Valerian tea could be added to the same category as chamomile in terms of its calming effects. But taken differently, but with a few additions and tweaks, and a couple of occasions when you shouldn’t drink it too. In this article, I’m mostly focussing on valerian tea benefits, but including the side effects and more too.
Here’s a quick roundup of the benefits, side effects and when to avoid valerian tea, then we’ll get into some details…
Valerian tea health benefits:
- Improves sleep and helps with Insomnia
- Relieves symptoms from menopause, menstrual problems, restless legs syndrome, and Parkinson’s disease
- No jittery effects from caffeine
Valerian tea possible side effects:
- Stomach ache
- Heat disturbances
Avoid Valerian tea if:
- You are drinking alcohol
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- On prescription medications
- Taken alongside caffeine drinks or related products
- You plan to drive
- Using machinery
- For Children
- Also taking sleeping pills
Valerian tea benefits us in a few ways, but in particular, you should look to drink valerian tea more to tackle sleep issues and insomnia as part of a mild tea herbal sedative.
I’d say it really has an effect, if you thought chamomile tea was effective, then I’d definitely recommend getting valerian tea, as long as you take care when to take it. It’s going to affect everyone differently, but it has definitely helped me.
You can get pretty good quality Valerian tea from amazon quickly and easily to get started.
But what exactly is valerian tea? Let’s tackle that next…
What valerian tea is made from
Valerian, while often not the only ingredient, is at the center of valerian tea. Valerian tea is a type of herbal tea made using the root and stems of the valerian plant.
If you’re a keen gardener, then you can actually grow your own valerian plant.
The valerian plant is a herb, scientifically known as Valeriana officinalis and is native to Europe and China.
Valerian root is also known as “nature’s valium” or magic sleep potion. In Europe, it’s considered the number one non-prescription sedative.
The sedative properties of valerian tea mean it has become a popular herb to promote tranquility and improve sleep. That is its main focus.
Valerian tea is only an herbal infusion and is not made using the true tea plant; Camellia Sinensis.
So valerian tea, like any herbal tea, is free from caffeine, which supports and enhances its sedative properties.
Valerian tea taste
Because it’s grown in a moist and grassy environment, valerian tea takes on an earthy taste and often distinctive woodsy flavor profile to it and can feel slightly bitter to some. The longer you brew valerian tea, the more intense the earthy the taste becomes.
Main benefits of valerian tea
While there are several benefits a cup of valerian tea can give, improved sleep is considered the primary benefit among them.
Valerian tea has a unique compound called Valerenic acid which is an essential oil derived from the valerian plant and held mostly responsible for the plant’s sedative effect.
It also contains isovaleric acid and antioxidants like hesperidin which is a compound mostly found in citrus fruits and which improves blood vessel function. And Linarin – which has been studied and reported to improve your sleep and reduce anxiety levels.
It’s believed that low-quality sleep and high levels of anxiety are a result of low GABA levels (a chemical messenger that regulates impulses in your brain and nervous system), which are related to acute and chronic stress.
Valerian tea interacts with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and inhibit its breakdown.
This means that valerian tea can maintain a healthy level of GABA in your brain, giving you a steady feeling of calmness and tranquility. This, in turn can, can improve your quality of sleep and help to lower high levels of anxiety.
This is very much along the same lines that anti-anxiety medications work.
Apart from this, valerian tea can also inhibit the activity in the amygdala. This is a part of the brain that processes your emotional response to stress or fear.
Being able to inhibit such activity can reduce the effects of stress and improve overall sleep quality.
So, the primary benefits of valerian tea are improving sleeping and sleep quality. So why not give it a try today…
- Helps Insomnia – Insomnia is a sleep disorder that makes it difficult to sleep. The sedative and sleep-enhancing properties of valerian tea are believed to benefit this condition. So people suffering from insomnia can fall asleep quicker, stay asleep for longer and induce a better quality of sleep.
- Menopause – Valerian tea may help the severity of hot flushes in women suffering with menopause. Hot flushes are the intense warmth you feel in your upper body. The warmth can be intense around the chest neck and face. Sometimes, your skin might redden and you can sweat a lot and feel chilled afterward.
- Relieves common menstrual problems – Valerian tea may help women with pre-menstrual syndrome and menstrual cramps. It can also help women with PMS to improve physical emotional and behavioral strains during menopause.
- Restless legs syndrome – People with restless leg syndrome face difficulties in falling and staying asleep. Low-quality sleep in turn can lead to excessive daytime drowsiness and depression. The sedative properties of valerian tea can help improve nighttime sleeping which in turn can ease other symptoms like daytime drowsiness and depression.
- Parkinson’s disease – Valeria tea may ease some of the symptoms and effects of Parkinson’s disease. This, in turn, may lead to better behavior, a decrease in inflammation, and an increase in antioxidant levels.
- No jittery effects from caffeine – Because valerian tea is free from caffeine, the jittery effects of caffeine from other tea varieties can be avoided. This can promote a good sleep cycle and enhance focus altogether.
Possible valerian tea side effects
Generally, valerian tea has been shown to be remarkably safe – with no serious or adverse side effects. It also does not affect any mental or physical performance when taken as directed.
Most importantly, unlike many other anti-anxiety or sleep remedies, the sedative properties of valerian tea do not cause addictive-type problems like dependency or withdrawal symptoms.
However, here are some possible side effects of valerian tea, so let’s look at that next.
Valerian tea side effects
- Stomach pain
- Uneasiness, especially with high consumption
- Heat disturbances
When to drink valerian tea
These side effects tend only to come with a high valerian dosage. So I’d recommend just one per day, around an hour before you need to sleep.
Taking valerian tea at other times of the day may cause unnecessary drowsiness. So unless that is your intention, I would turn to other health giving teas.
When not to drink valerian tea
For anyone, only take valerian tea in moderate amounts. And because valerian tea has sedative properties, do not take it along with alcoholic beverages or medications. Especially those that are used to promote sleep and relaxation as described earlier.
Those taking medications, particularly meds to treat conditions like anxiety, insomnia, seizures, liver diseases, or psychiatric disorders should refrain from taking valerian tea, as it may interfere with the medications. Consult with your doctor for more information regarding this.
Children under the age of three, and pregnant or lactating women should also avoid valerian tea. The potential sedative effects of valerian tea on this group have not been evaluated.
More tea help…
Now you know about valerian tea, you can simply choose your valerian tea and get started. I’d recommend loose leaf valerian tea as the best option which you’ll see on that list.
If you like tea in general and want to quickly enhance your tea skills, then take my simple Tea Sommelier Course and become the tea connoisseur among your family and friends. Here’s some further information…
Take the fast track to become a tea connoisseur
Whether for enjoyment or considering a career as a tea sommelier. This course has everything you need to enhance your tea knowledge and tea tasting skills.
This course keeps it simple with step by step tea tasting, and easy reference guides
For pleasure, or as a precursor to a career in the tea industry. Find out what a tea sommelier actually does, career paths, and what they earn.
Find out more about the Teahow Tea Sommelier Course!
Find out more about the Teahow Tea Sommelier Course!
I hope this has helped your understanding of Valerian tea. For the right people, this tea can really help to relax you. So from my experience with this tea, you should think of Valerian tea as a stronger version of Chamomile tea if you need to relax that little bit more and with help sleeping.
Be sure to check out my Tea course, and my other recommended products.