Friday, July 25, 2008

Herbal Remedies for Sleeplessness-Valerian

The herb I wanted to talk about today has been used for centuries as a treatment for sleeplessness or insomnia. Unlike Chamomile, Valerian has been used to treat severe insomnia, as it more strongly induces sleepiness. In fact, some researchers say it appears as effective as some prescription sleep aids. (Unfortunately, it is not the most pleasant tasting herb, and for that reason, I usually recommend it as a capsule, or extract. See my post from November 15, 2006 for more information about Valerian.)

Taking Valerian about thirty minutes before retiring is usually enough to help you fall asleep, and to enter deep sleep cycles. If you are taking capsules, 400mg is a standard recommendation, but check the dosage recommendation on any product you use, for the correct dosage.

Side effects from Valerian are generally mild, and may include feeling sleepy the next morning, or stomach discomfort. Personally, I have never had any stomach discomfort, but I have occasionally have felt a little groggy in the morning, but that feeling passed quickly. If you are taking any herbal remedy (or prescription pharmaceutical remedy for that matter) and experience any strong side effects, stop taking them, and discuss the side effects with your doctor. Your doctor can tell you if the side effects are serious, and if there are other options you might consider without side effects. Never change your medication without talking to your doctor, and be sure to keep the doctor informed about any herbal remedies you may be taking.

The material presented in this blog is for informational use only and should in no way be used as a substitute for needed medical treatment. I am not a doctor, I do not diagnose or treat disease. If you need medical care, please consult the appropriate medical professional. And please discuss with your doctor if you are taking or planning to take any herbal preparations.

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