Valerian: An Herbal Alternative to Sleeping Aids and So Much More

We’ve all been there. Restless. Laying awake in bed. Unable to stop worrying about the events of the day or fretting about how everything will get done in the morning. You become even more stressed when you realize that all this worry is cutting into your sleep-time and you’re bound to wake up tired the next morning.

Mother Nature provides a powerful remedy to sleeplessness in the form of a dainty little flower, in the daisy family, known as Valerian. Valerian’s medicinal properties have been recognized since ancient times. Hippocrates, the Father of Early Western Medicine, wrote about its applications for treating insomnia. Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes Valerian tea’s benefits as well and uses it in treatment of several conditions.

Valerian’s health benefits include:

  • Reduce anxiety
  • Relieve menstrual cramps
  • Treat muscle tension
  • Alleviate insomnia

Valerian can be found in supplements, featuring Valerian root oil, or some people may prefer to try Valerian tea. Valerian is reputed to have a somewhat off-putting smell and taste so its recommended to blend it with something sweet or gentle-tasting to counterbalance the earthiness of Valerian. Clair’s Teas of Joy features valerian in its Relax & Sleep tea and blends skullcap and chamomile to create a soothing nighttime tea.



  1. Becker A, Felgentreff F, Schröder H, Meier B, Brattström A.  (2014)  The anxiolytic effects of a Valerian extract is based on valerenic acid.  BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Jul 28;14:267.
  2. Taavoni S, Ekbatani N, Kashaniyan M, Haghani H.  (2011)  Effect of valerian on sleep quality in postmenopausal women: a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial.  Menopause. 2011 Sep;18(9):951-5.
  3. Gromball J, Beschorner F, Wantzen C, Paulsen U, Burkart M.  (2014)  Hyperactivity, concentration difficulties and impulsiveness improve during seven weeks' treatment with valerian root and lemon balm extracts in primary school children.  Phytomedicine. 2014 Jul-Aug;21(8-9):1098-103