Valerian Root Benefits
Treating insomnia, relieving symptoms of menopause, and helping with depression are among the various uses of valerian root. Other possible benefits of this herbal supplement may include treatment of anxiety, epilepsy, and ADHD. While valerian root seems effective at treating insomnia, it may not work as well or as quickly as conventional treatments. It is not known if it is safe to use valerian root in children.
What Benefits Can Valerian Root Provide?Valerian root is a perennial herb that is commonly used in supplements. Although the herb is primarily used for sleeping problems, it also allegedly helps treat the following conditions:
- Insomnia or other sleep disorders
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Menopause symptoms.
There are many other uses for valerian root, some of which are more valid than others (see Does Valerian Work? for more information). As with many supplements, claims for the benefits of valerian root are sometimes exaggerated, and these claims must be critically evaluated. In addition, it is essential to remember that natural products should not be used carelessly, as many can be quite toxic (for instance, many poisons are natural products).
Of all the possible uses for valerian root, the most common is treating sleep disorders, including insomnia.
How Does Valerian Root Work?It is not exactly clear how valerian root works to treat insomnia or other conditions. There are a variety of different active compounds in it, and researchers are not sure which ones are responsible for the sedative-like properties of valerian root. Some of the compounds seem to increase gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical in the brain that produces a naturally calming effect.