Valerian root is a common herb that has been used for centuries to treat sleep disorders, anxiety, hot flashes in menopause, and other health conditions. It is thought to promote relaxation, improve quality of sleep, and reduce the frequency of nightmares. It is considered to be safe for most adults when taken in the short term, though it can cause some side effects and interact with certain medications. It’s important to discuss this ingredient with your doctor before trying it.
Valerie root has a strong, unpleasant smell. It is often combined with other calming herbs, such as passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), hops (Humulus lupulus), lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), and kava (Piper methysticum), to mask the scent. The active compounds in valerian are believed to bind to GABA receptors in the brain and promote a calming effect.
Some people use valerian to induce lucid dreams. They may take the herb in the form of a tea or liquid before going to bed. In addition, some people put it under their tongue to help them fall asleep and experience lucid dreams. Valerian may not be a good option for those who are worried about the drug’s potential to cause hallucinations or delusions.
Taking too much valerian can also cause drowsiness. It is best to start with a small dose and gradually increase it to see how your body responds. It’s also a good idea to avoid drinking alcohol or smoking while using valerian because it can intensify the drowsy effects.