It is estimated that over one-fourth of the world population suffers from sleep-related issues. Also known as insomnia, it makes it difficult to fall and stay asleep. Insomnia also rids an individual from experiencing a deep, restorative sleep that makes him feel refreshed and well-rested as he wakes up. Ironically, while these sleep issues may be caused by some underlying problems; they can further expose us to a host of other health problems. Hence, there is a need for us to look out for something that naturally calms us down and have a restful sleep. That is perhaps where the role of valerian root comes in.
What is Valerian Root?
Valerian refers to this flowering plant that has its origins in Asia and Europe, and some parts of North America. This is a popular herb that is synonymous with strength and good health. It is known by various names across different regions of the world. Besides being hailed as nature’s valium, its other aliases include Amantilla, Baldrian, Setwall and more fondly as Tagar in Ayurvedic system of medication. It has been used by various traditional systems of medications for over 2,000 years now.
Benefits of Valerian Root
The root of this plant serves as a herbal remedy of sorts. It is incredibly therapeutic and is used for various health conditions such as digestive issues, menopause symptoms, headaches, convulsions, epilepsy, ADHD, joint and muscle pain, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), etc. Of late, people are increasingly realising its importance in the treatment of insomnia-based sleep conditions as well. Let’s read on.
Valerian Root for Promoting Sleep
Valerian root happens to be an excellent herbal remedy to achieve relief from the symptoms of insomnia. The Valerian root extracts exhibit the traits of a potent sedative for our brain and nervous system. While it promotes tranquillity and relaxation, its calming effect can promote quality sleep.
Valerian Root vs. Sleeping Pills
Valerian root is not only a natural remedy for insomnia but something that has been celebrated for centuries for its sheet effectiveness. It is believed that regular consumption of this herb makes it much easier for us to fall asleep.
It is not only much more effective compared to the prescription based anti-anxiety medications, but safe too. While sleeping pills and sedatives may seem effective in the short run, they often lead to side effects and certain dependence over a while. Valerian root, on the other hand, offers benefits that are safe and evident over a while. Besides, it is not habit-forming and is far from exposing us to any significant side effects.
How Valerian Root Works
- The root of Valerian plant contains a variety of health friendly compounds, including Valerenic acid. This acid is known to interact with the GABA receptors in our brain. GABA is often dubbed as the ‘sleep-inducing chemical’. It helps control and manage the nerve impulses in our brain and the nervous system. The incidents of overexcitement, stress and anxiety, can often be attributed to reduced levels of GABA. This obviously affects our sleep, and contributes towards insomnia. Valerenic acid on the other hand, enhances the transmission of GABA, and calms the nerve cells down. At the same time, it also reduces the breakdown of GABA, thus improving our response to stressful situations and enhancing our mood.
- Valerian root also contains active antioxidants such as Hesperidin and Linarin, which further offer sedative and sleep-enhancing benefits.
- Besides, valerian root has also been found to improve our natural response to stressful situations by regulating the level of this mood-enhancing chemical in our brain called serotonin.
- Owing to its relaxing properties, Valerian root has also been found to be effective in curing anxiety based conditions such as OCD. Besides, it not only reduces hyperactive behaviour among children, but also increases their focus and retention power. It is significant to get sufficient sleep, as it promotes a healthy growth. And the Valerian root helps in achieving just that.
Valerian root is commonly available in the form of pills, tablets, extract, essential oil, tea, etc. People also use it for flavouring their food and beverages
If you are having trouble sleeping well, you could as well try out this sleep-inducing product from the house of Nutrite. Having Valerian root as one of its essential ingredients, SleepRite shotz® provides you with natural assistance for the issue of sleeplessness, and it is regarded safe with no side-effects. You may initially consume this Nutraceutical product as one bottle every day for a week’s time and get ready for propelling your sleep-cycle back more efficiently and naturally.
Author: Dr Sonica Krishan
Dr Sonica Krishan is Author and Speaker in the areas of Healthy and Joyous Living through
Ayurveda, Meditation, Yoga and other Contemplative practices. She is a leading Ayurveda
Professional in India. She is also Health Writer, Columnist, Editor, Ayurveda Consultant and
Holistic Healing Coach.