Ask an expert: What are the health benefits of using valerian root?

Expert opinion from Faith Seke

PhD, Agronomy and Crop Science (ongoing), Master’s degree, Food Science and Technology · 1 years of experience · South Africa

One effect of valerian is that it raises the amount of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA, as a neurotransmitter, suppresses undesired nervous system activity. Increased GABA levels in the brain have been proven in studies to lead to faster sleep and better sleep.

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Expert opinion from Michael Colangelo

Master of Science (M.S.) in Nutrition · 15 years of experience · USA

Valerian root is primarily used to soothe anxiety or promote sleepiness. Traditionally, the roots of the valerian plant are brewed for tea or eaten for relaxation. Valerian root can be purchased as a tincture or as powdered capsules that contain either whole valerian root powder or standardized extracts of valerian. Valerian root supplements are often combined with other herbs or melatonin shown to support the transition to sleep and potentially make sleep more restful.

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Expert opinion from Jennifer Katz

Bachelor’s Degree – Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition Services · 31 years of experience · USA

Valerian root may help you sleep better. It increases a neurotransmitter in the brain that calms your nervous system. Valerian may also reduce anxiety. It can reduce the severity and frequency of hot flashes in menopausal women. PMS symptoms may be less severe with valerian.

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Disclaimer: This is for information purpose only, and should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. These are opinions from an external panel of individual doctors or nutritionists and not to be considered as opinion of Microsoft. Please seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Medical advice varies across region. Advice from professionals outside your region should be used at your own discretion. Or you should contact a local health professional.

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