Along with melatonin supplementation, taking Valerian root extract is said to be the most effective solution for problems associated with sleeping disorders. The active compounds found in Valerian root extract effectively causes drowsiness, thereby enhancing sleep and inducing relaxation. Studies show, however, that the extract has certain side effects which include short-term depression or anxiety and dizziness.
When taking other prescription medications for anxiety and other metabolic disorders, Valerian root extract supplementation must be with physician’s advice as the compounds in Valerian root can cause drug interactions. Other medications which cause sedation both as a therapeutic or a side effect may not also be taken with Valerian root extract as it may cause excessive sedative effect.
What is Valerian root extract?
Valerian root extract is taken from a perennial herb producing white and pinkish flowers known as Valerian. The herb is commonly cultivated in various Asian regions, including Europe and other parts of North America. Several records show that the herb Valerian has been used in traditional medical practices in the treatment of insomnia.
In modern scientific chemical studies, it was established that Valerian root extract contains several volatile compounds which effectively induce sleep. Although the extract in its raw form does not produce a pleasant smell and may instead smell terrible, it has several amazing health benefits that continue to astound experts in the field of modern medicine.
Health benefits of using Valerian root extract
For purposes of insomnia treatment, experts say that Valerian root extract supplements must be taken for at least two weeks. Other health benefits may also be manifested with long-term use. Some of the known health benefits of using Valerian root extract include the following:
1. It may treat anxiety
Other than treating insomnia, Valerian root extract is a popular health supplement ingredient for anxiety treatment. Scientific studies show that Valerian root extract contains compounds which effectively enhance production of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain. GABA is necessary for sedation and anxiety control. By increasing GABA, the neurotransmitter that “slows things down”, Valerian root extract effectively treats anxiety and nervousness. Individuals who are at risk for anxiety breakdown are recommended to take Valerian root extract supplementation.
2. It may be effective for stomach upsets
One of the traditional uses of Valerian root extract is the treatment of stomach upsets and other gastrointestinal conditions. Although there is a need for confirmatory studies, some studies show that Valerian root extract may work against digestive dysfunctions. There are no available qualitative studies, however, to prove the health claims.
3. It may work against ADHD
Children suffering from ADHD or Attention-deficit Hyperactive Disorder are also found to find relief with Valerian root extract supplementation as the compound enhances sedation and GABA production.
Valerian root extract can also be used in treating chronic fatigue and psychological stress. It must, however, be taken with caution among patients with liver damage.