Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a calmative and tranquilizer. Its properties have been known at least since the time of Hippocrates, and it was prescribed by the ancient Greek physician Galen for the treatment of headaches, insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, menstrual problems, nervous stomach, and hysteria.
The advantage of valerian over tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanax is that it reduces sleep latency, the time required to fall asleep, without a period of bedtime drowsiness and without creating a "hangover" or grogginess the next morning. Valerian has greatest effect in treating chronic insomnia, rather than short-term sleeplessness. It also soothes the digestive system and may prevent cramping caused by irritable bowel syndrome.
To brew a tea use 1 level teaspoon per 6 oz cup. Heat water until boiling. Steep for 3-5 minutes.
Please note: This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is compiled from traditional and modern herb books, articles, and research. This information is summarized for its educational value and should not be used for the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of disease. It should not be used to replace the services of a qualified practitioner.
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