Valerian, whose scientific name is Valeriana officinalis, is a flowering plant, which is native to Europe and some parts of Asia. This plant produces small white to pink flowers, which are sweetly scented. The uses of valerian root have been recognized by humans for a very long time. While the scented flowers were used for making perfumes, the roots were used to treat several diseases. It is believed that ancient Greeks and Romans had used this herb for medicinal purposes, especially to treat insomnia.
Today, valerian root extract is available in the form of tincture, dried roots and capsules, and is used as a dietary supplement. Liquid valerian extract and herbal tea are also used for therapeutic purposes. Though this herb is being used for a very long time, there is no standardized valerian dosage that is accepted universally. This is because herbs are available in various forms and there is no standardization of dosage as in the case of conventional medication.
Dosage of Valerian Root
Valerian root dosage is decided on the basis of various factors. They include the form of the herb, the disease to be treated and the condition of the affected person. This herb is used for treating various medical conditions, especially, insomnia and anxiety. Even though, there is no scientific evidence to prove the effectiveness of this herb in treating these conditions, its popularity is still soaring. In fact, it is one of the widely accepted herbs that is used for treating the above said conditions.
Apart from that, valerian root is also used for treating migraine and digestive problems. This herb is used in various forms like tea, tincture, capsules and tablets. Even the quality of this herbal product may vary from one brand to another. As far as valerian dosage is concerned, very little research has been done till date. All these factors make it difficult to determine a standardized dosage for valerian root, irrespective of its form and brand. However, the past clinical studies suggest low doses for sleep and anxiety.
For Anxiety and Insomnia
- In case of insomnia, valerian root has to be taken at least one hour before bedtime. If it does not work effectively, you may also take it a little earlier.
- For standardized extract, the dosage is around 30 to 400 mg per day.
- The dosage of crude valerian root may range between two to ten grams a day, as per requirement.
- If you are taking tincture, then the dose will be around half to one teaspoon (daily).
- In case of capsules or tablets, the daily dosage could be between 300 to 500 mg.
- One to two cups of valerian tea per day is recommended for insomnia. The teapot has to be covered, while preparing valerian tea, so that the volatile valerian root oils do not escape.
Valerian dosage for anxiety is decided as per the condition of the patient and so, there is no standard measure. It is suggested that half the quantity of valerian root dosage prescribed for insomnia, will be sufficient for people with anxiety and depression. Sometimes, valerian root is used with other herbs like skullcap, lemon balm or chamomile, for treating anxiety. It will take around two to four weeks for the treatment to show results. This duration may also vary from one person to another. In most cases, individual condition is taken into consideration, while determining the dosage. Valerian dosage for children has to be decided by a qualified herbal practitioner only.
Valerian root dosage has to be followed strictly, as the herb may cause certain side effects in case of excessive use or overdose. There are reports of side effects like headaches, drowsiness, inability to concentrate and daytime sleepiness. People with liver problems, pregnant women and nursing mothers should not take valerian root, as it may interact with some prescription medicines. The same applies to those, who are about to undergo any type of surgery.
Avoid consumption of alcohol, while using this herb. It is not advisable to use it for more than a month. Sudden discontinuation of valerian root usage is also not advisable. It is suggested that valerian dosage has to be lowered gradually, before stopping the use of this herb. So, you must approach a qualified herbal practitioner for such treatments and make sure to follow his/her instructions regarding dosage and mode of treatment.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your physician is the safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.