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Valerian For Insomnia & Better Sleep

Posted May 11 2010 5:40pm

Using the herbal remedy for insomnia-Valerian

Are having trouble sleeping even after implementing good sleep hygiene practice s? ( Note: links open in a new tab.)

If so you may be desperate enough to be considering resorting to prescription sleeping pills. But before going down that route why not give one of the herbal supplements a try?  There are natural remedies for sleeplessness that are quite effective and yet under used.

Doctors very rarely mention them because they are not included in doctor training. That and the fact that the big drug companies are not interested in natural remedies, means we think of them as old fashioned and ineffective. But that is very far from the truth. In Europe herbal medicines are still prescribed by doctors because many of them work.

valerian for insomnia


One of the most effective herbal supplement for insomnia is Valerian which comes from the root of the Valerian plant. Valerian has been in use for hundreds of years for pain, anxiety and stomach problems. It is also used to calm the nerves and is an antispasmodic as well as indigestion.

Its folk name is “All Heal”  and it was widely used in the Victorian era.Valerian  is considered to be perfectly safe and non addictive.  When taken for insomnia its calms, soothes, and promotes a good night’s sleep naturally.

Valerian root is dried to make the active ingredient of the supplement. The dried root has a rather unpleasant smell which has been compared to “dirty socks” ! I think that my cat would agree because he goes crazy when he smells my Valerian supplement and we all know how cats love the smell of worn shoes and socks. Trouble is when he finds the tablets he has no idea what to do with them!

How To Take Valerian

If you purchase Valerian it will nearly always be in the form of tablets or capsules. Valerian can also be taken as a herbal tea or a tincture. It is better not to use the tea as it may be old and so will have lost some of its potency.If you can grow and dry,  or purchase Valerian root then you can make your own tea.  To improve the taste mix with other soothing herbs such as camomile. Sometimes you can buy Valerian combined with other sedative herbs such as hops.

Usually 2 capsules or tablets are to be taken at night. If using in the daytime take only 1. The effects of Valerian may be delayed so you need to be patient as you wait for it to work. Studies show that it will improve sleep if taken every day for two weeks.

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