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Nature’s Tranquilizer: Exploring the Top 6 Healing Powers of Valerian Root

Wednesday, January 24th 2024 10:00am 2 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

Valerian, a perennial flowering plant native to Europe and Asia, has been used for centuries in herbal medicine. Its uses span a wide range of ailments, reflecting its historical significance and current popularity in alternative medicine. This article delves into the top six uses of valerian, including its history and applications in treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety, and Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).

History of Valerian

Valerian’s medicinal use dates back to ancient Greece and Rome. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, described its therapeutic properties, and Galen later prescribed it as a remedy for insomnia. During medieval times, it was used to treat nervousness, trembling, headaches, and heart palpitations. The name “valerian” is derived from the Latin verb “valere,” which means “to be strong” or “to be healthy,” indicative of its perceived health benefits.

1. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD, characterized by symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, is often treated with stimulant medications. However, valerian has been explored as a natural alternative. Though scientific evidence is limited, some studies suggest valerian may improve focus and calmness in individuals with ADHD. Its potential to enhance GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) levels in the brain could theoretically help in managing ADHD symptoms.

2. Hot Flashes

Menopausal hot flashes are another area where valerian shows promise. The herb’s potential to regulate hormonal balance and its sedative properties may help alleviate the frequency and severity of hot flashes. A study published in “Menopause” journal found that valerian effectively reduced the severity and frequency of hot flashes in menopausal women.

3. Insomnia

Perhaps the most well-known use of valerian is in treating insomnia. Its sedative properties can help induce sleep and improve sleep quality. A meta-analysis of randomized, placebo-controlled trials found that valerian may improve sleep quality without producing side effects common to pharmaceutical sleep aids.

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