Valerian (valeriana officinalis) is a perennial plant that has pink flowers and can grow to 5 feet tall. The part that is used for medicine however, is the root. Valerian has been used for centuries and it is a very safe herb. This is one of the herbs I used in my panic formula.
There are claims that valerian was used in love potions and sleep pillows. It’s even said that the Greeks used to hang up bunches of the herb to ward away evil (may have been the smell that kept away evil).
Valerian is my catnip
Ah, smelly Valerian I love you so. Cats seem to agree with me, they love Valerian too. But a lot of people have an issue with the strong smell of Valerian, but honestly, it doesn’t really bother me.
Anyway, I feel that the smell (and taste) are a small price to pay for the benefits of this herb. Not only is valerian good for anxiety, it’s used in over 100 over the counter tranquilizers in Germany, it’s also good for insomnia and pain, especially muscle pain.
It is the number one non-prescription sedative in Europe. Even here in the herb skittish United States, the calming effects of valerian cannot be denied.
Harry Potter uses valerian
Most convincing of all, the Hogwart’s School from Harry Potter teaches their students a few different spells that use Valerian. How much more proof do we need! Now, I’m not too sure about Valerian helping to make you breathe fire, but I understand its use in the Sleeping Draught.
Good for insomnia too
Everyone in my house suffers from insomnia. We are all night owls, but unfortunately most schools, jobs and shopping centers are closed at 2 in the morning and that makes being productive and doing normal life things a little difficult. So, when we need to get to bed a little earlier to do those life things, there is usually much tossing and turning but no actual sleep going on.
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How I do it for stress and anxiety
That’s when I pull out the valerian tincture. I use this one. It’s the Herb Pharm brand, which I love, as anyone who has read my other posts knows. You may also know from my other posts that my youngest daughter refuses to drink tinctures. She’s very stubborn.
My dosage: 4 dropperfuls – A dropperful is whatever amount comes up into the dropper when you squeeze the top. This is less than what I took for panic attacks. I take this amount as needed throughout the day with no problems. This is a very safe herb.
So, even though I believe tinctures to be the best way to take herbs for medicinal use, I have to buy capsules or pills sometimes. I have talked about the Gaia brand and how much I like their line of liquid filled capsules, but Now also has a nice line of herbs. I have bought and used both of these brands.
You can try drinking the tea, actually I dare you to try, but honestly, I have a high threshold for bad tastes and even I couldn’t handle slowly drinking a cup of Valerian tea. The tincture is strong tasting too, however as I’ve said before, I knock back tinctures like a shot and immediately chase them with water. That minimizes the bad taste. But if you think you can or want to try a tea, the Buddha line is a high quality brand of tea. Now, I have never purchased the Valerian tea specifically, but I have bought other teas from them.
Works well with others
Valerian on it’s own is very good for anxiety. However, many of the studies done on herbs for anxiety show that a blend of valerian and passionflower works even better, which is why it’s part of my panic attack formula.
Valerian is a safe, effective herb for stress and anxiety, so why not give it a try?
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“If you’re going through hell, keep going” Winston Churchill