Valerian Root Valeriana Officinalis

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Use: Three decades of extensive research have shown that valerian root is like a minor tranquilizer. It is known as a sleeping aid, and it might be useful for insomnia, mild anxiety and restlessness, lowering blood pressure, and reducing symptoms of menstruation and menopause. To date, it has not been proven to be habit-forming.

Dosage: Tea, tincture, or an extract; it can also be added to bath water for external application. Relatively large amounts are required for effectiveness, typically about 50 to 100 drops or 1 teaspoon of dried root for tea. Take one hour before bed and repeat the dose 2-3 times if needed. Beware: It has a horrible odor, so you might want to invest in the tablet or capsule version (150-300 mg, 300-500 mg to aid in anxiety). It's not safe for long-term use, and it has no effect with alcohol but might intensify the effect of sedatives.

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