Valerian Root
provides safe and natural sleep
without the prescription side effects

When looking for natural remedies for insomnia, valerian root is one of the first medicinal herbs I utilize in my holistic medicine practice. This remedy has a long and well-tested history in herbal medicine traditions as a safe natural sleep aid. Either alone or in combination with other sleep inducing herbs (such as a Nature’s Way product which also supplies Lemon Balm), it is one of the most commonly recommended and purchased herbs in natural health stores in all areas.

Like other medicinal plants and herbs , expect it to take more than a couple of days to reach full effect on sleep. Because this is a natural product and not a prescription, it works in harmony with the body instead of overpowering it, and you may not notice a strong effect during the first week. After 2 weeks of nightly use, you will probably enjoy an easier transition to sleep and a deeper more refreshing sleep. Feeling rested when you awake in the morning is a welcome and expected result. And because it does not work like prescription drugs, you are not likely to experience any hangover feeling in the morning or “brain fog” on awakening.

What dose do I recommend? Because this can either be found as the whole root powder or a standardized extract, the dose varies depending on how the product was manufactured. But generally speaking, a dose of 400 to 900 mg of extract about an hour before bed is a good dose. If it is being taken for generalized anxiety or restlessness, 400 mg three times daily can be used, but one should avoid this while driving or using machinery.

Valerian tea can be found in health food stores, and has some beneficial effect; however, the tea and root have a very unpleasant odor, and most people prefer it in pill form. That’s why you normally find it in combination with other herbal teas that are more pleasant tasting.

This well-proved herb is generally recognized as safe, but I do suggest caution to patients who are already taking regular doses of sedative prescription medications. There could be an additive effect resulting in over-sedation. But other than that, Valerian as an effective herbal remedy for insomnia is my first choice for effectiveness and safety. I think you will find it helpful as well.


To your health,



Robert Pendergrast, MD 

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