Valerian: A Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders?


Valerian: A Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders?

Valerian is an herb known for its potential calming and sleep-promoting properties. It has been used for centuries to treat anxiety, insomnia, and restlessness. In recent years, there has been increasing scientific research on valerian to understand its effects on anxiety.


How Does Valerian Work for Anxiety?

Valerian contains an active ingredient called valerenic acid, which is thought to interact with GABA receptors in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and sleep. By binding to GABA receptors, valerian may enhance the effects of GABA, resulting in a calming and relaxing effect.

How Effective is Valerian for Treating Anxiety Disorders?

Some studies suggest that valerian may be effective in treating mild to moderate anxiety disorders. One small study found that valerian was as effective as a placebo in improving anxiety symptoms, and even slightly better than a placebo. Other studies have shown that valerian may help improve sleep quality, which in turn can alleviate anxiety symptoms.

However, it’s important to note that there is some controversy surrounding the effectiveness of valerian for anxiety. Some studies have not found valerian to be more effective than a placebo. Additionally, most studies have been small in size, and more large-scale studies are needed to confirm its effectiveness.

Side Effects and Risks of Valerian

Valerian is generally considered safe, but it can cause some side effects such as drowsiness, headache, stomach upset, and allergic reactions. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult a doctor before taking valerian.

How to Use Valerian?

Valerian is available in various forms, including tea, capsules, liquid extracts, and tinctures. The recommended dosage varies depending on the product and individual circumstances. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for the correct dosage and usage instructions before using valerian.


While valerian has some potential for treating anxiety, more research is needed to determine its effectiveness and safety. If you are considering using valerian for anxiety, make sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist to ensure it is right for you. Remember, valerian should not replace professional medical advice or treatment.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. If you are experiencing anxiety or other health concerns, please consult a healthcare professional.

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