Author Topic: Valerian Root: What, Where, Why & How (Much)  (Read 28670 times)

Offline 4myhoonie

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Valerian Root: What, Where, Why & How (Much)
« on: November 07, 2007, 08:18:33 AM »
I had to share my amazing results last night! My dd (4 and a half) and my ds (2) both have been sick this past week with cough, congestion mess. They showed a TON of improvement yesterday from me giving them Lobelia every 3 hrs. Of course night time is always the worse and I rub them down with a homemade rub -- peppermint and eucalyptus oil mixed with coconut oil and my son immediately fell asleep. My dd was exhausted and would doze off but start coughing, and coughing and COUGHING!! AAAHHHH!! I took her shirt off and rubbed her down again -- her chest, back and feet.... but the poor thing could not go 2 minutes without coughing. She would doze, then cough, doze, cough...anyway after about 20 min I finally got up and got her some Valerian tincture -- she took almost a tsp and IMMEDIATE results!! It was AMAZING!! Not one more cough! I was in shock, and so thankful--- so maybe it will work for someone else? Just had to share my amazing Valerian story.... ;D

do you know what else this can be used for?  just wondering if it has lots of uses to have it around for.
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Offline Rikki

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Re: Valerian Root: What, Where, Why & How (Much)
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2007, 08:31:53 AM »
We really use it for helping us sleep. We own a business so my dh sometimes finds it hard to sleep if he has a lot on his mind -- this has been the BEST herb for a wonderful night sleep without feeling groggy in the morning. It also helped me yesterday relieve a bad headache. I copied this from bulk herb store-

It is good to normalize heart palpitations, slows action of heart while strengthening it. Good for circulatory system. Valerian has also been employed as a sedative in the treatment of nervousness, hysteria, and convulsions. Other afflictions which valerian has been credited with curing include: bruises, coughs, croup, the plague, hypochondria, migraine headaches, epilepsy, some forms of fever and most diseases of the nervous system.

In Indo-China, the root is part of an herbal combination used to treat indigestion and toothache. It is used alone to ease inflammation.

Valerian acts as a soother and depressor of the central nervous system. Several sources indicate that it is not a narcotic, although there is disagreement on that matter. It is a good treatment for the general condition of nervousness. It increases heart action and temperature, causing a feeling of exhilaration, stimulates circulation, secretion and peristalsis for the stomach and intestines. It is eliminated from the body through the mucous membranes of the kidneys, bronchial tubes and genitourinary tract.

One interesting result of our nutritional study is that valerian root has the highest calcium content of any herb we tested. In fact, valerian farmers find that the plant prefers calcareous soils over shales.

Contains aromatic compounds that have a sedative effect, acting to decrease anxiety and aggression. These compounds also relieve smooth muscle spasms, lower blood pressure and improve sleep quality in cases of insomnia. The herb is relatively inactive in normal sleepers. Valerian is the very best herbal source of calcium and an excellent herbal source of magnesium. It has been used to treat nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, stomach cramps, muscle spasms, hysteria, and convulsions.
The root of the valerian plant, which emanates a putrid odor similar to that of bad cheese or mildewed clothing, has the power to sooth the nerves, quiet heart palpitations, stimulate digestion, strengthen the circulatory system, heal ulcers, relax and smooth muscles, relieve anxiety, ease hypertension and calm hyperactivity.

Traditionally valerian has been used medicinally to treat nervous disorders, hypochondria, migraines, insomnia, depression, cramps, croup, colic, flatulence, whooping cough, typhoid, fever, epilepsy, vertigo, convulsions, diabetes, cholera, sores, heart palpitations, stomach ulcers, vaginal yeast infections, premenstrual syndrome, bed-wetting and sleep disorders.

Hundreds of experiments have been conducted on valerian primarily in Germany and Russia. These studies have substantiated the herb’s effectiveness in the treatment of nervous, circulatory, digestive and sleep disorders. Valerian root targets the higher brain centers, suppressing and regulating the autonomic nervous system. Consequently, valerian is very effective in dispelling psychosomatic diseases which result from a glitch in the regulation of the autonomic nervous system. Valerian pacifies the fear of hypochondriacs, soothes the nervous and calms the hysterical.

For over 10 years, valerian has been employed in Germany to treat children with behavioral disorders such as hyperactivity.

In addition to easing stress and reducing hypertension, studies who that valerian slows the heart rate while increasing the power of each beat, making the action of the heart more efficient and less strained. Since valerian also regulates the heart beat, it is very effective in the treatment of heart palpitations. In Guatemala, valerian is the key ingredient in an herb preparation used to lower blood pressure.

In addition to it benefits for the circulatory system, studies show valerian eases gastrointestinal ailments and aids digestion. The herb stimulates secretions in the stomach and the intestines, helping heal and prevent ulcers.

Whether taken in a tincture, tea or capsule, valerian has proven to be on of the safest and most effective sedatives available.

Although valerian can be taken in a variety of ways including elixir, extract, infusion, powder, solid or tincture, the herb should never be boiled since much of its therapeutic value is in the essential oils which would dissipate. The herb can be preserved in glycerin without any loss of potency.

Studies showed that valerian tincture was only effective in a large enough dose. One full teaspoon of tincture relieved smooth muscle spasms, induced sleep and acted as a sedative.

Adding valerian to other herb formulas enhances their tonic, antispasmodic and nervine properties. For example, a combination of hot valerian and cayenne pepper has been used to treat hysteria, convulsions and colic.


So there you go!! Plenty of reasons to have Valerian! It is stinky tho... ;D

Offline naturalgirl

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Re: Valerian Root: What, Where, Why & How (Much)
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2007, 08:42:51 AM »
Catnip also acts similar to Valerian as the active chemicel make up is almost the same. If you don't have valerian on hand catnip can be a good substitute. :)

Offline 1ofeach

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Re: Valerian Root: What, Where, Why & How (Much)
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2007, 03:20:28 PM »
I bought some Valerian powder from Mountain Rose Herbs but have yet to use it. I thought I could put some in the gel caps I got from MRH too. I'd like to give some to my daughter who's sick and has a hard time sleeping w/ this illness, but I don't want her to be my guinea pig. She's 12, but is tall and weighs 125. Any ideas? (Since this thread says how much.)

TIA for any help w/ this. I don't want to give her too much and kill her!

Offline chopchop

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Re: Valerian Root: What, Where, Why & How (Much)
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2007, 04:22:22 PM »
Quote
I bought some Valerian powder...I'd like to give some to my daughter who's sick and has a hard time sleeping w/ this illness, but I don't want her to be my guinea pig. She's 12, but is tall and weighs 125. Any ideas? (Since this thread says how much.)

TIA for any help w/ this. I don't want to give her too much and kill her!

Adult dosage would be accurate for that weight range.  I am most familiar with tincture form, but I quote:
Quote
Directions
Valerian is typically taken in tincture, capsule, or tea form, 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime. To be an effective sedative, the tincture form should be taken in dosages of 1/2 to 2 teaspoons, depending on the concentration. The tea is made by pouring a cup of boiling water over 1 to 3gm of dried root and then leaving to steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Tablets, capsules, and dry extracts are usually taken at a dose of 150 to 600mg, depending on the formulation. As with any herb, a good guideline is to start with the smallest dosage first and increase only if needed.
and just so that you aren't too worried about killing your daughter, it seems that it would be hard to do that with Valerian  ;)
Quote
A recent case report, involving consumption of more than 20 times the recommended dose of powdered valerian root by an 18-year-old female college student, in an apparent suicide attempt, revealed only mild symptoms, all of which resolved within 24hr. 5 The symptoms noted were fatigue, abdominal cramping, chest tightness, lightheadedness and foot and hand tremor.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2007, 04:25:12 PM by chopchop »

Offline 1ofeach

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Re: Valerian Root: What, Where, Why & How (Much)
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2007, 04:34:04 PM »
Quote from: chopchop link=topic=13211.msg129340#msg129340 date=1196475742Adult dosage would be accurate for that weight range.  I am most familiar with tincture form, but I quote:
[quote
Directions
Valerian is typically taken in tincture, capsule, or tea form, 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime. To be an effective sedative, the tincture form should be taken in dosages of 1/2 to 2 teaspoons, depending on the concentration. The tea is made by pouring a cup of boiling water over 1 to 3gm of dried root and then leaving to steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Tablets, capsules, and dry extracts are usually taken at a dose of 150 to 600mg, depending on the formulation. As with any herb, a good guideline is to start with the smallest dosage first and increase only if needed.

Ah, now to figure out how many mg is in my size 0 capsules! Thank you. This is very helpful.

Quote
and just so that you aren't too worried about killing your daughter, it seems that it would be hard to do that with Valerian  ;)
Quote
A recent case report, involving consumption of more than 20 times the recommended dose of powdered valerian root by an 18-year-old female college student, in an apparent suicide attempt, revealed only mild symptoms, all of which resolved within 24hr. 5 The symptoms noted were fatigue, abdominal cramping, chest tightness, lightheadedness and foot and hand tremor.

Ah, good to know! Thank you so much!  ;D
« Last Edit: November 30, 2007, 04:35:38 PM by 1ofeach »

Offline 4myhoonie

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Re: Valerian Root: What, Where, Why & How (Much)
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2008, 12:43:38 PM »
does anyone know if it's better to use cut valerian or powder to make a tincture?  also, do you just put vodka over it in a qt. jar?  how much would you need per qt?  thanks!
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Offline lotsagirls

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Re: Valerian Root: What, Where, Why & How (Much)
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2008, 12:46:56 PM »
does anyone know if it's better to use cut valerian or powder to make a tincture?  also, do you just put vodka over it in a qt. jar?  how much would you need per qt?  thanks!

If I were making a tincture, I would use the cut.  I would fill a jar about 1/3 full of the valerian and then fill the jar with vodka.  Let set for 2-3 weeks, shaking daily.
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Offline 4myhoonie

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Re: Valerian Root: What, Where, Why & How (Much)
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2008, 03:51:33 AM »
oh--thank you!  i have a bunch of kids coughing here now, and am wishing i had done this already. 

has anyone used valerian root for some really serious coughing like whooping cough?  i would love to hear if it works for that and about how often it had to be given?  after this round of respiratory flu we have had (most of my home remedies were less than miraculous) i would hate to see what whooping cough would be like.
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Offline Kati*did

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Re: Valerian Root: What, Where, Why & How (Much)
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2008, 02:59:22 AM »
I just wanted to comment on my experience with valerian.  I have been slowly getting off of an anti-seizure med, and occasionally this has given me a few weird withdrawal-type symptoms.  Things like tremors, racing heart, and other fun stuff.  I have been taking 1 or 2 caps of valerian every time things act up and it has worked amazingly well for this.

For various reasons, I started taking one capsule at night, every night for a week.  I assumed this was perfect timing because it would keep things calm and help me sleep, as well.  It did keep things calm, but I was wide awake (not a bad, edgy feeling, but just completely not tired) for hours every night that I took it.  I didn't know what was wrong and told my Mom about it.  She said that both she and my Dad respond to "sleeping aids" (natural or otherwise) in the same way -- it keeps them awake.

So...that's my experience.  I guess it might have a reverse effect for some people.   I just take it during the day, now.  :D

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Offline 4myhoonie

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Re: Valerian Root: What, Where, Why & How (Much)
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2008, 03:15:22 PM »
does anyone know if it's better to use cut valerian or powder to make a tincture?  also, do you just put vodka over it in a qt. jar?  how much would you need per qt?  thanks!

If I were making a tincture, I would use the cut.  I would fill a jar about 1/3 full of the valerian and then fill the jar with vodka.  Let set for 2-3 weeks, shaking daily.

does this need to sit in the sun?
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Offline hi_itsgwen

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Re: Valerian Root: What, Where, Why & How (Much)
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2008, 03:48:12 PM »
Our local grocery store has a hispanic health and beauty section, and they actually sell little baggies of herbs, including valerian root.  It's under $1 a bag.  I've started browsing the local ethnic markets, and there's lots of cool stuff!
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Offline 4myhoonie

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Re: Valerian Root: What, Where, Why & How (Much)
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2008, 02:04:45 AM »
Our local grocery store has a hispanic health and beauty section, and they actually sell little baggies of herbs, including valerian root.  It's under $1 a bag.  I've started browsing the local ethnic markets, and there's lots of cool stuff!

wow!  cool i will go have a look!
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Offline Rikki

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Re: Valerian Root: What, Where, Why & How (Much)
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2008, 06:34:10 PM »
I have been using valerian at night for my son who has whooping and it has worked great. Combined with lobelia I get several hours before he wakes up to cough. It has been amazing! I make my own tincures and buy cut from bulk herb store- then I cram my jar full and add vodka. I keep it in a dark place and shake daily for 3 weeks so that my tincture is really strong.

Offline 4myhoonie

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Re: Valerian Root: What, Where, Why & How (Much)
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2008, 04:49:09 PM »
I have been using valerian at night for my son who has whooping and it has worked great. Combined with lobelia I get several hours before he wakes up to cough. It has been amazing! I make my own tincures and buy cut from bulk herb store- then I cram my jar full and add vodka. I keep it in a dark place and shake daily for 3 weeks so that my tincture is really strong.

hey Rikki, when you make this, do you mix it with glycerin when it's done?  i was thinking of ordering some..........it would be good to have around this winter i think.  thanks!
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Offline Rikki

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Re: Valerian Root: What, Where, Why & How (Much)
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2008, 05:50:38 PM »
No I do not mix it with glycerin after. I either take it straigh or mix a tsp with juice for the kids. If you let it sit out on the counter a bit the alchohol evaporates. I use 2 tsps for adults.

YoopreMama

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Re: Valerian Root: What, Where, Why & How (Much)
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2009, 03:08:09 PM »
I just wanted to comment on my experience with valerian.  I have been slowly getting off of an anti-seizure med, and occasionally this has given me a few weird withdrawal-type symptoms.  Things like tremors, racing heart, and other fun stuff.  I have been taking 1 or 2 caps of valerian every time things act up and it has worked amazingly well for this.

For various reasons, I started taking one capsule at night, every night for a week.  I assumed this was perfect timing because it would keep things calm and help me sleep, as well.  It did keep things calm, but I was wide awake (not a bad, edgy feeling, but just completely not tired) for hours every night that I took it.  I didn't know what was wrong and told my Mom about it.  She said that both she and my Dad respond to "sleeping aids" (natural or otherwise) in the same way -- it keeps them awake.

So...that's my experience.  I guess it might have a reverse effect for some people.   I just take it during the day, now.  :D
I know this is an old post, but I just read in Rosemary Gladstar's Family Herbal that a rare percentage of people have that kind of opposite response to Valerian and simply shouldn't use it for that purpose.  :)
does this need to sit in the sun?
I would have put it there...but then I saw Rikki put one in the dark.  But I thought she put lobelia in a sunny spot.  ???  When does one know if it should sit in the light or dark?

And who else (besides brave Rikki ;)) would use/has used valerian w/ an 18 month old?

Offline prolifeguyswife

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Re: Valerian Root: What, Where, Why & How (Much)
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2012, 01:34:40 PM »
I am 13 1/2 weeks pregnant. I had been dealing with severe morning sickness that was gradually getting better with acupuncture. I spent three days running lots of errands with DH, and when I woke up the next day, I was shaking and vomiting badly. I'd have episodes where I'd badly shake and shiver, then I'd calm way down and get really sleepy, then it would start all over again.  My acupuncturist and midwife think that I had some kind of adrenal crash, which triggered severe nausea.

This is my fifth day of basically being stuck in bed, with extremely severe nausea, and all of the physical symptoms of a panic attack without much actual anxiety. I'll get hot and cold, get those panic attack feelings, wake up with a start, etc.

So I've been taking valerian drops twice a day, which is helping with the shaking and anxiety symptoms. But I finally had to break down and ask my doctor for a prescription for the anti-nausea medication "Zofran". I am totally ,100% against meds, and I've done without it this whole time, but I can barely eat or drink and I've lost 7 pounds in 5 days.

How do I know if it's OK to take herbs with medication? Our plan is to try the anti-nausea meds for two days, while trying to get enough fluids down to be OK. But I don't know if it's OK to keep taking the valerian? I was taking a ton of herbs to help with nausea, and my midwife said to go ahead and quit doing those for now. But I'm wondering if it's OK to do valerian + RX for Zoloft...anyone have any insight? Thanks in advance.

Offline cre8tiv

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Re: Valerian Root: What, Where, Why & How (Much)
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2012, 10:58:51 AM »
does anyone know if it's better to use cut valerian or powder to make a tincture?  also, do you just put vodka over it in a qt. jar?  how much would you need per qt?  thanks!


Powdered herbs will produce a much stronger tincture than cut.  You can also complete a tincture with powdered in a bit less time, if you care to do so.  The only thing with using powdered is the issue of straining.  You have to figure out what works best for you to press out the liquid and strain.  Some sediment will not hurt of course, but it is prettier without it.

Amounts of herb and alcohol:

A good rule of thumb is 1:3, in general.   1 oz herb to 3 oz alcohol ( 1 quart/32 oz jar would mean about 10 oz of herb and 22 oz of alcohol, for example.  Fill to about 1 inch from top of jar, and stir or shake periodically, and keep a lid on it; keep in a dark location, in dark glass, or covered to keep light out, while curing.  Tinctures will be much stronger if you use Grain alcohol, Everclear, Everclear 151, Bacardi 151, or Vodkas which are the highest proof you can find ( 95 proof or higher ).

Offline cre8tiv

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Re: Valerian Root: What, Where, Why & How (Much)
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2012, 11:02:13 AM »
does anyone know if it's better to use cut valerian or powder to make a tincture?  also, do you just put vodka over it in a qt. jar?  how much would you need per qt?  thanks!


Powdered herbs will produce a much stronger tincture than cut.  You can also complete a tincture with powdered in a bit less time, if you care to do so.  The only thing with using powdered is the issue of straining.  You have to figure out what works best for you to press out the liquid and strain.  Some sediment will not hurt of course, but it is prettier without it.

Amounts of herb and alcohol:

A good rule of thumb is 1:3, in general.   1 oz herb to 3 oz alcohol ( 1 quart/32 oz jar would mean about 10 oz of herb and 22 oz of alcohol, for example.  Fill to about 1 inch from top of jar, and stir or shake periodically, and keep a lid on it; keep in a dark location, in dark glass, or covered to keep light out, while curing.  Tinctures will be much stronger if you use Grain alcohol, Everclear, Everclear 151, Bacardi 151, or Vodkas which are the highest proof you can find ( 95 proof or higher ).


I forgot to add:

It is cheaper to use powdered, because you get far more herb in powdered form than you do in cut form.  Powdered is generally about 5 times more potent than cut, too; so it is far better buy for your money.