Valerian root is one of the most popular sleep remedies. In Europe, it has been used for many years, becoming even more widespread in the United States upon its introduction to the country. As valerian is such a well-known herb, a relatively large quantity of research has been done on it.
A large systematic review and analysis of valerian found it to improve sleep quality. Other studies also support the reported benefits of the plant. Valerian is known to be physically safe, so there’s no harm in taking it before bed.
Valerian can be drunk in the form of tea, taken in capsules, or in an extract liquid. 400 to 900 mg of valerian taken 30 minutes before bedtime is reported to be effective for insomnia.
Short-term side effects of valerian may include:
- stomach problems
- dry mouth
- vivid dreams
Valerian has not been studied for its long-term side effects, but the herb is likely safe.
Contact your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about valerian side effects. Pregnant women should not take valerian root.