Of the more than two hundred known species of valerian, the Eurasian variety, V. officinalis, is generally used for medicinal purposes and to relieve anxiety, depression, and poor sleep.
The Top Five Health benefits of Valerian are:
1. Easing menstrual cramps
2. Easing stomach cramps
3. Valerian has a mild calming effect which is effective for people who have trouble falling asleep. As a sleep aid, valerian is most effective if taken shortly before bedtime.
4. The valerian herb benefits people who wake up during the night. Some studies show that the herb may provide quick relief for poor sleep. But, it may take two to four weeks of daily use to bring improved sleep to people with serious insomnia.
5. The valerian herb, when taken three times or more during the day, may relieve anxiety.
Valerian is sold as a dietary supplement. It is available as an extract in powder or liquid form, as a dried herb in tea form, or in pills.
People often use valerian as a supplement by combining it with other herbs, including St. John's wort, passionflower, lemon balm, kava, and hops.
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