Valerian, scientific name Valeriana officinalis, also known as garden valerian or setwall, is a plant belonging to the Valerianaceae family with relaxing and sedative properties that are useful against anxiety, agitation, insomnia or tachycardia, headache or menstrual cramps and even irritated bowel and colitis. Valerian actually has many varieties, almost 250, but Valeriana officinalis is the one used in phytotherapy since ancient Roman and Greek times. It is indeed particularly rich in calming active substances that act both on the nervous system and on the intestine, for this reason the remedy results able to promote sleep and its quality, to relieve mental stress and anxiety, to allow you to relax naturally. Valerian roots are used to prepare herbal teas, drops or capsules. Do not use during pregnancy, breastfeeding, in children or if you are already taking other sedative drugs to avoid interactions. The combination with alcohol can amplify the effect of valerian so avoid to take them together. The advice is to take valerian for short periods, not more than ten days, prolonged use can cause side effects such as headache, excitability and insomnia.
Herbal tea for internal use
Bring to boil a cup of water, remove it then from heat and infuse a teaspoon of dried valerian for ten minutes, then filter and you can drink the herbal tea before going to sleep for a sedative action.
Herbal tea for external use
You can prepare a valerian decoction by boiling for a few minutes a liter of water with two tablespoons of valerian flowers and roots, then filter and once lukewarm you can apply a soaked gauze on the parts of the body affected by muscular and joint pains.
You can take 15-30 drops of mother tincture in a glass of water to control anxious crises, excitability, nervous tension, irritability, stress-related headache and tachycardia.
You can take 1 or 2 tablets, maximum 500-600 mg, before going to sleep. An amount higher than 600 mg can give side effects such as sleepiness and numbness even during the day.