La racine de valériane contre l'insomnie et le stress

Valerian root against insomnia and stress

Sep 05, 2023

People all over the world use valerian. It is a plant full of resources, used alone or with other plants.

The root is the part used therapeutically ; this is harvested in September-October, after flowering. The root contributes to optimal relaxation, it supports mental well-being in cases of tension and stress.

What is valerian?

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis), also known as garden heliotrope, is a flowering plant native to Europe and parts of Asia.

Since ancient times , the root of this plant has been used to treat insomnia, nervousness , tremors, headaches and heart palpitations.

In the United States , valerian root is primarily sold as a sleep aid , while in Europe it is used to treat restlessness, tremors, and anxiety .

Valerian flowers have a delicate scent, formerly used in perfumes.

Valerian root, on the other hand, has a very strong, earthy smell. This odor is due to volatile oils and other compounds responsible for its sedative effects.

There are more than 250 species of valerian, but V. officinalis is the most commonly used species in the West.


Valerian is made up of many biologically active components which explain its varied effects.

The chemical composition of valerian varies greatly depending on the species, season, geographic source, growing conditions, processing method, and storage.

Three main chemicals are considered the active components of valerian:

  • essential oils (valerenic acid and valenol),
  • the valepotriates
  • alkaloids (actinidin, chatinine, shyanthine, valerianin and valerine).


The benefits of valerian root

1) Insomnia

The mild sedative effects of valerian have been used to promote relaxation and sleep for at least 2,000 years . Valerian may improve sleep by increasing GABA levels.

In fact, lower levels of GABA are seen in people experiencing short- and long-term stress and are linked to anxiety and poor quality sleep .

A 3-month study of 60 postmenopausal women found that valerian significantly improved the severity and frequency of hot flashes.

3) Anxiety

Valerian is known as "natural valium" because it is believed to have a similar effect to the benzodiazepines Valium and Xanax on reducing anxiety. These bind to GABA receptors in the brain (amygdala).

A study of 2,462 adults with major depressive and anxiety disorders showed that high doses of valerian (1000 mg/day) taken in combination with St. John's wort (600 mg/day) for 6 weeks reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression by 66%.

Some researchers noticed that mice treated with valerian and valerianic acid showed a decrease in anxiety-like behaviors .

Discover our range of relaxation infusions here

4) Stress management

In a study of 27 patients regularly kept awake at night by stressful thoughts, 89% of them slept better after one month of valerian treatment.

Valerian may also reduce physical reactions during stressful situations. It slowed heart rate and reduced blood pressure in response to stress in a 2-week study of 56 healthy people.

A 4-day study in 24 healthy volunteers showed that the combination of lemon balm and valerian improved laboratory-induced stress scores at the 600 mg dose compared to placebo, but increased anxiety at a higher dose. (1,800 mg).

Valerian reduces physical and psychological stress in rats by maintaining serotonin and norepinephrine levels in brain regions associated with fear and anxiety (hippocampus and amygdala).

Also read: Phytotherapy stress: everything you need to know to fight anxiety! – (

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