What is Valerian root, and why is it great for your #goodgut?
This herb is native to Europe and Asia, and known for having strong sedative effects. The valerian plant itself can be found as a flowering plant with beautiful pink and white flowers, however the extract of this root is what gives us the benefits! This root extract is not recommended for children under 3 years old and pregnant women, however, valerian root provides a variety of health benefits. Valerian root is mainly utilized as a sleep aid, and to potentially reduce severity of headaches, stress, and anxiety.
The main compound of valerian root is valerenic acid, which is an herbal sedative. For that reason, this powerful herb can be used as an alternative to melatonin for sleep aid. Studies done by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health suggest valerian root could be used for insomnia, anxiety, and even irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
You may be wondering, how does valerian root help with IBS if it is often used as a sleep aid? Valerian root’s powerful sedative properties can aid the digestive process and symptoms of IBS, such as interrupted sleep and intestinal cramping. Research done by S Elsenbruch, determines a link between IBS, anxiety, and impact on sleep. In fact, any night time discomfort or gastrointestinal symptoms can cause sleep abnormalities, and bad sleep does not allow your intestines to restore themselves overnight, potentially leading to chronic bowel issues. Valerian root with its sedative properties can help those who struggle with good sleep due to their digestive diseases, or help them get more restful sleep to prevent disease and restore their #Goodgut health!
Ways to eat it
Valerian root can be consumed in teas, soups, and in tinctures!
The root can be eaten at least 10-15 minutes before bed to experience the full effects of the natural sedative.
You can also easily find valerian root powder in capsules sold at stores!
Recipe: Valerian Root Tea
Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings):
2 tsp valerian root (fresh is optional, can be powdered)
2 cups filtered water
1 tsp date paste (recipe also posted)
Heat the water to a simmer, but make sure it does not boil. It should be warm, not hot.
Add the valerian root, then cover the pot to get it to a boil faster.
Allow for steeping for 10 minutes and you can wait longer to ensure all the nutrients are in the tea.
Strain the mixture and add the date purée for sweetening (the tea may be bitter without the sweetener).
Enjoy this sleepy-time tea!
Heal with each meal!
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Bose, Ishani. (2020, July 10). 7 Incredible Benefits of Valerian Root Tea. Organic Facts. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/valerian-root-tea.html
Elsenbruch, S. (2005). Melatonin: a novel treatment for IBS? Gut, 54(10), 1353–1354. https://doi.org/10.1136/gut.2005.074377
Office of Dietary Supplements - Valerian. (2013, March 15). National Institutes of Health. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Valerian-HealthProfessional/
Qin, H. Y., Cheng, C. W., Tang, X. D., & Bian, Z. X. (2014). Impact of psychological stress on irritable bowel syndrome. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 20(39), 14126–14131. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v20.i39.14126
Valerian. (2020, October). NCCIH. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/valerian
Valerian Root Tea Recipe. (2020, September 15). Recipes.Net. https://recipes.net/drinks/tea/valerian-root-tea-recipe/