Do you know what valerian is for ? This plant, scientific name  Valeriana officinalis , also known as catnip, valerian-das-botica and wild valerian, is a very studied plant and has shown clear clinical results.

For this reason, this herb demonstrates therapeutic efficacy in anxiety treatments and as a brain stimulant. It is a plant of the Valerianaceae family, which produces
pink flowers that can reach up to 1 meter in height.

It is a very old medicinal plant, as recalled by its scientific name derived from the Latin  valere , which means “to have health”. The used part of the plant is the root and is most commonly found in the form of an infusion (tea) or pills.

Valerian is one of the only medicinal plants with the power to sleep proven by several studies, being recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) for its benefits against anxiety .

Valerian: what is it for?

According to pharmacist Maria Júlia Pereira Reis, the plant “can be used as a home remedy to soothe and fight insomnia ”.

As already mentioned, this plant can be used to reduce anxiety. However, other problems can also be treated with the use of Valerian.

“There are reports of traditional use for disorders of nervous origin, such as agitation, stage phobia, and high blood pressure, ” explains Maria Júlia.

Properties and indications for use

  • Sedative
  • Soothing and relaxing
  • hysteria
  • Menopause Disorders
  • chronic insomnia
  • stress
  • pruritic dermatoses
  • Cardiac disorders of nervous origin
  • Cramps
  • Antispasmodic
  • Sleeping aid (reduces the time it takes a person to fall asleep and increases sleep duration)
  • Anticonvulsant

Due to its properties, valerian is very useful for people who suffer from sleep-related problems, such as lack of sleep.

It also helps fight anxiety, stress and even epilepsy . In addition, it can serve as an aid to those who are quitting smoking.

See also: Tea for anxiety

Does Valerian lose weight?

Generally speaking, valerian can help with weight loss , but indirectly. That’s because the plant with the calming effect can reduce anxiety. This feeling, in turn, is one of those responsible for the excessive intake of calories due to binge eating.

Another way to contribute to weight loss is through the properties that stimulate sleep and provide a better night’s rest.

“The accumulation of sleep makes our metabolism slower, reducing caloric loss and increasing levels of cortisol (a hormone that can cause weight gain)”, explains the pharmacy professional.

ways to use

Valerian can be used as a tea, pills, tincture (in the form of drops) and capsules . Check out the recipe for the infusion below, which would be soothing valerian and the possible mixtures with the tea from this plant:

tea recipe

To make tea, tincture or extract of valerian, you need to use the roots of this plant. In this article you learn how to infuse this herb.


– 1 teaspoon of chopped root
– 1 cup of filtered water

preparation mode

First, put the water on the fire and wait for it to start boiling. Then add the root valerian and let it boil for another 5 minutes.

After the set time, let the tea sit sweltered for approximately 10 minutes. Finally, strain and drink the infusion while it is still warm.

How to consume?

How to take valerian in the form of tea can vary according to the type of problem presented by the patient.

For example, according to a specialist in pharmacy, for cases of agitation, insomnia or high blood pressure, the patient should drink up to three cups a day.

In stressful situations, it is recommended to take half an hour before being exposed to the stressful moment. It could be a flight, a meeting or a work presentation.

What is Soothing Valerian?

Valerian tranquilizer is a remedy made using this medicinal herb. It is usually chosen by those who do not like the taste or smell of tea.

See also:  Eliminate anxiety and compulsion with herbal tea

“The preparations with the root of this medicinal herb are bitter and have
a very intense and characteristic odor. For this, there is the possibility of
finding Valeriana in tablet and capsule pharmaceutical forms”, explains Maria Júlia.

Valerian tea with chamomile

Also according to the pharmacy specialist, there are some common associations between valerian and other plants. An example of this is chamomile, which can be made into tea or medicine.

In this case, the plants together potentiate the help against “stress, anxiety and insomnia” . But in addition to this mixture, there are other combinations recommended by the pharmacy specialist.

“There are common associations between valerian and passionflower , helping with headaches of
nervous origin. There is also the use of valerian with hops
(Humulus lupulus), which is an alternative to help with sleep disorders”, he explains.

Side effects

As with any medicine, natural or not, the use of valerian can have some side effects, such as dizziness, gastrointestinal upset, contact allergies, headache and mydriasis (dilation of the pupil).

Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to the time of use of the plant. For long periods, it can cause too much sleep, tiredness, mydriasis and heart disorders. And, of course, remember to always read the package insert and consult an expert doctor when buying a drug.

“Furthermore, as the ability to react can be affected, one should not drive, operate heavy machinery or perform activities that require extreme attention , nor consuming alcoholic beverages after taking the supplement or drinking the tea”, warns Maria Júlia.

See also :  Do you throw away the tea bags? Learn to reuse them!


The use of valerian is contraindicated for people who are hypersensitive (allergic) to the plant extract. However, it is also contraindicated for pregnant women, nursing women and children.


The popular name “cat weed” is due to the exciting or euphoric effect that the plant causes in these animals. For this reason, it is recommended to avoid leaving the plant close to cats.

But at the same time that you keep the plant away from the kittens, you should get closer to this natural herb. Especially now that you know what valerian is used for, how to prepare tea from this plant and how to use it.