Valerian Tea Benefits
Valeria tea is among the most popular herbs with potent medicinal value. This herb is known by other varying names such as the Garden Heliotrope, All-heal and Garden Valerian. This alternative medicine is derived from the roots of the valerian shrub that originates from Europe and parts of Asia. This plant is green in color and grows as a shrub. It was later introduced in North America. This plant is perennial in nature, producing sweetly scented flowers twice a year. In fact, the extracts from its white or pink flowers that bloom during summer season were used as perfume back in 16th century.
Availability and Preparation for use
Valerian tea is derived from the dried roots of the valerian plant and prepared in two major forms that include;
- Standardized form
Extracts from the valerian roots are processed and prepared in for of capsules that are taken orally as a supplement. Also, the extracts are processed as an essential oil and packed in bottles for oral use. This form is highly recommended as the variations in contents and potencies are standardized and controlled.
- Un-standardized form
The un-standardized form refers to the traditional preparations of the herb. In this case, the roots of the herb are dried and latter boiled to make the medicinal tea. When using this form, caution should be taken as the amount of contents in term of concentrations are not controlled.
In both forms, the extracts from the dried valerian roots are yellowish green or brownish yellow oil. The difference in color of the oil depends on the location on which the herb grew. Generally, a soil that is dry and stony has a history of yielding valerian roots that are richer in oil compared to the moist fertile soil. It is easy to identify the highly potent oils, as they are pungent resembling to the odor of mature cheese or unwashed feet. It is important to be aware that the pungent smell may be unpleasant to some. It is advisable not to prepare the oils using boiling water as this may dilute the required concentration for the healing process.
Composition of the herb
The compounds present in the valerian roots are potent hence bringing health benefits to the body. This herb is made unique by the following compounds that are medicinal;
- Gamma-aminobutyric acid
- Isovaleric acid
- Hydroxyvalerenic acid
- Valerenic acid
- Acetoxyvalerenic acid
Health Benefits of Valerian Tea
Valerian tea as an essential oil is highly recommended for the following uses;
Extracts from valerian roots contains tranquilizer properties that helps in inducing sleep in case of insomnia. This makes the oil a great remedy for those who cannot sleep due to intense anxiety or other causes. In this case, it should be taken about an hour before bedtime.
- Menstrual and stomach cramps
This oil is known for relieving abdominal cramps caused by painful menses or intestinal infections. The oil depresses the central nervous system that reduces the contractions of the abdominal muscles that causes the cramps resulting to great relief.
- Severe anxiety and depression
This essential oil is known for successful treatment of anxiety and depression. This is attributed to its tranquilizer properties achieved through central nervous depression leading to relaxation and calming effects in an individual. When taken before bedtime it yields best results in management of anxiety and depression.
Note that use of high doses of valerian oils is not encouraged. This is because large doses may lead to;
- Mild depression
- Light headache
- Difficulties in breathing
- Skin rashes
When any of the above reactions are noted, medical attention should be sought immediately.
Caution should be taken when using valerian tea as an alternative medicine as it leads to depression of central nervous system. In this case, the oil should not be used along other depressants as it may lead to severe depression. Caution should be taken when using this oil as it causes dizziness and drowsiness hence one should not operate machines or drive when on this oil. The oil should not be used in pregnancy.