Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Valerian Root - The Natural Choice for Sleep


We all know how good it feels to get a full night of rest after a busy day. We feel energized and ready
to go out and achieve new goals. We are mentally alert and ready for the next challenge that lies
ahead. The fact of the matter is that great results arise out of people who get proper rest.

Now for the bad news, did you know over one third of the population in the United States suffers
from sleep deprivation? Yes those numbers are correct and are staggering! If we do the math it equates
to roughly 100 million people with problems sleeping. There is help around the corner though, and
natural help to boot.

Could a little plant named valerian be the key to our sleep problems? Well one of the leading national herb retailers in Florida, Florida Herb House says "Yes!". Florida Herb House has been quietly enjoying increased annual sales of its organic grown valerian root for the last couple years. The owner of the herb shop, Stephen Sharp, gives credit to an ever increasing awareness by the public into natural remedies. Stephen tells us, "More and more people are trading in their prescriptions and seeking the natural equivalent for many health issues. Having problems sleeping is a perfect example. Instead of choosing any one of several prescriptions for a better night's rest, more and more people are seeking the advice of herbalists and doctors of natural medicine for their problems. Whether it is through an advertisement in a magazine, on tv or online, the once fruitful world of natural healing is coming back in strong forces. You can bet your shirt that if there is a prescription drug out there then there most likely is a herb that can offer similar benefits."

Valerian began to gain popularity back in the 1500's when it was often prescribed by doctors for
digestive disorders and for urinary tract infections.The botanical name "Valerriana" comes from the
Latin derivative "Valeo" which means "strong", probably referring to the plant's dominant healing
properties. In today's world the root of the valerian plant is widely used as a powerful yet natural
sleep aid as well as herbal sedative. Only the roots and underground stems, also called "rhizomes", are
used for these medicinal applications. Valerian has been a common herb prescribed by doctors throughout
Germany for various complaints of anxiety, nervousness, and insomnia. Valerian root works within the
human body by naturally depressing brain activity in the central nervous system and also by helping to
relax the muscles in the bronchial passage ways. The constituents in the root also help relax the
muscles in the colon.

There are several ways one can supplement their body with valerian. Before ones begins any health
program they should seek approval from their health practitioner. Also it is important to remember that
when beginning any natural program using herbs at least 4-6 weeks should be allotted before results
should be evaluated. There are valerian capsules available at most drug and convenience stores but we
recommend against these because of the mass production of these types products. If one is seeking the
best results from a herb then he/she should go direct to a herb store and buy the herbs in bulk
powdered form, organic grown is best. This assures that the herb is fresh dried and high in potency.
Many capsule type products are made in huge lots and they may have been sitting in the warehouse shelf
for many months or even years before they get to someone's pantry. Also to get the benefit of say one
teaspoon of valerian root powder one would have to take maybe 10-20 capsules as an equivalent. The bulk
powder will also digest better compared to the capsule form which has a gelatin or similar type shell
to hold in the herb. One of the most effective ways to reap the sleep support benefits of this herb is
to make a health drink a few hours before bed time. The three herbs the appear to work best for natural
sleep support are valerian root, hawthorn berry powder, and passion flower powder. The simple
directions are to mix 1 teaspoon of each of the powders into a health drink combining fresh spring
water, frozen berries, aloe juice, milk, and a teaspoon of flax seeds and then blend on hi for 30-60
seconds. Drink 2-3 hours before bed time. Special thanks to Betty's Botanical Gardens and Florida Herb
House for contributing to this article.


Green People United
Port Orange, Florida 32128
(888) 476 - 9414

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