Unlike medications, no standard dosing guidelines have been established for valerian root. Instead, the information available about valerian root dosing comes from clinical studies and practical experience with the supplement. For treating insomnia, a valerian root dosage that is sometimes recommended is 300 to 900 mg per day. It's best to take it 30 minutes to two hours before bedtime.
Valerian Root Dosage: An Introduction
It is important to note that unlike medications, for which the standard doses have been well established, there is less information available for determining the best dose for supplements, including valerian root.
Is There a Reasonable Valerian Root Dose?
Some information about valerian root dosing can be obtained from clinical studies and from practical experience with the supplement. For insomnia, doses of 300 to 900 mg of valerian root extract are sometimes recommended. It is best to try it at night first, 30 minutes to two hours before bedtime. If you find that it does not work quickly enough for you, then you may try taking it a little earlier in the evening. There is some evidence that valerian root may take a while -- sometimes as long as a month -- to start working in some people. However, there is not enough evidence to recommend a dosage for any other use, such as for anxiety.
Because there is little strong evidence to guide you in your choice of a valerian root dosage, a good plan is to start with a reasonable dose and see how your body reacts to it. If you find that you are groggy in the morning and have trouble getting up, or if you are experiencing other side effects of valerian root, you may need to try a lower dose. If it seems to be working a little, but not quite well enough, you may want to try a higher dose, but no more than that recommended on the label. A safe maximum dose of valerian root has not yet been established.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed January 10, 2008.
Office of Dietary Supplements. National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Questions and answers about valerian for insomnia and other sleep disorders (April 2006). NCCAM Web site. Available at: http://dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov/factsheets/valerian.asp. Accessed January 10, 2008.
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