Overview – Valerian dosage for anxiety
If you’ve been scared or have trouble sleeping, you’ve probably thought about trying a herbal remedy. Valerian dosage for anxiety is a common ingredient that is sold in dietary supplements. Proponents claim that it cures insomnia and nervous tension caused by fear. Valerian has been used as a herbal remedy for centuries.
It was used for relief in ancient Greece and Rome:
It may be just what you need to get a good night’s sleep. There are many capsule-shaped valerian root products on the market today. But the amount of valerian contained in each capsule varies widely.
Here you can find more information about the recommended valerian root dosage and its possible health benefits.
What is valerian?
Valerian is a perennial plant with the scientific name Valeriana officinalis. The plant grows wild on grasslands across North America, Asia and Europe.
It produces white, purple or pink flowers in summer. Herbal supplements are usually made from the rhizome root of the plant.
How does valerian work?
Researchers aren’t sure how valerian works to relieve insomnia and anxiety. They think it subtly increases the level of a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA contributes to a calming effect in the body.
Common prescription drugs for anxiety, such as alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium), also increase GABA levels in the brain.
Recommended dosage of valerian root for sleep
Insomnia, the inability to fall asleep or fall asleep, affects about a third of all adults at least once in a lifetime. It can have a profound impact on your well-being and everyday life.
Based on the research available, take valerian 300 to 600 milligrams (mg) 30 minutes to two hours before bed. This is best for insomnia or sleep disorders. For tea, soak 2 to 3 grams of dried plant valerian root in 1 cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.
Valerian root appears to work best when taken regularly for two or more weeks. Do not take valerian root for more than a month without speaking to your doctor.
Recommended Valerian dosage for anxiety
For anxiety, take 120 to 200 mg three times a day. Your last dose of valerian should be close to bedtime.
The recommended dose for anxiety is generally lower than the dose for insomnia. Because taking high doses of valerian root during the day can lead to daytime tiredness.
If you are sleepy during the day, you may find it difficult to participate in your usual daily activities.
Is valerian effective in anxiety and sleep?
Many small clinical studies have been done to test the effectiveness and safety of valerian root for sleep. The results are mixed: in a 2009 placebo-controlled study , for example, women with insomnia took valerian extract 300 mg 30 minutes before bedtime for two weeks.
The women reported no significant improvements in the onset or quality of sleep. Likewise, a review of 37 studies found that most valerian root clinical studies showed no differences between valerian root and placebo during sleep. These studies have been performed in both healthy people and people with insomnia.
But the National Institutes of Health (NIH) describes an old study that shows that 400 mg of valerian root extract has significantly improved sleep compared to placebo in 128 healthy subjects.
The participants reported an improvement in sleep time, sleep quality and the number of awakenings in the middle of the night.
The NIH also found a clinical study in which 121 people with insomnia who took 600 mg of dried valerian root had reduced symptoms of insomnia compared to placebo after 28 days of treatment.
Research on the use of valerian root in the treatment of anxiety is somewhat lacking. A small 2002 study of 36 patients with generalized anxiety disorder found that 50 mg valerian root extract given three times a day for four weeks significantly reduced anxiety levels compared to placebo. Other anxiety studies used slightly higher doses.
Is the valerian safe?
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labels valerian root as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS), but minor side effects have been reported.
Possible side effects include:
Valerian can make you sleepy, so do not drive or use machines after ingestion.
Who shouldn’t take Valerian dosage for anxiety?
Although valerian is generally considered safe, the following people should not take it:
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. The risk to the developing baby was not assessed, although a 2007 study in rats found that valerian root was unlikely to affect the developing baby.
Children under 3 years. The safety of the valerian root has not been tested in children under 3 years of age.
Do not combine valerian root with alcohol, other sleeping pills or antidepressants.
Also avoid the combination with soothing medications such as barbiturates (e.g. phenobarbital, secobarbital) and benzodiazepines (e.g. Xanax, Valium, Ativan). Valerian root also has a calming effect, and the effect can be addictive.
If you are taking any medication, ask your doctor if it is safe to take valerian root. Valerian root can also enhance the effects of anesthesia. If you are planning to have an operation, tell your doctor and anesthetist that you are taking valerian root.
Valerian in powder form is available in capsule and tablet form as well as tea. You can easily buy valerian online or in drug stores.
Be sure to read the product labels and instructions before taking valerian. Some products contain valerian root doses higher than the recommended amounts above. However, note that there is no standard dose for valerian.
While it is still safe, it is unclear whether higher doses are needed to have an effect. The NIH noted a dated study that found that taking 900 mg of valerian root at night can actually increase drowsiness and lead to a hangover the next morning.
Ask your doctor if you are not sure which dose to take.
Valerian can make you sleepy. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery after taking valerian root. The best time to take valerian root to sleep is just before bed.
Herbal remedies or medications are not always the answer to sleep problems and anxiety. See your doctor if your insomnia, anxiety / nervousness, or stress persists. You may have an underlying medical condition, such as sleep apnea, or a psychological disorder that requires evaluation.
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