: alt.folklore.herbs
Subject: Re: Valerian root for anxiety
Date: 9 Jan 1997 03:08:39 GMT

> > > I take it for anxiety and it works. Never tried melatonin however. Valerian feels much like a barbituate to me. I can "space out" while driving if I take too much.
> >>I have used it quite extensively. I build a quick resistance to it. It works however. It does stay in your system for many hours after other herbs would be long gone. I often have kind of a "hangover" the next morning. Groggy in the morning. My wife also claims I toss and turn more when I take valarian. I notice that I get many muscle jerks. Even when I'm awake.
> > > I do a lot of meditating. I notice that when I take valerian I get cold while lying down and getting into a trance state. I understand it lowers you blood preasure. That may be the reason. I have recently found out that valerian contains a high level of alkaloids that can build up in your liver so you have to give your body a break form it once in awhile.

> > Is THAT what's been causing the tossing and turning? I hardly ever tossed and turned till a couple of nights ago. I had been wondering if it could be the Valerian.

> Could be. It's hard to tell what build-up you have at any given time. By the way. Ginko Biloba makes me sleep restlessly. If I take it before bedtime I can be assured that I will wake up a couple of hours earlier than normal and I also dream heavy. Funny thing is though I still feel rested.
> Marty


You might be interested to know that though generally safe to use, valerian does have one rather unusual characteristic. High concentrations of essential oils, including isovalerianic acid, contribute to the relaxing effects of valerian. A conversion is necessary in the digestive process for these acids to be effectively used by the system as nervines and sedatives. If this conversion doesn't take place, valerian may act as a stimulant and further agitate an already stressed person. Be aware of this possibilty. 95% of the people who use valerian find it very relaxing. In about 5% of the population, it acts like a stimulant. If you feel you may be in that 5%, you may want to reconsider using it.

You may want to consider hops, scullcap, passionflower, or other sleep alternatives....


From: Carol Wyche <>

>Does anyone have any remarks on the use of Valerian root to help mild reduce anxiety / panic & improve sleep?

I avoid valerian because I have found that I tend to have heart palpitations if I take it or an herbal tea containing it.

From: Jane Moody <>

> I've read in a sales brochure that Valerian used in conjuction with hop extract is a good sleep inducer.

For some people, perhaps 5% of the population, valerian does not have a calming effect at all. I happen to be one of those 5%. I became anxious, nervous, and acutely depressed. I am told that people with 'hotter' personalities are more likely to have problems with valerian.

For most people valerian works great. If you turn out not to be one of them, you might try skullcap and hops instead. Works great for me.

From: "Duquette et al" <>

> I mix valerian root, hops and chamomile and brew it as a tea before bedtime. It works very well in helping you relax and sleep peacefully.

How do you manage downing a tea made from Valerian? I have enough trouble taking it via capsules. Smelly stuff. It's the one drug in the house I'm not worried about the kids getting into. They've all expressed their opinions on the smell. Wouldn't go near the stuff if I bribed them : )

From: (Victor06)

two formulas out there that are very nice....Traditional Medicinals - "Easy Now" and a harder one to find...Dr. Stuart's "Vespers", (now that one stinks). Both are very good & if you can smell the valerian, at least you know it's fresh! My husband refers to it as "toe jam tea".....we ALWAYS add honey.

still holdin' my nose!

From: Lykos <>

> How do you manage downing a tea made from Valerian?

It ain't easy! You can develop a taste for it or just use a little, but overcompensate on the chamomile. Chamomile is far more palatable.

From: Ellen Buskard <>

> How do you manage downing a tea made from Valerian?

Made a tincture of Valerian Root, and only used a couple of drops when necessary for the same effects as a tea. It tastes bad in large quantities, but the tincture was very helpful...