Cautions and Potential Side Effects when Using Valerian Root as a Sleep Aid

Many people use Valerian Root ro help them through bouts of sleeplessness. As its popularity grows, so does the curiousity about potential side effects. Aside from being a very natural alternative to over-the-counter synthetic drugs, it’s surprisingly safe. However, just as any other herb or plant used for consumption, it has its limits.

While Valerian is absolutely fabulous for treating insomnia, it’s also used for various other afflictions such as anxiety as a result of alcohol withdrawl, panic related anxiety, the flu, and muscle aches and pains. Knowing that, you may get a slight idea of the general effects of Valerian just by estimating the reverse feelings of the above descriptions – envision aa calm, tranquil state.

With that in mind, the side effects that you can expect to experience are semi-obvious. Drowsiness and or lack of ability to remain alert are the most common of the side effects. Because this root aids insomnia (inability to sleep), the drowsiness that accompanies that makes it unsafe for driving, operating heavy machinery, or any other activity that requires the participant to be alert.

The proper dosage of Valerian Root is appx. 18-24 grams (1tsp liquid or 400-450mg of the root in caplets). There has only been one reported overdose while using Valerian Root in 1995 and the user took over 20 times the recommended dosage and the user recovered within 24 hours.

Other potential side effects when taking Valerian in larger doses are nausea, dizziness, restlessness, blurry vision, and excitability. These, however, have only been reported after very large doses have been consumed – often times with the accompaniment of alcohol, which is strongly discouraged.

When using this root for insomnia, do not take it (or any other sleep aid) for more than two week periods. You should not get accustomed to taking a sleep aid in order to sleep – you need to assist your body in learning how to sleep at appropriate times. However, using a natural product to aid your body in its habits is highly preferable in comparison to using synthetic, over-the-counter drugs to chemically alter your body’s state.

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