What is Valerian Root?
If you are one of the many people whose quality of life and health are affected by sleeping troubles or by stress and anxiety, then valerian root may be just the thing you need.
People are becoming more aware of the dangers of modern pharmaceuticals and are looking for a a more natural alternative to help them deal with their troubles. Unlike strong prescription medications, valerian root is one of many natural remedies that lauded for its ability to promote sleep and ease both stress and anxiety.
With a market full of different supplements and many more brands entering the fray, it is important to make the right choice. This article will take a look at the highest quality valerian root supplements available today to help you make a more informed choice.
Before we go on to look at the relative merits of these valerian root supplements, I feel it is important to spend a little time looking at the benefits of this time honored herb in more detail.
Why Take Valerian Root?
While its popularity seems to be on the rise, there is nothing new about the use of valerian root for humans. People were using the herb traditionally for many centuries before modern medicine was born.
Studies would suggest that our ancestors knew what was good for them and have found that valerian known scientifically as Valeriana officinalis has natural anxiolytic properties which help calm the mind and relax the body. (1)
Valerian Root for Better Sleep
We are all aware of how much our bodies and minds benefit from the right amount of good quality sleep and rest. Unfortunately, not everybody gets the type of sleep that they require. According to estimates, a huge percentage of adults have some type of a sleep disorder with an estimated 50 or more million affected. (2)
Not only does insufficient sleep affect the way you function during the daytime but it can also harm your physical health. Sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of many illnesses including hypertension, obesity and depression.
Fortunately, there are several excellent, natural aids including valerian root supplements. Research on humans suggests that the herb can help you get to sleep more quickly and improve the quality of your rest.
One study that looked at the effects of valerian root found that 89% of participants experienced better quality and duration of sleep. (3)
According to research, the herb is so effective because of the actions it has on certain neurotransmitters that increase feelings of relaxation because of their sedative properties.
To Ease Anxiety and Stress
As well as helping people get a good night of rest, valerian root can also help relieve feelings of anxiety or in a far more natural way than prescription medications.
Far too many people in today’s world suffer badly from stress and and crippling anxiety related issues. These can have a devastating effect on a person’s way of life making it almost impossible to carry out even the most mundane daily tasks.
Several studies have looked at the impact of the herb on anxiety and stress with very positive results. Researchers have found that valerian root works on the mind because of its relationship with a brain chemical called GABA.
When a person has lower than normal levels of GABA, it can contribute to increased stress levels which in turn cause anxiety and poor quality sleep.
In one study, 24 volunteer patients were treated with valerian root in three different doses of 600, 1200 or 1800 mgs while the remainder were given a placebo. After being asked to complete several different tasks, the effect of the herb was analyzed.
The researchers were able to conclude that valerian root at a dose of 600 mg significantly reduced anxiety. It is worth noting however that at much higher levels, the herb had quite the opposite effects actually increasing anxiety levels in the volunteers. (4)
What are the Best Valerian Root Supplements?
The ever expanding supplement market can be a very confusing place to shop. There are so many brands and so many supplements with properties that look very similar that working out what supplement if any you need can be tough. Even after deciding that you want to take a particular supplement, you are then faced with a huge range of products from a growing number of manufacturers eager to cash in on the supplement market.
We have compiled a list of the best valerian root supplements and tried to point out the similarities and differences so that you can make a more informed choice.
While some people get a great deal of benefit from their valerian supplements, one of the common complaints from users is that they found them ineffective or not as effective as they were hoping.
1) Valerian Root Liquid Phyto-Capsules (Gaia Herbs)
This is a popular valerian supplement from Gaia Herbs which promises to help you get a better night of sleep and to promote relaxation.
This supplement contains 450 mg of valerian root and and 100% organic ingredients making it an excellent option for people who looking for a purely natural product.
The supplements come in soft gel capsules that are easy to swallow but some users have reported that they were not as effective as they had hoped.
- A healthy 450 mg of valerian root extract.
- Pure organic ingredients.
- Gluten free.
- Dairy free and suitable for vegans.
- 60 capsules which will last up to 2 months.
- Soft, easy to consume gel capsules.
- Some users did not notice any beneficial effects.
2) Valerian Herb with Lemon Balm (Pro Health)
These supplements were formulated by Pro Health in order to promote calm and improved sleep without any of the morning after grogginess common with prescription medications.
Each serving comes with a mid-strength 320 mg of valerian extract but unlike many other products it also contains 160 mg of lemon balm. Lemon balm is another excellent natural remedy for relaxation and calm and the combination should be even more effective.
- These valerian root supplements are combined with lemon balm for extra benefits.
- They are gluten free.
- They are soy free.
- They are suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
- 60 capsules.
- Some users did not experience any beneficial effects.
3) Valerian Caps (Nature’s Way)
These valerian root supplements from manufacturer – Nature’s Way have a higher dose of valerian than the other supplements featured. They contain a very generous 600 mg of valerian root as well as 220 mg of valerian extract.
They are made from a non GMO source and are very reasonably priced for the quality of product you are getting. If there is a downside, they smell quite strong which may put some people off them.
- They contain 800 mg of valerian root and 220 mg of valerian extract.
- A Non GMO product.
- Excellent value for money.
- 90 capsules.
- They smell quite unpleasant.
4) DRIFTOFF Natural Sleep Aid (Zhou Nutrition)
These supplements combine 150 mg of valerian root with some other ingredients known to aid relaxation and sleep. As well as containing valerian, these supplements contain 100 mg of lemon balm and 2 mg of melatonin and 100 mg of GABA.
This is a very popular product and user reviews have generally been positive.
- The formula includes several ingredients known to promote good quality sleep and calm.
- Non GMO.
- Made in the USA.
- Suitable for vegetarians.
- 60 capsules.
- While most of the user reviews are very positive, a few did not notice any improvement in their sleep.
5) Valerian Root Vegetable Capsules (Solgar)
These supplements made by Solgar have a 300 mg dose of valerian root extract and promise to help you get a good night sleep without that familiar hungover feeling.
They are both gluten free and free of dairy making them suitable for vegans. The majority of revies are positive but some users have reported feeling groggy the next morning.
- Suitable for vegans.
- Effective sleep aid for most users.
- 100 capsules.
- Some people feel groggy the morning after they took the supplement.
There is no doubt that many people have benefited from valerian root through the years and continue to do so today. We hope that our article has provided you with enough information to make a more informed choice. Please let us know how you get on and good luck.