Valerian - Sleep Well Tonight
Valerian is a safe herbal choice as a natural dietary supplement for insomnia relief, restlessness and anxiety. It promotes a calm, restful sleep and helps maintain a relaxed state naturally as arthritis symptoms can cause many people to lay awake counting sheep.
Many Americans are dependent on sleep or anti-anxiety drugs. All drugs have side effects, some of which can be serious, especially after prolonged use. Use of a natural supplement may be helpful in weaning patients with insomnia from anti-anxiety drugs.
An advantage of valerian over drugs is the lack of sleepiness on awakening when used at recommended dosages.
My husband and I both have osteoarthritis. We use a sleep-aid supplement that contains a complementary blend of three herbs: valerian, chamomile, and passion flower. Together, they provide natural insomnia relief without the side effects of prescription or over-the counter (OTC) drugs.
As a natural alternative, valerian root side effects are few, and minor by comparison to pharmaceutical drugs. In fact for an insomnia remedy it has good tolerability. Most studies suggest that it’s more effective when used continuously rather than as a one-night sleep aid. However many individuals successfully use it on a need-only basis.
What is valerian?
The valerian root has been used as a medicinal herb since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome. Hippocrates, the “father of medicine”, described its properties and Galen, a prominent ancient Greek physician, later prescribed it for insomnia relief.
Valerian (valeriana officinalis) is a hardy perennial flowering plant native to Europe and parts of Asia. It is commercially grown in Holland and other European countries. Valerian, in pharmacology or alternative medicine, is the name of an herb or dietary supplement prepared from roots of the plant.
Valerian root extract is prepared from dried valerian roots that have been coarsely ground and washed. A liquid extract of the herb is prepared by percolation, concentrated into a paste, and spray dried. The spray-dried herbal extract must meet a guaranteed level of valerenic acid, a phytochemical compound that occurs naturally in the roots. In the case of the supplement we use, the valerenic acid has been standardized to contain 0.8%.
The root is processed into tablets or capsules as an insomnia remedy or anti-anxiety supplement. If not taken by mouth, the tablets are crushed and mixed as valerian root tea.
What is chamomile?
German chamomile flower (matricaria chamomilla) is grown in South America. A concentrated liquid extract is made from dried flowers by percolation, and spray-dried into a powder. Among other purposes, the extract is used medicinally as a gentle sleep aid.
Traditionally, the flower has been a valuable ingredient in herbal formulas and teas throughout Europe. It is an annual plant of the sunflower family.
The extract is used as an ingredient in the supplement complex we use to promote a calm, restful sleep.
What is passion flower?
Passion flower (passiflora incarnata) is a fast growing perennial vine with climbing or trailing stems. It is also known as Purple passion flower and Maypop. Is has large, intricate flowers. It is native to the United States and grows in southern states from Virginia to Florida and west to Texas.
The herbal extract is made from dried flowers by percolation. The liquid extract is spray dried into a powder. Traditionally, the flower has been a popular ingredient in both European and American herbal formulas. In homeopathy, it is used to ease feeling of nervousness.
The fresh or dried whole plant has been used as a herbal medicine to treat nervous anxiety and insomnia. The dried, ground herb is frequently used in Europe by drinking a teaspoon of it in tea.
The extract is used as an ingredient in the supplement formulation featured at the end of this article that we use to promote a calm, restful sleep.
Are herbal formulas regulated for safety?
The answer is no. In the United States, herbal formulas are sold as dietary supplements. Dietary supplements are not regulated as strictly as drugs are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Therefore, pre-market evaluation and approval for efficacy by the FDA are not required.
This also means that dietary supplements are not always tested for manufacturing consistency, purity or potency. While the new current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) regulations address this factor, full implementation of the rules for the dietary supplement industry occur June, 2010. Therefore, the composition still may vary considerably between manufacturing lots. It’s possible in the United States that your dietary supplement has no efficacy whatsoever.
But wait a minute! There’s a company that met or surpassed all 30 questions I devised when attempting to choose the best dietary supplements on the market.
It’s a company that you can trust. A company whose natural dietary supplements meet the same GMP standards required by the FDA of pharmaceutical companies and contain the purest of raw ingredients. A company that guarantees what you read on the label is what you get inside the bottle—every time!
Featured natural valerian sleep complex
As with most herbal supplements, a blend of two or more ingredients provides greater collective result than taking the ingredients individually. The formulation of the sleep supplement we use contains 225 mg daily of valerian extract, and a combined 410 mg in passion flower and chamomile extracts. We've used it for many years and are happy with its ability to restful sleep without after effects in the morning.
When used as a tea, my husband and I have found this product to be especially effective. It also works well when the tablets are taken by mouth.
For insomnia relief, we believe the product was designed to be one of the most excellent on the market. The company’s commitment to science and integrity is top-notch. For these reasons, I confidently recommend this valerian sleep supplement.
Disclaimer: Health statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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