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Both groups had the same improvement in sleep quality, and the valerian group reported fewer side effects than the oxazepam group. The study was designed to demonstrate the superiority of valerian over oxazepam, so the results should not be used as an equivalence.
An extensive literature review identified 16 eligible studies with a total of 1,093 patients. Most studies had significant methodological problems with valerian, and the dose, preparation and duration of treatment varied widely. Dichotome results (improvement in sleep quality or not) were reported in 6 studies that showed a significant benefit (relative risk of improved sleep) of 1.8% (95% confidence interval 1.2% -2.9%), but there was no evidence of publication bias in these studies.
In 9 studies there were big differences in the dose of valerian. Only 4 of the 9 studies had a statistically significant benefit, and 4 studies reported results that were tiny enough to find at least one trend in favor of valerian.
The benzodiazepine group reported more unpleasant symptoms than the 10% valerian group. In 1996, researchers at the Psychiatric University of Basel in Switzerland found that valerian extract was more effective in treating insomnia than benzadiazepines, with fewer side effects.
Various clinical studies have shown that the standardized valerian extract, taken in doses of up to 900 mg one hour before bedtime, can improve sleep quality and cause less coarseness in the morning. Small doses (up to 400 mg) have been shown to relieve stress and anxiety.
Avoid combining valerian root with sedatives such as barbiturates (phenobarbital, secobarbital) and benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Ativan). Do not combine valerian root with alcohol or other sleeping pills or antidepressants. The safety of Valeria root has not been tested on children under 3 years of age.
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If you are planning surgery, inform your doctor or anesthesiologist before taking valerian root. Valerian root can enhance the effect of anaesthesia. If you are already taking medication, ask your doctor if it is safe to take it. It has a calming effect, and that can be addictive.
After tea, soak 2-3 grams of dried valerian root in 1 cup of hot water for 10-15 minutes. If valerian root seems to work, take it daily for two or more weeks. Do not take it more than a month before talking to your doctor.
Throughout history, valerian has been used for its medicinal properties. Some of these properties are contained in the root. Most modern valerian supplements contain the root in capsules to make them more convenient to use. It can also be used to make teas and other blends.
Valerian preparations marketed as dietary supplements are made from valerian root rhizome (underground strain) or stolon (horizontal strain). The dried roots are processed into tea, tincture or dried plant material, which is then extracted, packaged in capsules and incorporated into tablets .
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Learn about their differences, how they work, possible side effects and interactions, and the best dosages for different situations. Valerian root is a herb that people use as a sedative and sleep aid. It is also available as a supplement in the United States. Sources: 3
Valerian root can be combined with other soothing herbs such as hops (hops humulus lupulus) and balm (balm officianalis) to treat insomnia. In a study of children with mild sleep problems published in Phytomedicine, 81 percent of those who took a herbal combination of valerian root and lemon balm reported sleeping better than those who took a placebo.
The results of this study indicate that valerian extract releases GABA into the brain and nerve endings, which prevents the uptake of GABA by nerve cells. In addition, valerian valerian acid inhibits the enzyme that destroys GABA, so it can improve your GABA levels and promote a great night’s sleep.
Leathwood, PD, Chauffard, F. E., Munoz-Box, R. Aqueous extract of valerian root (Valeriana officinalis L.) improves sleep quality in men. Activity of commercial valerian root extracts on human cytochrome P450-3A4. Interactions of valerian extracts with different polarity adenosine receptors and identification of isovaltrate inverse agonists at the A1 receptor. Leathwood-PD, Chauffard F. An aqueous extracted valerian reduces the latency of falling asleep in humans.
Mennini, T., Bernasconi, P., Bombardelli, E., et al. A study on the interaction of extracts of pure compounds from the root of Valeriana officinalis with GABA, benzodiazepines and barbiturate receptors in the brains of rats. Bernasconis, P. and Bombardellis, E. Valerian root: traditional use and current evaluation of activity.
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It is strongly recommended not to take valerian as benzodiazepine. High-quality products come in different dosages and strengths, so you should consider buying them carefully. As with any other supplement, buying from a reputable manufacturer that adheres to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) is essential.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take valerian, contrary to medical advice, as there is a possible risk to the fetus or infant (not assessed) (36). Children under 3 years of age should also not take it, as there may be potential risks to the child if they have not been evaluated (36).
Sleep supplements are gaining momentum in the UK as more of us look for something to help us sleep. These supplements contain ingredients such as melatonin, valerian root, lemon balm and 5-HTP. The trouble is that there is nothing legal in Britain that does not contain melatonin.
Given that individuals tend to react differently to supplements, one has to wonder how they would fare in a test group like this. One exception is melatonin, which workers say could help them switch between day and night shifts and cope with jet lag.
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