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Treating depression and anxiety with valerian herb roots

Updated on April 27, 2013

Ancient use of Valerian root as a sedative is spreading through Internet

The power of Internet in spreading thousands of years old practices of humans in different parts of the world. Being a Hubpages member I stumbled on the article by Wesman Todd Shaw "How I Learned To Get The Rest and Sleep That I Need Using Melatonin and Valerian Root". Looks like it is going to change my life.

It captured my imagination as I have been suffering from insomania, depression and anxiety for last 30 years. I have been on and off the drugs for quite some time. I started with Venlafaxine for many years then Nexito for quite some time. The sleep part could be achieved with the help of sleeping pills and last one year has been on a daily basis as prescribed by the doctor.

All along I have been quite negative and filled with dark feelings which has taken a huge toll on every front i.e. family, work and social. Everything was about to change.

I started searching for avenues to buy Valerian in India and could find it being manufactured by a reputed company specializing in herbal medicines, The Himalyan Drugs. And within a day I could get it in a local store under the brand name of Tagara. I could not get the Melatonin thing. The effect is amazing. The entire negative load of the mood has been pushed aside and I am able to smile. The world looks different. The sleep is improving and may be I will be able to live the remaining part of my life as a normal human being.


  • Most importantly the roots can become a game changer for me, it changed my mood from dark to bright. Let us see it it stays like that in future.
  • I got relieved from breathing problem, an offshoot of anxiety in all probabilities
  • Sleepy and drowsiness feelings were of different kind. Looked like that the Valerian roots act in a more holistic manner on sleep agents of the body
  • The anxiety and depression, the twins which have been ruling my life got drastically reduced

The other side

  • Nothing in this world is one sided. There are some uncomfortable feelings also alon with all the benefits. I have a history of suffering from palpitations and I could sense that the Valerian roots have kind of induced heart palpitations. I am trying to observ the signals
  • There is a drowsy and dull feeling all through the day. I am able to manage my office duty which are not exactly exacting but in cases where people have to undertake critical assignments like operating machinery or things like that, the effects of the roots can be called undesirable.
  • The senses become dull so to that extent the driving is a challenge

My final say

  • We need to act like a scientist who is observing an experiment and in this case it is experiment on our own body and mind.
  • I am trying to regulate the dosage and still in that process. I am planning to take the medicine only during the night.
  • The overall impact is too magical for me to give it up in face of certain undesirable effects like palpitations and drowsiness
  • One need to carry out a bit of research to find the genuine sources and right dosages

What other have to say

We will see what some of the prominent agencies have to say on the wonder herb Valerian Root.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) of U.S. National Library of Medicine

Overall Judgement

In terms of effectiveness NIH rates Valerian Roots at 3rd level of effectiveness i.e. “Possibly effective for” Insomnia but not as fast as normal sleeping pills. It says that the roots can be improve the sleep quality of people who are on the withdrawal trip from sleeping pills. The final verdict is that the studies are not conclusive.

Regarding the properties of Valerian roots as the herbal medicine for treating anxiety and depression the body comes out with the judgment of inconclusive study.

Safety concerns

According to NIH the drug is in the safe category if used in short terms barring a few side effects which include “headache, excitability, uneasiness, and even insomnia in some people. A few people feel sluggish in the morning after taking valerian, especially at higher doses. It’s best not to drive or operate dangerous machinery after taking valerian”. Caution is recommended during pregnancy, breast feeding and surgery.

The Dosages

The site recommends following dosage for Insomnia

· 400-900 mg valerian extract up to 2 hours before bedtime for as long as 28 days

· Or Valerian extract 120 mg, with lemon balm extract 80 mg 3 times daily for up to 30 days

· Or a combination product containing valerian extract 187 mg plus hops extract 41.9 mg per tablet, 2 tablets at bedtime for 28 days.

Question Mark on Pshychiatric Drugs and the entire System

Is it possible that the society is being taken for a ride? It may be possible especially in the case of existence of such drugs as Valerian roots long back established as sedative and working favorably on nervous system. A lot more research is needed but no one can deny the potential. If you are on pills for insomania, anxiety and depression try the magical roots after due dilligence.


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    • Little Grandmommy profile image

      Gail 5 years ago from Small Town Tennessee

      I drink a combination chamomile/valerian tea every night to help me sleep. It relaxes me and lets me fall asleep and stay asleep. This is a very good hub. A lot of very good information. Thumbs up!