Valerian root tea is promoted as a natural sleep aid. I always keep tea for sleep handy and frequently steep a cup of it before bed as an all natural sleep aid. Valerian is a perennial flowering plant, but it is the root of this plant that is known for its sedative effects.
People who want to get off their prescription or over the counter sleep medications, often have the mindset that they "need" some extra help to fall asleep or stay asleep. Using a valerian tea may or may not be useful - but it is certainly worth a try. Some literature suggests that this herbal tea needs to be taken for several days or weeks to notice any affect.
The US National Library of Medicine rates Valerian root as "Possibly effective for...Inability to Sleep (insomnia)." They also point out that some studies have shown this herbal sleep tea to be affective while other studies found that it was no more affective than a placebo.
Drinking a cup of tea before bedtime can be relaxing. And just like with children, routine activities can signal your body that bedtime is near.
The Traditional Medicine brand recommends that you put on tea bag in no more than 8 oz of boiling water. Cover and let it steep for 10-15 minutes and squeeze the bag when you remove it. By limiting the liquid to 8 oz, you get a stronger tea and may be able to prevent getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Valerian root tea is recommended for ADULTS ONLY.
Valerian root tea has some strong warnings on the side of the package:
Not for those under the age of 18
Do not use when driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery.
Do not use if you are taking sedatives or tranquilizers without first consulting a health care professional.
Of course the bottom line is does it help one fall asleep? I'm not sure, but I do know that I fixed my double tea concoction one evening when we had company and I just about fell asleep while I was talking :)
I do drink these sleep teas often in the evening and I've been falling asleep without any type of over the counter or prescription pills. Of course I also try to exercise during the day and stay away from caffeine, which are both really important practices for better sleep.
I was happy to find my favorite sleep tea with mint, so now I don't have to use two different tea bags. One box has 24 bags. Steep it for 3 minutes in 6 oz of boiling water - no more than that or you will have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom :)
Alvita Tea Bags Valerian-Mint Peppermint -- 24 Tea Bags
Squeeze the bag before removing it to get all the benefits of the valerian root.
The downside of a cup of tea at bedtime is that the extra fluid may mean a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I try to minimize any sleep interruptions so another way to get your valerian is by capsule.
Solary makes an organically grown one with only valerian root - no other fillers or ingredients. The directions state . "Take two or three times daily with a meal or glass of water." OK - who wouldn't take it without a glass of water! I'm not sure why anyone would take it during the day as it does make me drowsy.
Start with the lowest dosage about an hour before bedtime - don't take it if you are planning to drive. I bought mine on line for less than $8 for a 100 capsules.
I love the flavor of mint so when I found this Chamomile mint tea, I added it to my collection of sleep teas. You don't need to drink this tea just at night, there are times when I stay off of all caffeine and like to use herbal teas for my morning drink.
This herbal, caffeine-free tea is a blend of chamomile, rose hips, and mint. You should be able to find it at any local grocery store, but if not, you can get it at Amazon here:Bigelow Chamomile Mint Herbal Tea, 20-Count Boxes (Pack of 6)
Included in this sleep aid tea are Passion flower, Chamomile Flower, Organic Catnip Herb, Hop Strobile, as well as organic spearmint leaf, organic lemon verbena leaf, organic lemon peel, and organic West Indian lemon grass leaf.
To get the maximum benefit for this sleep tea, prepare it this way:
Pour 8 oz. of boiled water over a tea bag in a ceramic cup. Cover cup and steep 10-15 minutes. Water temperature, covering your cup and steeping time greatly influence the yield of beneficial components that end up in your teacup. Then queeze the tea bag to release the remaining herbs. Drink 2-3 cups late in the day and 1/2 hour before bedtime.
Some teas that promote sleep do not have valerian root. One of my favorite bedtime teas is Sleep and Relax by Gaia Herbs. This sleep tea is a product of Italy that is USDA Certified Organic.
It is a combination of Passionflower leaf, Lemon Balm leaf, Chamomile flower, Licorice root, and natural orange flavor. Some teas that promote sleep do not have valerian root. The taste is really good, so if you find the valerian tea distasteful try this one.
Pour 1 cup of boiled water over the tea bag, steep and cover for 10 minutes. Drink about one hour before bedtime.Gaia Herbs Sleep and Relax Herbal Tea Bags, 16 Count
You may have to try Valerian tea yourself to find out if this sleep tea is effective for you as a natural sleep aid.
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