Valerian will help you avoid sleepless nights

Monday, June 17, 2013 by: P. Simard
Tags: valerian root, insomnia remedies, sleep aids

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(NaturalNews) The valerian plant, part of the valerianaceae family, is an indigenous species native to Europe and Asia but it has been naturalized in America thanks to its now well recognized tranquilizing, relaxing and sedative properties which are of great assistance when wanting to get rid of sleep problems. Chemically speaking, valerian stabilizes the nervous system and can be very helpful to individuals suffering from health conditions such as panic attacks, tension, stress, irritability, anxiety, depression, hysteria or excitability.

Taken in reasonable quantities, valerian doesn't induce continual drowsiness or sleepiness during the day, as other drugs most likely do. Based on promising scientific research, more tests are now being considered to study the effects of valerian on severe physical ailments like epilepsy, neuralgia and multiple sclerosis. Valerian has been utilized in various instances to reduce symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which as we all know can drive many teachers and parents crazy, while feeling way too often helpless in the process. By extension, these tranquilizing and calming effects of valerian may ultimately also play a solid role in stabilizing the circulatory and digestive systems. Most importantly in regards to valerian when taken in reasonable quantities, it does not get you addicted and unlike other prescription drugs, its intake will not hinder your movements or actions such as driving.

Tests have shown that valerian works

The Scientific Literature produced a review on trials which were conducted in order to verify if valerian could be considered as a valid treatment for insomnia. There were a total of nine trials but some of them stood out with significant results in favor of valerian. These tests were randomly combining valerian extracts with their placebo counterparts. In essence, participants of these studies displayed on average, a much better response to the valerian extract, especially the ones that initially identified themselves as poor sleepers. It was noted that these participants were falling asleep more quickly and felt the quality of their sleep had really improved.

Based on a study revealed in a 2010 article of the Phytomedicine Journal, researchers discovered that a brain neurotransmitter called GABA interacts with valerian and produces an anti-anxiety effect. This study was done on two groups of rats left to roam in a maze. The group of rats which was given valerian or more precisely valerenic acid, its active constituent, seemed a lot less anxious than the other one. The researchers concluded that valerian may well be a viable option to individuals looking for an alternative instead of being given prescription drugs to relieve them from symptoms of anxiety.

The Journal of Ethnopharmacology published a study conducted on rats which measured the anti-epileptic effects of valerian. All convulsive activity was monitored through electrodes planted in the temporal lobe area of the brain. Researchers basically came to the understanding that adenosine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter believed to promote sleep, plays an important role in the activity of valerian on the nervous system. This study reasserted valerian's potential as an alternate treatment for epilepsy.

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About the author:
After spending several years working in property management and being a web consultant for PS Communications, P. Simard is now focusing on being a naturopath in Quebec.

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