Valerian supplements are health products produced from the different parts of the herb, Valeriana officinalis. Boasting its medicinal usage to the ancient Greek and Roman civilization, the top five benefits of valerian root are a treatment of insomnia, alleviation of migraine and tension headaches, reduction of depressive symptoms, decrease in the severity of premenstrual syndrome symptoms, and abatement of hot flashes in menopause.
Supplement companies are utilizing the valerian roots, rhizomes, and leaves in manufacturing nutraceuticals that they sell widely across America and the world. The resulting valerian products are available in various supplement forms, such as liquid (tincture), pills (capsules and tablets), teas, and powder. The leading valerian supplement producers are Herb Pharm, Wise Woman Herbals, Vital Nutrients, NOW, Gaia Herbs, and Nature’s Way. These companies adhere to the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and possess an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification. Depending on the type of preparation, amount of servings per container, dosage, and manufacturing and shipping costs, the price of valerian health products range from $10 to $100 per packaging.
Below is a list of the valerian supplements and their corresponding benefits based on evidence from research studies:
1. Herb Pharm Valerian Extract 4 Oz (Best for Insomnia)
The valerian extract produced by Herb Pharm has undergone rigorous assessment to ensure the herb meets standards of purity and safety unparalleled in the industry. Using Certified Organic cane alcohol, the herb is extracted in small batches to preserve the phytochemicals in the plant. With an extraction rate of 560 mg of fresh valerian herb per 0.7ml (15 drops), Herb Pharm Valerian Extract is the best choice for insomnia. The dosage per serving is backed by the research study done by F. Donath and the team at Herb Pharm. Valerian extract increased the rate of bedtime and REM percentage of the participants; they stayed in bed for longer hours and registered extended periods of dreaming.
Link to Purchase: https://www.premierformulas.com/herb-pharm/valerian-alcohol-free-4-oz
Producer: Herb Pharm
Its form: Tincture
Is it for sleep? Yes
Ingredients: Valerian rhizome with root extract 636 mg, certified organic cane alcohol (54-64%)
Serving size: 4 ounces, fresh herb menstruum ratio 1:1.25
Dose: Take 30 to 40 drops in 2 oz. of water or juice two to five times per day. Best taken between meals. For relaxation, take one hour before bed and again at bedtime.
2. Vital Nutrients Valerian Root 625 Mg 60 VegCaps (The Best for Menopause Symptoms)
Vital Nutrients Valerian Root contains sufficient herb concentration that makes it best for menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes. The supplement formulation is consistent with the study by R. Mojab et.al on menopausal women who took valerian for eight weeks. They manifested a marked decrease in hot flashes and other menopause symptoms. The vegetarian capsules utilized in this valerian supplement are ideal for gradual absorption as they slowly release the active ingredients contained in each capsule. The manufacturer assures top-of-the-line products by strictly maintaining FDA standards and testing each batch of valerian raw materials and finished products.
Producer: Vital Nutrients
Its form: Capsules
Is it for sleep? Yes
Ingredients: Valerian root (standardized to 0.8% of valerenic acid) 625 mg, vegetable cellulose capsule, cellulose, ascorbyl palmitate, and silica
Serving size: 60 capsules per bottle
Dose: One capsule 30 minutes before bedtime
3. NOW Valerian Root 500 Mg 100 Caps (The Best for Insomnia)
The health supplement manufacturing company NOW maintains the reputation it has had in the market for over 50 years. Its valerian Root is a non-GMO, non-allergenic, and HALAL-certified supplement. Their products have also been certified by Quality Assurance International – a certification agency accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This ensures that the company is meeting standards for safe food handling and preparation besides strict guidelines on herb cultivation without compromising quality attributes like flavor profile.
NOW’s Valerian Root is our choice for the supplement best for insomnia. Its formulation is the dosage used in most research studies on the effects of the herb to sleep problems. The vegetable capsules aid in rapid absorption of valerian, thereby leading to speedy relaxation and sleep.
Link to Purchase: https://www.premierformulas.com/now/valerian-root-500-mg-100-caps
Its form: Capsules
Is it for sleep? Yes
Ingredients: Valerian root 1 gram, gelatin capsule, total carbohydrate 0.7 gram
Serving size: 100 capsules per bottle
Dose: Two (2) capsules before bedtime
4. Mediherb Valerian Complex 40 Tabs (The Best for Anxiety)
The Mediherb Valerian Complex is a concrete example of the synergism between valerian and other herbal extracts. The supplement contains valerian, passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), and jujube (Ziziphus jujuba) seed. While valerian promotes relaxation and induces sleep, passionflower adds to this effect and more by targeting neuropsychiatric symptoms. In a meta-analysis study done by K. Janda and the team, passionflower has been observed to reduce stress reactivity, anxiety, and depressive symptoms. Its anti-anxiety effect is comparable to oxazepam and midazolam (anti-anxiety drugs). Jujube seeds embody the antioxidant property of the supplement. Researcher H. J. Han and the team mentioned in their research study that jujube seed contains more phenols than its pulp, intensifying the anti-free radical effect of the supplement.
Since 1929, Mediherb has been producing organically safe supplements intending to provide body nutrients as they are found in nature. Their ingredients are grown on their certified organic farm. The company ensures the quality of the supplements produced by developing a unique HPLC analytical method to distinguish the levels of valerenic acids and valepotriates in valerian. Furthermore, the process detects the level of baldrinals (degradation product of valtrate), an indicator of poor valerian quality.
Its form: Tablets
Is it for sleep? Yes
Ingredients: Valerian root and rhizome 700 mg, Passion Flower herb 5:1 extract 100 mg, Jujube seed 10:1 extract 90 mg, Calcium 64 mg, Dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycolate, magnesium stearate, maltodextrin, hypromellose, and silicon dioxide
Serving size: 40 tablets per bottle
Dose: Take one tablet two to four times daily.
5. Nature’s Way Valerian Nighttime Sleep Aid 100 Tabs (The Best to Soothe the Stomach Before Bed)
Nature’s Way Valerian Nighttime Sleep Aid is a combination of the healing benefits of valerian and lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) extracts. The former helps the consumer gain restful sleep, while the latter helps to soothe the gastrointestinal tract before bedtime. Lemon balm contains flavonoids, polyphenolic compounds, monoterpenoid aldehyde, monoterpene glycosides, triterpenes, sesquiterpenes, tannins, and essentials that contribute to its antimicrobial, antioxidant, and antispasmodic properties. This premium blend makes the supplement the best for stomach cramps.
Though in tablet form, Nature’s Way produces this supplement utilizing dual coating to protect its active ingredients and suppress the pungent smell of valerian. The company assures its consumers of genuine and organic ingredients from its TRU-ID certification. They source the herbs from their farms in Poland, the Netherlands, and Bulgaria, where valerian grows best.
Price range: $19.99
Producer: Nature’s Way
Its form: Tablets
Is it for sleep? Yes
Ingredients: Dicalcium phosphate 33 mg, valerian root extract minimum 0.2%, Valerenic acid 320 mg, Lemon balm leaf extract 160 mg, Modified cellulose, modified cellulose gum, cellulose, aqueous coating solution, stearic acid, titanium dioxide, silica, riboflavin, carmine
Serving size: 100 tablets per bottle
Dose: Take 1 to 2 tablets one hour before bedtime; a maximum of three tablets may be taken.
6. Gaia Herbs Valerian 60 Liquid VegCaps
Since 1987, Gaia Herbs has maintained its goal of purity and integrity equals potency. The company has reached into technology and exclusively developed a delivery system of liquid phyto-capsules. This cutting-edge technology fosters rapid drug absorption within ten to twelve minutes from ingestion, surpassing gelatin and soft-gel capsules. The products at Gaia Herbs are 100% all-natural, vegetarian and heavy metal-free. They also have an organic farm in Brevard, North Carolina where they grow their herbs.
Price range: $27.99
Producer: Gaia Herbs
Its form: Capsules
Is it for sleep? Yes
Ingredients: Valerian root 130 mg, Valerenic acid 1.8 mg, vegetable glycerin, soy lecithin, vegetable cellulose. Every two capsules contain a crude herb equivalent of 1,600 mg.
Serving size: 60 Lvcaps
Dose: Take two (2) capsules one hour before bedtime.
7. Pure Encapsulations Best-Rest Formula 60 VegCaps
Pure Encapsulations manufactures its health products under strict quality control and research-based efficacy in a state-of-the-art FDA-approved plant in Sudbury, Massachusetts. The company outsources its raw ingredients from premium and trusted suppliers in Switzerland, France, Germany, and Japan. Pure Encapsulations has under its belt an array of third-party laboratories to ensure a tested product free of any additives or allergens.
With the combination of herbal extracts with researched benefits, Best-Rest Formula produces a number of positive effects to its consumers. The valerian content of this product is the standardized formulation and it has been deodorized for the consumer’s enjoyment. Valerian has exhibited anti-spastic properties in the clinical study by Z. Moghadam. It works by inhibiting the release of prostaglandins during a menstrual cycle preventing uterine muscle contraction resulting in pain relief in women. Best-Rest Formula also contains chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) extract, which is a potent anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antispasmodic, especially for painful menstruation.
Containing not just valerian and chamomile, Best-Rest Formula includes a roster of other herbal extracts. Hops (Humulus lupulus) have been frequently studied by researchers together with valerian for sleep support. In a clinical study by Charles Morin and the team, the valerian-hops combination showed a significant improvement in the intensity of insomnia reported by the study participants. This positive effect extended to the participants’ improved quality of life, and there were no residual effects or any rebound insomnia after the treatment. Aside from its anti-spasmodic ability, lemon balm extract has antioxidant properties. The clinical review by Sepide Miraj found evidence that lemon balm helps in preventing and treating diseases from oxidative stress. In a research study led by Andrew Scholey, lemon balm has shown positive effects on mood and cognitive performance, such as alertness and word recall.
Moreover, the passionflower extract content of the supplement is beneficial for sleep and anxiety. In a meta-analysis led by Lyca Fonseca, the researchers observed that passionflower has the same efficacy as oxazepam (an antianxiety drug). It also enhanced the sleep quality of the participants.
The supplement also contains melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland located in the central part of the brain. Researcher B. Claustrat mapped out the physiological effects of melatonin in the human body. It has sleep-inducing properties, and it functions as a regulator of the circadian rhythm.
Price range: $30.70
Producer: Pure Encapsulations
Its form: Capsules
Is it for sleep? Yes
Ingredients: Deodorized valerian root extract (standardized to 0.8% valerenic acid) 400 mg, lemon balm leaf extract (standardized to 5% rosmarinic acid) 150 mg, hops aerial parts extract 150 mg, passion flower aerial parts extract (standardized to contain 3.5% vitexin) 100 mg, chamomile flower extract 100 mg, melatonin 1 mg, GABA 300 mg, pyridoxal 5’phosphate (activated B6) 5 mg, ascorbyl palmitate 40 mg, cellulose, maltodextrin, gum arabic, silica, vegetarian capsule (cellulose, water)
Serving size: 60 capsules
Dose: The recommended dose is one to two capsules 30-60 minutes before bedtime.
8. Designs For Health Insomnitol 60 VegCaps
With a track record of 32 years, Designs for Health assures a “Science First” approach in manufacturing each health product. The company is dedicated to further advancing the research and application of dietary compounds by supporting clinical studies in collaboration with major institutions in research and academe.
Designs for Health formulated Insomnitol from a mixture of botanicals, nutrients, and neurotransmitters to enhance rest and sleep quality. The supplement works by providing the brain with nutrition for a calming effect stimulating the body’s natural ability to induce sleep and remain asleep. Using a vegetarian capsule, a standardized formulation of valerian, passionflower, and lemon herb reduces morning drowsiness and sleep hangovers possibly experienced from prescription sleep aids. Moreover, passionflower protects the body against free radicals, while lemon balm prevents muscle spasms.
A unique characteristic of the supplement is the addition of melatonin and vitamin B6. In a clinical study by Patrick Lemoine and the team, the combination of melatonin and vitamin B6 together with other medicinal plant extracts, such as passionflower and lemon balm, shortened the sleep onset latency, enhanced the sleep quality, and lessened the daytime functional disability of healthy adults experiencing mild-to-moderate insomnia. Moreover, the researchers observed high compliance and low probability of dependence and addiction compared to commercial sleep aids. The results from the clinical study of Gorica Djokic and his colleagues supported the previous research. They further even advanced the findings by experimenting with the effects of magnesium – melatonin – vitamin B complex combination. The combination has shown to be beneficial in the treatment of insomnia regardless of the cause.
Price range: $51.25 to $55.00
Producer: Designs for Health
Its form: Capsules
Is it for sleep? Yes
Ingredients: Valerian extract (8% valerenic acid) 200 mg, chamomile flower (1.2% apigenin 6:1) 100 mg, lemon balm herb top(3% rosmarinic acid 5:1) 100 mg, passion flower herb top (3.5% bioflavonoids 6:1) 100 mg, GABA 50 mg, L-5 HTP (Griffonia simplicifolia – seed) 50 mg, melatonin 1.5 mg, vitamin B6 (pyridoxal 5-phosphate) 5 mg, L-Theanine 50 mg, hypromellose, magnesium stearate (vegetable source), silicon dioxide
Serving size: 60 capsules
Dose: Take two (2) capsules 30-60 minutes before bedtime. The product is synthesized well with a balanced diet for better results.
9. Metagenics Myocalm Plus 180 Tabs
For over 35 years, Metagenics has produced premium supplements based on transparency and ingenuity. It is the first company to provide a web-based platform for its consumers to view the quality testing information for each health product manufactured. The team also tests each batch of ingredients over and above the required Certificate of Analysis from the supplier. With its commitment to safety and excellence, the company is National Sanitation Foundation International (NSF) certified, Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved, and US Pharmacopeia (USP) verified.
Metagenics Myocalm Plus promotes neuromuscular relaxation from its calcium and magnesium content. This supplement works best for minor discomfort from muscle tension brought about by stress or physical overexertion. Its health benefits come from the combined action of valerian, hops, lemon balm, and passionflower to promote a night of restful sleep.
Link to Purchase: https://www.premierformulas.com/metagenics/myocalm-plus-180-tabs
Price range: $45.44
Its form: Tablets
Is it for sleep? Yes
Ingredients: Calcium lactate 75 mg, Magnesium citrate 150 mg, Passionflower Flower 5.5:1 Extract 60 mg, Valerian Root Extract 30 mg, Hops Cone 7.5:1 Extract (60mg), Lemon Balm Leaf 5:1 Extract 150 mg, Microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, cellulose, stearic acid (vegetable), silica, coating (hypromellose, medium-chain triglycerides, and hydroxypropylcellulose)
Serving size: 180 tablets
Dose: Take three (3) tablets daily or as directed by a healthcare practitioner.
10. Vital Nutrients Sleep Aide 60 VegCaps
Vital Nutrients has always maintained quality and has adhered to regulatory requirements and standards on authenticity, potency, stability, and microbiology. They exceed the required skip lot testing by the FDA as they perform raw material evaluation per batch.
With over 200 science-based supplements manufactured by Vital Nutrients, Sleep Aide is a promising option for individuals with sleep problems. The health product contains seven herbal extracts to help calm the nervous system and support the sleep-wake cycle. With no gluten, dairy, or soy ingredient, the consumer is assured of a 100% tested allergen-free sleep aid. The valerian and passionflower extracts play an essential role in promoting sleep and reducing mood symptoms associated with lack of rest.
Another usage of the supplement is improving anxiety symptoms due to its valerian and lavender content. In the meta-analysis done by Davide Donelli and the team, the active constituents of lavender antagonize the N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor and inhibit the serotonin (SERT) transporter. This action explains the anti-agitation effect of lavender.
Link to Purchase: https://www.premierformulas.com/vital-nutrients/sleep-aide-60-caps
Price range: $33.80
Its form: Capsules
Is it for sleep? Yes
Ingredients: Passionflower Herb Extract 450 mg, Lemon Balm Leaf Extract 300 mg, Hops Strobile Extract 300 mg, California Poppy Herb Extract 225 mg, valeriana officinalis Root 225 mg, L-Theanine 150 mg, Lavender (Flowering Tops) Essential Oil 60 mg, Melatonin 0.75 mg, Vegetable Cellulose Capsule, Silica, and Calcium Carbonate
Serving size: 60 capsules
Dose: Take one to three capsules 15-30 minutes before bed.
How To Use A Valerian Supplement?
When using a valerian supplement, consider the following:
- Follow the instructions of the manufacturer or health practitioner. Most valerian supplements have a specific time to take the medicine relative to sleep for the desired effect.
- Take capsules and tablets with water. Valerian tinctures are mixed in water to help decrease the disagreeable taste of the herb.
- When using valerian tea, immerse one teaspoonful of valerian dried root, approximately 2 to 3 grams, in a cup of boiling water.
- When taking other drugs, like benzodiazepines, consult your healthcare provider. Valerian may amplify the effect of the drug in sedation.
- Since valerian promotes rest and sleep, avoid driving vehicles and machinery after taking it.
- Valerian and alcoholic beverages are not a good combination; do not take them together.
- Consult your physician for prolonged valerian use; the sedative effect of valerian may be addictive.
How Much Valerian Supplement Is Too Much Per Day?
A person should consume 400-900 mg of valerian supplements per day. After 600 mg of valerian, the body starts to show a decrease in sleep latency, and the consumer reports longer bedtime. Based on age, only young adults (18 to 25 years old) until middle-late adults (35 to 55 years old) have been participants to research studies on valerian up to more than 1,000 mg per day. There are no research studies to date involving teenagers below 18 years old. If the person is vegan, he can take the same dosage as non-vegan individuals for a specific age. The longest duration of valerian use in studies is six weeks. Beyond that, it is best to consult a health practitioner.
What Are The Possible Risks (Side-Effects) Of Valerian Supplements?
According to research studies, valerian is generally well-tolerated. In cases where side effects were observed, they were categorized as mild and may include the following:
- Daytime drowsiness
- Vivid dreams
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Dry mouth
- Gastrointestinal issues (diarrhea and abdominal pain)
Some conditions warrant an extra precaution through health practitioner consultation or withholding valerian supplementation since no scientific research supports efficacy, safety, and drug interaction. These persons at risk are as follows:
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women
- Teenagers below 18 years old and children
- Individuals whose livelihood constantly requires driving vehicles and operating machinery
- Patients taking benzodiazepines or other maintenance medications
- Persons scheduled for a surgical procedure needing anesthesia
What Is The Main Benefit And Use For Valerian Supplement?
The main benefit of valerian supplements is the treatment of insomnia. Other uses based on research studies are as follows but may not be limited to:
- Tension headaches and migraine
- Menopause symptoms, specifically hot flashes
- Premenstrual syndrome
Since the compounds of valerian works synergistically among themselves and with the active ingredients from other minerals and botanicals, valerian supplements are also used to alleviate the following:
- Anxiety: Valerian has been used traditionally for anxiety, yet no research studies are indicating its effect on the condition. However, valerian works synergistically with passionflower or lavender extract to be effective against the symptoms of anxiety.
- Stomach cramps: Supplements containing valerian and lemon balm extracts have antispasmodic effects helping dyspepsia or indigestion.
- Muscle fatigue: Valerian supplements may produce a feeling of tiredness accompanying relaxation and sleep. However, valerian paired with calcium and magnesium has a potential role in alleviating muscle cramps and spasms. Calcium is involved in muscle contraction, while magnesium helps to release over contracted muscles. This potential therapeutic effect is especially beneficial for people who constantly exercise and use their muscles in daily living.
What Are The Forms Of Valerian Supplements?
As with other health products, valerian supplements come in different forms.
- Valerian Pills: Being the most popular valerian supplement in the market, this delivery form is composed of capsules and tablets. Capsules contain valerian extract enclosed in water-soluble shells which can be made of gelatin or vegetable. Tablets, on the other hand, are a compressed form of valerian powder.
- Tincture: This preparation comes from valerian root extracted using an alcohol base resulting in a more concentrated liquid valerian product.
- Tea: The dried roots and leaves of valerian serve as the processing forms of valerian tea. Prepared loose or processed in tea bags, valerian is soaked in water until boiling point and taken thirty minutes before bedtime.
- Powder: This preparation is from the pulverized roots and leaves of valerian. It is an all-natural and chemically-unprocessed form usually dissolved in water, tea, coffee, and smoothies.
What Is The Difference Between Liquid And Pill Valerian Supplements?
Aside from the delivery form, the differences between liquid and pill valerian supplements are as follows:
- Formulation: Valerian capsules and tablets are often standardized to contain 0.8% valerenic acid. The liquid form of valerian may be of different formulations and extracted at different herb ratios. One supplement brand may be a 1:5 ratio (1 part herb to 5 parts alcohol), while another can be a 1:2 ratio, especially when fresh valerian parts are used.
- Taste: Valerian pills are manufactured using vegetable or gelatin capsules, suppressing the unappealing taste and smell of the extract. On the other hand, valerian tinctures showcase the taste and smell of the herb.
- Accurate dosage administration: Valerian dosage is expressed in standard measurement and printed on the packaging. Healthcare practitioners will find it easier to determine the exact dose in tablets and capsules. Consumers will conveniently identify the correct dosage compared to the tincture form.
- Ease and speed in consumption: Consumers can easily take valerian pills with a glass of water, while liquid valerian needs to be mixed in water, juice, or smoothies to mask the taste of the extract.
- Absorption: While both forms are relatively easy to absorb, valerian tincture is absorbed faster, and the process starts at the mucous membrane of the mouth. Capsules need to go through digestion, and they are absorbed after twenty to thirty minutes.
Is Liquid Valerian Supplement Better Than Valerian Pills?
No, consumers often find that valerian pills (capsules and tablets) are better than liquid or valerian tincture because of the absence of taste, standardized formulation, ease of consumption, and accurate dosing.
Does Valerian Powder Supplement Have Less Nutritional Value?
The answer is sometimes. Valerian powder is pure valerian and may or may not have the same nutritional content compared to other forms because not all valerian supplements are made equally. Some pills are often standardized to 0.8% valerenic acid, making them more potent in respect to that component and it’s actions on the body than pure whole powder, depending on the dose of powder.
Should I Buy a Gluten-Free Valerian?
Yes, if you have Celiac disease or other gluten-related disorders, such as wheat allergy, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten ataxia, and dermatitis herpetiformis, you should buy gluten-free valerian. Gluten-free valerian supplements are better than non-gluten-free valerian supplements since they do not contain gluten or ingredients that come from wheat, rye, or barley. The starches found in non-gluten-free valerian supplements can be used in tablets and capsules as excipients, diluents, disintegrants, or binding agents in low-quality supplement manufacturers. These ingredients do not add any benefits to the supplement and potentially cause harm. Due to the assurance that there are no hidden gluten compounds in gluten-free valerian supplements, people with certain health conditions, such as Celiac disease, prefer them.
Who Are The Best Producers Of Valerian Supplements?
The best producers of valerian supplements are companies that have a good industry reputation, strictly maintain GMP, and utilize high-quality ingredients and standard formulation. Here is a list of the well-known valerian producers:
- Gaia Herbs
- Wise Woman Herbals
- Herb Pharm
- Vital Nutrients
- Nature’s Way
- Pure Encapsulations
- Designs for Health
How Does Premier Formulas Choose The Best Valerian Supplements?
At Premier Formulas we only select valerian supplements that have undergone an extensive assessment of documented proof that the manufacturing company follows federal cGMP regulations and guidelines. Samples of their products from our own inventory must also pass initial and quarterly randomized testing from independent laboratories. Our key mission is to provide high-quality supplements and the information for our patrons to use them in an educated, effective and safe manner. We want you to know that we care about your health when choosing your valerian supplements. After all, we give the same products to our family as we provide to you and your family.
Where Can I Buy Valerian Supplements?
Valerian supplements can be purchased in physical stores and online. Premier Formulas has an array of health products from premium manufacturers who have marked prominence and adherence to GMP and third-party certifications. Included are the price and website links to order the valerian supplement.
- NOW – Valerian Root 500 mg 100 caps – $9.99
- Pure Encapsulations – Best-Rest Formula 60 caps – $29.30
- Herb Pharm – Valerian 4 ounces – $46.00
- Vital Nutrients – Valerian Root 625 mg 60 caps – $17.80
- Gaia Herbs Valerian 50 liquid vcaps – $27.99
Who Should Not Take Valerian?
While valerian is generally safe to take, a few individuals in certain conditions should not take the supplement.
- Breastfeeding and pregnant women: The extent of benefit and safety of valerian in the fetus and newly-born babies have not been studied.
- Individuals with liver disease or risk factors for liver damage: Valerian has been linked to hepatotoxicity, though more studies are needed about its relative effects on the liver.
- Children: The warning is drawn for kids below three years old. A special precaution is also needed for children below 12 years planning on taking the supplement.
- Workers who need to drive vehicles or operate machinery: Valerian is known to cause sedation, raising the risk of accidents.
- People already taking another sleep aid: Drug interactions might cause an overdose, heightened symptoms of sedation, or adverse effects.
Is Valerian Better Than Melatonin As Sleeping Aid?
While valerian has proven research-based benefits against insomnia in adults, melatonin has established evidence of safe use in children six to twelve years old. Valerian may be organically produced, while melatonin occurs naturally in the body. The deciding factor is the type of sleep problem. Valerian is recommended for insomnia and sleep quality improvement, while melatonin is best for altered sleep patterns.
What Is The Difference Between Valerian And Melatonin?
While valerian and melatonin have been used alone or together to enhance sleep, they have differences:
- Source: Valerian comes from the plant Valeriana officinalis, and it is processed into a standardized extract to produce tincture, capsules, and tablets. Melatonin occurs naturally in the human body as a sleep-regulating hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It is also produced commercially as a supplement.
- Role in sleep treatment: Valerian improves the general sleep quality in patients with insomnia, while melatonin targets the circadian rhythm. The latter is recommended for individuals who have delayed sleep-wake phase disorder, those whose sleep cycle is altered due to jet lag, and people who work with shifting schedules.
- The standard dosage of valerian is 400 to 900 mg per day. Melatonin is relatively low at 3 to 5 mg.
- Onset and period of efficacy: In research studies, valerian needs multi-doses to affect sleep, while melatonin affects at a single dose.
- The extent of age-related studies: Research studies on valerian involved study subjects as young as 18 years old, while melatonin had positive clinical research involving six to twelve years old.
- Length of supplementation: Based on research, the longest period of valerian usage is eight weeks, while melatonin has been used safely for two years with a physician’s recommendation and regular assessment.
- Other health benefits: Valerian has proven effects against migraines, tension headaches, premenstrual syndrome, depression, hot flashes in menopause, and convulsions. Melatonin has properties that help colon and breast cancer, hypertension, and immune function.
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