Valerian root is a natural growing plant that has sweet smelling pink and white flowers. It is a native plant to Europe, Asia, and South Africa. It was brought to the United States by a German Chemist. In Germany, Valerian Root is used for many purposes; it was given to unruly children to calm them, it is used as a coffee substitute, and has been used to treat urinary tract infections, depression, and sleeplessness. In the medieval times, it was even used as a condiment on food! Today, we mainly use valerian root for anxiety. Valerian Root has many benefits as well as disadvantages, here are some of them.
In most cases, Valerian Root produces a calming, even sleepy feeling that is often used as a natural or holistic way to treat anxiety. Most people feel the calming effects within a half hour of taking the herbal remedy. It is most commonly taken in a capsule or tea form as that is how it has its strongest effects. It should not be mixed with other drugs and should be taken if you are driving or engaging in any other activity that requires alertness as Valerian Root may cause you to go to sleep.
Although the American Herbal Products Association has classified Valerian Root as being completely safe, some people still experience side effects from it. The most common of these side effects include irritability, nervousness, heart palpitations and anxiousness, the exact opposite of what they are taking it for. When drank in tea form, some people have also reported hallucinogenic dreams. Pregnant women should not take Valerian Root. Some people that have taken Valerian Root have also claimed an addictive quality to it when trying to get off the herb after a long time use.
Multiple all natural or alternative treatments exist for anxiety disorders, including herbs like Chamomile, Valerian, and St. John’s Wort. One of the better natural treatments is Passion Flower. Passion Flower has been used for hundreds of years by Native Americans for symptoms of pain and insomnia. Today, Passion Flower can also be used to alleviate the symptoms of panic attacks, stress or nervousness.
It also happens to be a very safe alternative to prescribed drugs. The FDA considers Passion Flower to be GRAS, or generally known as safe. Overdose or reactions are rare, however, it is recommended that adults ingest no more than 200 mg per day. Grown in tropical regions and typically found on a woody hard vine and produces a fruit similar to a berry. It is commonly dried, mixed with herbs like Valerian, and drank in a soothing tea. It can also be made into caplets for ingestion.
It is believed that the Flavanoids like Vitexin and Chrysin that are found in the plant actually act as a sedative deep in the nervous system. One of the benefits of taking Passion Flower is that it does not cause drowsiness, so it can be taken during the day or while working. Instead, the Passion Flower helps achieve a natural mood balance.
Because the Passion Flower and other alternative medicines are growing in popularity, it can be purchased in many different places. Local health food stores and larger organic grocers carry it in both tea form and caplets. It can also be found at drug store chains like Walgreens or CVS in the supplement section of the pharmacy. Amazon.com has Passion Flower for sale, as do many other websites. Just be sure you are purchasing from a reputable source so that you are getting pure and natural Passion Flower.