The meaning of the word valerian refers to welfare state or feeling of happiness.
It is not for less, since the objective sought when we prepare a valerian tea it is to initiate a state of relaxation that allows us to conceive sleep and rest.
We know the effects of valerian for this type of situation where stress takes over us (exams, job interviews, first dates, etc.).
However, many of us may have a profound ignorance of other effects and medicinal properties of valerian tea.
That is the goal of this article, where we want to look for the main medical references and research studies that have echoed valerian tea.
Already in the texts of ancient Greece of Dioscorides detailed descriptions of the plant with “sedative effects” and central nervous system relaxant were made, and references were shown to how it had to be taken and specific amounts, including valerian tea
Nowadays much more progress has been made and the exact amounts to produce a benefit in our body are well known, either through infusions or concentrated root extracts. .
This advantage can be taken advantage of through valerian tea, a simple and practical way to prepare it, or through pure extracts that we can buy in supermarkets and specialized stores.
Characteristics of the plant
Although most of them retain the same medicinal properties, there are small differences between them, being the most cultivated and consumed in the world. Valerian officinalis.
Depending on the country where valerian tea is prepared, we can find other varieties, such as Valerian fauriei (in some areas of India) or Valerian angustifolia (especially in the Asian areas of Japan and China).
Valerian can be grown both in the garden, directly in the ground, and in pots, being able to have it on our terrace or balcony.
His sowing it is done from March, when temperatures begin to rise and there is no longer so much risk of frost. We can do it with a small seedbed with a lid, to better preserve the temperature and humidity.
We can also obtain new plants from another adult, taking a healthy stem of 10 cm and introducing it into water until the first white rootlets appear.
We will arrange our substrate, of slightly acidic pH, with organic matter and good drainage and we will do the transplant.
One temperate climate will favor its rapid growth, looking for an environment with good lighting but without direct sun. In cold climates, it will be indicated to grow it in protected environments or indoors.
Valerian is not used to dry environments, so we will have to water it at least 3 times a week in summer and 1 time a week when temperatures drop, in autumn-winter.
Valerian roots will be collected in the autumn and spring seasons, from which the valerian tea.
Nutritional composition of valerian
Precisely, the valerian plant does not stand out for its nutritional content but rather for its chemical composition, which we will describe below.
Concentration for 100 grams of pure valerian extract.
- Energy: 21 kcal
- Fats: 0 g
- Proteins: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 3,6 g
Mainly, valerian contains some of the following compounds:
- Valerenic acid
Many of these compounds have the prefix of the word valerian, since they have been discovered in this plant or accumulate a concentration higher than others. medicinal plants.
What has been documented is that the positive effects of valerian tea intake are not related to one or vIt is part of the synergy of each and every one of them in the exact concentration of the plant.
What is known today from open research on valerian tea and its properties is that essential oils provide the sedative effect, while the compound valepotriato and its derivatives act on the nervous system.
We can find a good bibliographic base on the pharmacological activity of valerian tea.
From 1995 was when more exhaustive studies were published on the use of this medicinal plant and its activity with antispasmodic and sedative effects.
The essential oils of valerian act directly on the nervous system, facilitating a state of intense relaxation.
This is because its components are able to interact on the brain’s neurotransmitters (GABA).
This effect can be achieved both with valerian tea and with other forms of preparation, such as tincture or pills with extract of this medicinal plant.
Treatment of insomnia
The effect of various medicinal plants on falling asleep has been studied over the decades.
The interesting thing about valerian is that it has a great effect when it comes to stimulating sleep without adverse or significant side effects.
An increase in the percentage of slow waves (the third phase of sleep) which leads to a reduction in nighttime awakenings.
These slow waves are intimately related to the ability to memorize new concepts and daily situations and the learning process, so we can indirectly improve our ability to retain in memory.
For this, it has been scientifically considered that these effects against insomnia of valerian tea are applicable from 2 weeks of consumption of this medicinal plant.
A scientific trial in women of menopausal age found a considerable reduction in the severity of hot flashes and their frequency over the treatment period (2 months), by taking 765 mg of valerian extract each day. [See study]
In addition, those women who suffer from painful menstruation or premenstrual syndrome can also obtain benefits from this medicinal plant, reducing pain-related symptoms on an emotional, physical and behavioral level.
Restless legs syndrome
A study with a duration of 2 months conducted in people with restless legs syndrome showed a notable reduction in symptoms after taking daily 800 mg per day of valerian extract, also acting on the improvement of sleep quality.
The Parkinson’s disease it is present in everyday life in many people from different countries. Therapies to decrease pain and facilitate daily life are necessary, and improvements can be achieved with valerian root extract or taken as an infusion.
The conclusions obtained in different trials indicate an improvement in behavior against the disease, reduction of the derived inflammatory processes and an improvement in the volume of antioxidants present.
Its effects are derived from the neuroprotective potential against the neurotoxin MPTP.
Prepare valerian root tea
At home, we can prepare a great infusion of valerian root, since it concentrates many of the phytochemicals that provide us with the benefits already mentioned.
The recipe for the preparation of valerian tea is as follows:
- 1 to 3 grams of valerian extract
- 300 ml of water.
Heat the water until it comes to a boil. Once the temperature is reached, add the valerian extract, preferably in a permeable closed sachet. Let it cool and the valerian tea will be ready to consume.
How to take it valerian extract
Recommendations for dosage and consumption of the valerian tea is set at an amount of 2 to 3 grams per day.
In TinTura, a dose of 1 to 3 ml is recommended (based on diluted ethanol 1:5 to 70% concentration), with the aim of reducing nervous tension, feeling of nerves or restlessness and symptoms of irritability. This tincture can be consumed up to 3 times a day, recommended in the last hours of the day or 2 hours before sleeping.
Both the tincture and the valerian tea, its consumption is oral, there being no impositions of restriction as to the duration of the treatment, because no symptoms of dependence on valerian tea or withdrawal syndrome have been recorded.
The most natural way is the consumption of valerian tea, since this way of taking it is associated with a relaxing effect (the hot and steaming cup, the moment of relaxation, etc.).
However, there are also other more practical ways for people with little time who need help sleeping.
In general, most concentrates of valerian pills include other medicinal plants with synergistic or similar actions.
For example, we can find along with this extract also concetrado of passionflower, dry extract of poppy, melatonin, vitamin B3 and B6, etc.
His recommendation is the consumption of 1 pill a day, 1 hour before sleeping.
Contraindications and side effects
In the human being, the toxicity that can prove valerian tea it is very low.
To have mild adverse effects (dizziness, hand tremor, chest tightness, etc.) it is necessary to consume 20 times the dose established in clinical trials, and much more through valerian tea.
Toxic activity of c has been demonstratedompuesto valeranona from quantities exceeding 3g/kg. In an adult man, it would mean the intake of more than 200 grams daily.
It should not be given to children under 3 years of age.
In case of overdose due to consumption of valerian root (amount set at more than 20 grams of root), the symptoms of intoxication are benign (feeling dizzy, drowsy, etc.) and disappear after 24 hours of ingestion.
The adverse effects of combining valerian tea with specific drugs have been studied, and no interaction has been cited.
There is no established critical period of consumption in pregnancy, as well as a safety period. Therefore, you should consult with a doctor about it.