Sleep Remedies: Valerian Root

By Tracey L. Kelley, Dec 21, 2022

The medical history of the plant is quite extensive. “Valerian root has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for anxiety and insomnia,” says Dr. Alex Dimitriu of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine. “It’s believed to have originated in Europe and was first used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to treat insomnia and other nervous disorders.” Dimitriu adds that in the Middle Ages, Europeans used valerian root to treat anxiety, depression, and hysteria, while Native Americans also prepared it to treat insomnia, stress, and anxiety. In the 19th century, it was used in Europe and the United States as a sedative and to treat anxiety. Later, during World War II, it was a popular alternative in England for people to relieve tension associated with air raids. “Today, valerian root is still used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and stress,” he says.

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