Like many busy people today, you may sometimes find yourself too wired to sleep or may even suffer from conditions such as insomnia. Many natural supplements may help alleviate this issue, and when looking for essential oils for sleep, valerian root oil is one of the top oils to try.

6 Major Benefits and Uses of Valerian Essential Oil

1. Ease Anxiety

Anxiety seems to be becoming more commonplace, rising along with occurrences of depression and insomnia. Our lives have become rife with deadlines and rising expectations from employers and family. Anxiety can be mild or have a severe impact on your quality of life. One of the top natural choices could be oil made from valerian root for anxiety. Studies show that it has not only sedative properties but also prevents the destruction of serotonin in the brain, allowing for a prolonged feeling of relaxation. (1)

2. Improve Sleep

One of the many proven benefits and uses of valerian essential oil is as a supplement to improving sleep. Research has shown the benefits of valerian’s sedative effects, allowing you to release tension and not only go to sleep but also to stay asleep longer. It may affect brain chemistry to improve other symptoms such as anxiety or depression that may interfere with sleep quality as well. (2)

Diffuse 1-2 drops before bed or add to a warm bath with other calming essential oils like lavender to have a restful night’s sleep.

3. Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is associated with a variety of health issues such as heart disease. Chronic hypertension itself can lead to further complications if it is untreated, such as the weakening of the arterial walls due to the presence of constant pressure. Valerian has an all-around calming effect, reducing the stress hormones that can increase heart rate and encourages the presence of serotonin in the brain, allowing for a prolonged relaxed state. Since high blood pressure can be a sign of stress as well as a medical condition, valerian brings it down along with other stress symptoms. (3)

Diffuse valerian and lavender once or twice a day to help manage high blood pressure.

4. Assist with Menstrual Pain

Though valerian is often classed with essential oils for sleep, it may also help reduce the cramping muscle pain associated with menstruation. It has been shown to improve the severity of the cramping as well as improving the body’s response to the pain by reducing cortisol in the body. This may reduce an all over stress reaction to the pain and thereby decrease the associated symptoms. (4)

Mix 1-2 drops of valerian in a carrier oil and apply directly to the abdomen for the course of the menstrual cycle. You may find that it not only eases the muscles but the scent may calm your mind as well, preventing physical and mental tiredness.

5. Reduce Chronic Stress

It seems that everyone suffers from constant stress, either from deadlines at work, the demands of family, or even just dealing with chronic health issues that make it hard to find time to relax. Being in a state of constant stress can cause issues such as weight gain, high blood pressure, and mental exhaustion. Valerian has been shown to reduce the presence of the stress chemical cortisol, allowing our bodies to recover and rest more easily. This relieves not only physical stress but helps us gain mental strength as well. (5)

Diffuse this with a citrus scent such as lemon or orange in your workplace to reduce the stress that comes with your workload and be more focused on meeting your deadlines.

6. Reduce Severity of Menopausal Symptoms

As women age, there comes a variety of symptoms that herald the lessening of hormones in the body. This includes mood swings, weight gain and hot flashes that are often paired with night sweats. As hormones change, so does the body’s ability to regulate internal temperature and the body is sometimes affected by feelings of intense heat or sweating that interrupts sleep patterns. Valerian essential oil has been shown to lessen both the frequency and intensity of symptoms like hot flashes, allowing for increased comfort as the body goes through changes. (6)

Valerian oil can be diluted with a carrier oil to create a topical application that can be massaged into the abdomen to help with hormone changes as the body ages.

My Experience With Valerian Essential Oil

Along with depression and anxiety, I have an on again, off again affair with insomnia that keeps me up until the sun has nearly come up again, without being able to close my eyes to find rest. Faced with yet another night with little to no sleep, I took to research about the best ways to supplement without turning to prescribed sleep aids.

This, of course, leads to the two most used substances to help with sleep: valerian root and melatonin. Melatonin is a natural substance already found in the body particularly at the end of the day. The increase in these chemical signals to the body that it is time to sleep. Using additional melatonin may help your body go to sleep more naturally.

So now I was down to the issue of valerian root vs. melatonin in response to my own sleep issues. Since I was more familiar with essential oils, I decided to start with valerian oil, both in my diffuser at bedtime and as a massage around my shoulders since I carry all my daily tension there. Valerian oil by itself has an earthy smell that many may not enjoy by itself, but it mixes easily with other calming scents such as lavender.

The effect was immediate. The tension bled out of my shoulders, and when the clock hit about 9 pm, I was ready to sleep. Diffusing this in my bedroom helped keep me asleep now that my body had finally gotten the message that we needed rest. Valerian is now my go-to when sleep eludes me for more than a day.

Recommended Valerian Oil Based Products

1. NOW Valerian Root 500 mg

NOW Valerian Root 500 mg 250 Capsules
  • TRADITIONAL HERB/HERBAL SUPPLEMENT: Valerian Root has been an herbal...
  • 500 mg VEGAN CAPSULE: Take 2 capsules prior to bedtime as needed.
  • CERTIFICATIONS/CLASSIFICATIONS: Non-GMO, Soy Free, Nut Free, Sugar...

Valerian works in many ways, either as a concentrated oil or has an herbal supplement made directly from crushed roots. You’ll benefit from its mood lightening and sleep assisting effects if taken as an addition to your healthy regimen. As an herbal supplement, you may be able to use valerian if you aren’t fond of putting oils on your body or aren’t able to diffuse it into the air. Always look for pure supplements to avoid any possible interactions.

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2. Kneipp Herbal Bath Oil Soak with Natural Botanicals

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Kneipp Herbal Bath Oil, Dream Away, Valerian & Hops, 3.38 fl. oz.
  • Beneficial if you are overtired or suffer from a racing mind
  • Helps relax the mind, calm the nerves and sink you into a sweet...
  • With naturally potent Valerian essential oil and Hops extract.

Bath time is one of the easiest ways to enjoy the benefits of natural substances like valerian, lavender, hops, and other plant-based oils that help you enjoy a more natural sleep. Not only does the warm water relax you, but it also opens the pores of your skin so the oils can be absorbed more easily and encourages the release of the oils aromatically so you can inhale them, allowing their scents to enter your blood more easily. Using this oil in your bath may be a useful addition to your nightly routine for a good night’s sleep.

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Caution of Valerian Essential Oil

  • Do not sure valerian oil if you are currently taking medication for sleep disorders or other sedatives as this may produce a marked sedative effect
  • Do not use valerian in conjunction with melatonin because of a possible increase in a sedative effect
  • Do not use valerian if you are already taking medicines to lower blood pressure. Check with your physician to avoid hypotensive complications.
  • Stop taking valerian before surgery involving anesthesia to avoid interactions with medical sedation
  • Always use 100% therapeutic grade oil to avoid possible interactions

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed learning about the relaxing benefits of valerian essential oil. It has been used for centuries to calm the mind and body and help us get a good night’s sleep from time to time. Be sure to share this with anyone looking to ease some tension in their day and enjoy sweet dreams at night.