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Has anyone ever used valerian root for anxiety or pain? does it work or a waste of money?

20 Answers

1Texasbear 27 July 2021

I’ve read in a few different articles that say Valerian Root can be addictive just like common prescription anxiety medication, like Valium and Xanax, if used on a regular basis. I have ADHD and my Psychiatrist that manages my medication told me not to take Valerian as it can cause liver damage and like other prescription sleep aids, it should only be used for about 2 weeks. It can basically work the opposite way by not letting you sleep properly when you stop taking it. It’s unknown if it’s psychological or your brain is missing it’s dose of valerian. He said that people who use the liquid form and drink it in tea actually have mild withdrawal effects if they discontinue the herbal remedy abruptly. Drinking alcohol with this supplement is not recommended as it can cause liver damage and it should never be taken with other Anxiety medications as it can cause them to act stronger in your system.

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It’s not for everyone and I personally don’t think that if it’s not FDA approved. A manufacturer does not have to prove if it’s safe or effective. So, that brings up the issue of how safe Velarían supplements are for long term usage. Supplements are not always the same with each bottle, even if it is the same brand. It’s worth looking this supplement up on the NIH website for more information on this product as well as speaking with your Dr. before you take this supplement. Melatonin is supposedly safer, but it is not without its own list of side effects either. Our bodies make melatonin, but it should be monitored by a medical physician. I can’t take it because it my Psychiatrist warned that it can have a dangerous interaction for me personally when mixed with my ADHD medication.

I absolutely trust my Psychiatrist 100%, he has been voted as one of the top Psychaitrist in Austin. I actually trust him even more than my Primary Care Dr. with the medications I take. I take 4 mgs of Xanax for panic attacks and Hyperhidrosis (severe and uncontrollable sweating) and 20mgs of Valium at night for sleep. I was exposed to a pesticide in 2008 that screwed up my adrenal glands and it caused me to have severe sweating attacks for no reason and I would be completely soaked in a room that was 65 degrees. After other people starting asking me if I was sick, I started to become very self conscious and I carried extra shirts everywhere I went. The Xanax was the only thing that stopped the sweating. Also, my ADHD returned in my life 10Xs worse. I had not been on any medication until I was exposed to Bifenthrin, a pyrethroid that is suppose to be a safer alternative. It was discontinued for indoor use a year or two later, but it’s still widely used outdoors on grass and shrubs. I absolutely hate that I have to take these medications in order to function as close to possible to normal. It’s expensive, even with insurance and it has probably shortened my life expectancy.

My Primary Care Dr. tried 8 different SSRI medications to control the Panic Attacks and Hyperhidrosis. The last one landed me in the Hospital ER for anaphylaxis. Everyone of them caused me to have a severe rash on my chest and arms. I don’t think that Primary Care Physicians should even be prescribing these medications as Psychiatrists have more experience and training in this area than a PCP. These meds are not without their own set of issues as they originally claimed to be either.

I was told at 16 I had ADHD and after a week on Ritilan, my mother flushed it down the toilet, which now we know shouldn’t be done. I managed life just fine until I was exposed to this pesticide and I noticed that I was always very tired. Then after 2 car accidents in less than 3 weeks I sought help from a Psychiatrist. I just happened to be home when the pest control came out and sprayed this in our house and I couldn’t breathe when the heater started to circulate the fumes. That’s how I figured out what was causing my health problems.

My mother took “nerve pills”, which we later discovered was Valium for 30yrs and some days she took one , others none, and when she got extremely anxious, she would take 3. I take mine this way as well. Some nights I take only one tablet, others I take both, but their are nights that I don’t have to take it at all. My Psychiatrist said that this was fine but to watch out for any issues related to withdrawal issues. Apparently some people can take these for years and not have the extreme withdrawal symptoms that most people have. It’s extremely dangerous to quit any of these medications cold turkey! You have to slowly reduce the amount you are taking gradually to the point where you are melting the smallest dosage in water and removing a teaspoon over several weeks. You will still have some issues that can take years to get over. My Psychiatrist told me I would probably have to take the Valium for the rest of my life before we agreed on using it.

My husband has said “Stick with the Devil you know”, and I have never had to increase my dosage of medication for any of my issues with the Adderall, Valium, or the Xanax. I’ve often wondered if anxiety isn’t a genetic issue that is passed down to children from their parents. But that’s another issue. Just be careful with this supplement!

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WildcatVet 11 July 2018

Check on the side effects first... and then use the Interactions Checker to discover that this drug can interact badly with many drugs... prescription and OTC... that you may also be taking:
https://www.drugs.com/sfx/valerian-root-side-effects.html
https://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/valerian,valerian-root.html
It may be "natural, but that doesn't mean it's safe.

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lenoralmc 11 July 2018

Yes... I am taking this rather than Valium. I told my Dr. the Valium was just making me forgetful and woozy. It was a small dose as well.
I did some some research and found Valerian root oil! I find if I feel the anxiety coming on I take a dropper full (included in bottle) sublingual and it works for me? It's convenient to carry in my purse. I feel better within 10 to 15 minutes. That's my story... hope it helps someone else! BTW,. If you haven't made the connection already this is a part of making Valium. I get better results with this and no drowsy side effects. No promises, everyone has a different physicality!

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WildcatVet 11 March 2018

Nearly knocked me out cold... with horrible side effects! This is a nasty DRUG!

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Susanli 11 March 2018

It didn’t do anything for me but my brother uses it regularly to help him relax enough to fall asleep.

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Dannyflavio 10 March 2018

Sorry it never worked for me

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Mspatriot 10 March 2018

It works a little to help with stress, or at least with myself it did but its nothing compared to. Like taking a benzodiazepine so if I were you I wouldn't be expecting to completely stop having anxiety after taking.

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jmjeff 16 June 2017

I suffer from depression and anxiety. I also get vague body aches deep in my muscles and joints. I just took a dose of valerian root capsules (3) and made a cup of turmeric ginger tea. I do feel better and VERY relaxed. The turmeric in the tea is supposedly good for pain. This combination seems to be effective for soothing anxiety and pain for me.

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Susan Fitzgerald 17 May 2017

Yes, I have used it for all reasons asked. It did not work.

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Caroldumond 31 March 2017

Yes! It treats both anxiety and insomnia for me. I have used it for years and praise it highly. I recently had a panic attack and took two capsules and it worked so well. I have anxiety at times when going to certain events and become very anxious and a b**ch and when I notice this I take the valerian and become human again. I love ❤️ it.

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Crystalize78 27 Sep 2019

What dosage do you take for calming effect? Brand?

GrumpyKat8172 6 Feb 2017

I honestly never thought herbal stuff could work for managing my severe anxiety, but believe it or not, Valerian root is worth a try. It comes in a variety of "sleep inducing" products in the vitamin section of your grocery store. I've been going through horrible benzo withdrawals, and didn't have any of my regular meds to take, so I tried a product called "Relax and Sleep". It's got Valerian root in it, along with melatonin and Chamomile. It actually did more than I thought it would do, and within a relatively short time period. (About a half an hour). So, yes, it is definitely worth a try, especially if you're trying to get away from man-made anxiety medication. (If you're on such meds as Ativan, Xanax, Klnopin, Valium, NOW, do NOT stop taking it without notifying your doctor and setting up a taper plan, or you WILL be VERY sick... don't combine it with herbal stuff, either.

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Try to use the Valerian as perhaps a substitute for a dose of what you normally take, see if it has the same or similar effect. However, don't combine the two together... _) I honestly thought I was going to be incredibly sick while withdrawing from Klonopin, but the Valarian root has made it far more tolerable. Give it a try.

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ZoeBruceOona 11 Jan 2017

I use valerian, up to four pills, to calm me down at end of day and to help me sleep. Benadryl knocks me out, too. As for pain, I read that valerian is a mild anti-inflammatory and diuretic, so probably will not work on severe pain, but if you have headache, muscle tension/lactic acid build up due to anxiety it may help.

For me, valerian in combination with prozac 20 mg has worked wonders on my chronic moderate pain and anxiety/anhedonia (lack of ability to feel pleasure due to depression). Valerian alone was good for easing me into sleep, and calming me down "a bit" but it's not like a Xanax or Klonopin or anything that makes you super irritated when it wears off (rebound effect.)

So for stress and pain, I prefer aspirin, SSRIs, an herb like valerian or camomile, exercise, acceptance, and massage when I can get one :)

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Inactive 12 Jan 2017

What dosage of valerian, how many mgs? I am not familiar with this supplement?

dcraig26 25 Oct 2016

I've used this for my anxiety after being taken off valium. I take 4 pills 530mg three times a day abd it's been very beneficial it calms me really well and though it doesn't really make me sleepy just very calm and I'm able to to carry on in life thanks to it. Give it a try everyone's body is different but give it a few weeks or even a month for it to work if your taking it regularly like I am.

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quincyrick 28 Nov 2018

dcraig... i have the same problem - i have used before but ... but took capsules and on my new bottle it can be made into a tea or added to your caffeine free tee for a relaxing smooth over the edges ... so today i am trying in in my tea - hope it works for me

Lemmonsgirl 5 Aug 2016

I love Valerian root for stress. It's a subtle feeling of calm. It you are thinking that you want something that's going to make you feel nothing, this is not it. You may not even notice the effects until after a stressful day when you realize that the Valerian really worked, because your anxiety level was not high. I take themy in pill form when I know I have a stressful situation happening. I just take one 450mg in the morning. I've had different brands they all work the same. My husband says they smell like sweat socks, lol! He's right the do, but after I take them, I don't repeat on me, so I don't keep tasting them later. I've heard the valerian shrub smells too. Valerian has been used for centuries to help people sleep. I've also used for sleep. Work well. Like I said calming effect. I take 3 to 5 if i need it to sleep. Bottle says 5. My mom takes them every night for sleep after dad passed too.

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Hope that helps! I'm wondering how long the effects last because I have a stressful day coming and I didn't know if I should bring some with me?

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Beckypa 21 Oct 2015

I didn't but I'm also trying to find out is it helping. I heard some positive things about it so hopefully it'll help. Did you tried it already?

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