8 Valerian Root Tea Benefits
January 19, 2022
Valerian root, scientifically known as Valeriana officinalis, comes from the flowering valerian plant native to Europe and China. While the plant famously has a smell akin to stinky socks, the better-smelling root of the plant has a long history of being used as an herbal remedy. This use of herbal tea can be traced as far back as ancient Greece and Rome—Hippocrates even wrote about the root being used to treat ailments, such as headaches and nervousness.
Today, valerian root extract can be found in capsules, tinctures, tablets, essential oils, and even teas. However, you will not find valerian root in a wake-up, morning tea blend. Instead, valerian root tea is often used as a natural sedative, promoting relaxation and sleep, as well as a variety of other health benefits, including relief from indigestion and menstrual cramps.
To find out more about this powerful natural ingredient, keep reading. In this guide, we will explore the top 8 benefits of drinking valerian root tea and discuss how valerian extract works to provide these benefits.
#1 Promotes Better Sleep
One of the most well-known valerian root tea benefits is its promotion of a better night’s rest. The sleep aid of valerian root has long been used as a natural sedative, promoting sleep for those who struggle to fall asleep, as well as for those who struggle to stay asleep.
It is estimated that around 30 percent of people struggle to fall asleep at night. If you are one of the many who cannot seem to get to sleep, drinking a cup of tea containing valerian root before bed may help reduce the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep.* Plus, valerian root may also improve your overall sleep quality and promote a healthier sleep cycle.
This is because when you sleep, you enter a stage known as deep sleep—a period when your brain waves slow and your body recharges. The better the quality of your deep sleep, the better and more rested you will feel during the day.
In fact, studies have shown that drinking valerian root tea increases the number of times individuals enter deep sleep and the amount of time they stay in a deep sleep.
#2 Encourages Relaxation
Whether it is due to work, relationships, or day-to-day anxiety, we all deal with stress from time to time. However, if we do not find healthy ways to deal with our stress, our minds and bodies both suffer.
To alleviate stress and encourage relaxation, reach for a cup of relaxing tea from a valerian root. Due to its sedative properties, valerian extract can help:*
- Ease anxious feelings
- Calm your mind
- Relax anxiety-related behaviors and compulsions
Pair valerian root tea with other stress reducers—like exercise and meditation—and you will find yourself able to kick back at the end of each day, and head into the next feeling recharged and ready to go.
#3 Helps Manage Symptoms of Menopause
Those undergoing menopause will be pleased to learn that the properties of valerian root may help combat and provide relief from common menopausal symptoms—specifically, menopausal hot flashes.
Hot flashes are one of the top complaints of women going through menopause. Because hot flashes often occur at night, they can also lead to other issues, such as sleeplessness and fatigue. If you are prone to hot flashes, valerian root might be just what you need to find relief from this uncomfortable symptom.
In fact, one study found that, when compared to a placebo, subjects who ingested valerian root extract over the course of 8 weeks saw their bouts of hot flashes diminish. So, drinking a nightly cup of valerian root tea may help promote better sleep by encouraging relaxation and reducing uncomfortable menopausal symptoms.*
#4 Curbs Hyperactivity
Due to valerian root’s interaction with Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) molecules in the brain, those who commonly experience hyperactivity, or associated behaviors, might benefit from periodic cups of valerian root tea. This is because the valerenic acid that’s found in the root can help regulate GABA levels, which in turn, creates a calming sensation.
If you find yourself struggling to study for a test or focus on a task at work, try a cup of valerian tea and see if it helps with your focus. The improvement of GABA levels over time may help you concentrate while also reducing any stresses you might feel on a day-to-day basis.*
#5 Alleviates Indigestion
Do you frequently have difficulties with upset stomach, constipation, bloating, or cramps? Fortunately, with valerian root tea, you can work toward conquering these gut spasms. This is because the antioxidants found in valerian roots help to ease the muscles of the gut. This, in turn, can promote:
- Healthier muscle function during digestion
- Normal bowel function during digestion
- Less irritation from problem foods
To experience these effects for yourself, pair your problem foods with a cup of valerian root tea. This will provide your gut with the extra support it needs to effectively digest these foods.*
#7 Provides Relief from Menstrual Cramps
The cramps that may accompany your menstrual cycle can sometimes be unbearable, keeping you from concentrating at work or enjoying time with family and friends. Thankfully, individuals who suffer from painful menstruation cramps might be able to benefit from valerian root tea.
The calming effects of valerian root tea can ease the muscles in the body. This means less tension and, therefore, less cramping.* The next time your cycle comes around, try adding a cup of valerian root tea to your nightly routine, starting about a day before menstruation. This muscle-relaxing tea may help to prevent and manage menstrual cramps.
#8 Combats Headaches
If you frequently experience headaches or migraines, you are likely familiar with the pounding sensation that accompanies them. Often, this painful sensation can make it difficult to continue on with your day. However, the properties within valerian root can target capillaries in the body, providing a natural way to alleviate the tension around your head and neck.*
Plus, when you enjoy valerian root tea, you can also benefit from its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help ease tension from most headaches.
How Does Valerian Root Work?
To understand exactly how valerian root provides these benefits, we have to take a deeper look inside this powerful plant. Valerian root contains high concentrations of several compounds that have known benefits for the body.
When you consume a cup containing valerian root, you are also consuming small amounts of these compounds and reaping the medicinal benefits they have to offer. These include:
- Iridoids – These are compounds that have been shown to have sedative effects.
- Isovaleric acid – Isovaleric acid has been shown to act similar to valproic acid—a common substance used to treat epilepsy. Isovaleric acid, likewise, has been found to reduce muscle contractions in the body.
- Hesperidin and linarin – These compounds are known as antioxidant flavonoids—molecules common in plants and vegetables.
- Valerenic acid – Valerenic acid is most directly tied to compounds in the brain known as gamma-aminobutyric acids (GABAs). The influence of valerenic acid on GABA is well-documented and has been shown to increase GABA levels by preventing their breakdown. When GABA molecules break down, you may experience stress, nervousness, and poor sleep. However, since valerenic acid inhibits the breakdown of these GABA molecules in the brain, valerian root can promote calmness, anxiety-relief, and better sleep.
Make Your Next Cup with The Republic of Tea
Regardless of whether you are interested in valerian root tea for better sleep, better digestion, or less painful period cramps, you can find effective and delicious valerian root teas to incorporate into your nightly routine.
Some of our favorite tea blends featuring valerian root include:
- Chamomile Lemon Herbal – An aromatic blend of chamomile, valerian root, linden flowers, orange blossoms, lavender flower, skullcap, and lemon juice, this blend is sure to produce a delightfully calming cup.
- get some zzz’s™ tea – Listed as one of the top teas to help you get a better night’s sleep, this nighttime tea utilizes valerian root to ease you into the deep sleep associated with a well-rested night.
- Evening tea – A tea featuring soothing chamomile, zingy lemon balm, and calming valerian root, this tasty blend can help you unwind from the stresses of the day.
With The Republic of Tea, you can choose from a variety of tranquil tea blends made from the powerful properties of valerian root. Purchase some for yourself, or create a gift box for a friend. Explore over 300 premium teas from all around the globe—you’re sure to find a sip that inspires and heals.
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Healthline. How Valerian Root Helps You Relax and Sleep Better. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/valerian-root#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2
Pubmed. Critical evaluation of the effect of valerian extract on sleep structure and sleep quality. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10761819/
NCBI. Valerian: No Evidence for Clinically Relevant Interactions. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4100259/
Selfdecode. 12 Health Benefits of Valerian Root + Dosage & Side Effects. https://supplements.selfdecode.com/blog/valerian-root/
NCBI. The Effects of Valerian Root on Hot Flashes in Menopausal Women. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3813196/