There are herbal teas for every ailment. You can drink tea to keep you awake and make you sleep; tea to relieve constipation and gas; tea to soothe indigestion and heartburn; and tea to cure the common cold. And that’s only scratching the surface. The problem is, not all of these work. In fact, most of them are nothing more than placebos that will take your money and leave you disappointed.
One of those teas, valerian, really is effective. It really can do what it promises to do and that’s why valerian is actually prescribed as a medicine in many countries around the world, including Germany. So if valerian really is effective, if it really can make you sleep and relax you, then why aren’t we all drinking valerian tea? What’s more, does it have any benefits as a detox tea?
Valerian Tea for Detoxing
Firstly, let’s make something clear: valerian is not very effective as a detox tea. We felt like we had to address this as we are a detox tea site, but there is just nothing here that could detox you, certainly nothing in the same vain as detox teas like senna and turmeric.
But while it is not as effective as other detox teas and is typically used for other reasons, there may be some use to valerian as a detox tea. We know, for instance, that anyone going through a detox is more inclined to suffer from anxiety and sleep issues. It’s just one of those things. If you change your diet drastically and deprive yourself of the things you used to consume on a daily basis, you will start to feel the effect as your body basically goes into revolt.
Valerian can therefore help to ease the symptoms of anxiety and insomnia caused by such a physiological revolt. And that’s not all. A detox, especially a detox from drugs or alcohol, can also raise your blood pressure and put your heart under more stress. We know from studies done on valerian that it can help to alleviate the symptoms of high blood pressure, therefore taking some of the pressure off the cardiovascular system.
It has also shown to help ease the symptoms of stress, symptoms that can be aggravated when someone who is going through a detox. So while valerian tea is not the tea to put you into a detox or to help rid the body of waste, water or toxins, it can ease the symptoms caused by other detoxes and that could be just as useful.
Valerian Tea for Sleep
Now we move onto the more interesting health benefits of valerian and we have some good news here, because valerian really can help you to sleep. The problem with many herbal supplements that are marketed as sleep aids is that those claims are based on compounds that have a minor sedative effect on the body. The marketing teams take this knowledge and spin it into something that they can use, which is we ended up with claims that incredibly mild relaxants like hops could be used as effective sleep aids.
It’s a similar story with camomile. We all see it as a drink to help with sleep, but if anything it should be consumed as a drink to help with anxiety. Studies just haven’t been able to connect it to an improvement in sleep, but they have shown positive effects with sedation.
With valerian, it’s a different story. It really is effective as an anti-insomnia drug. In fact, the main health benefits of valerian all revolve around its ability to help you sleep. It can lull you into a deep, long sleep. Studies have shown that it reduces the amount of time that it takes to fall asleep, which is key, but those studies have also shown that valerian improves the quality of sleep, which is more important.
Have you ever gotten your usual 6 or 8 hours only to feel like you haven’t slept at all? It happens. It’s all down to the quality of sleep. We need to go through the regular sleep cycles, to spend an adequate amount of time in deep sleep, in order to wakeup feeling refreshed. If you are restless, agitated or even interrupted, then you can alter this cycle, which means you’re constantly restarting the cycle before you have spent a sufficient time in each stage.
Valerian root can fix this, ensuring that you spend longer amounts of time in the important stages of sleep, which means you will wake up feeling refreshed.
Side Effects of Valerian
You may have noticed that we’re focusing on “valerian” as a herb, as opposed to “valerian tea”. There is a reason for that, and we’ll get to it shortly. But first, let’s look at the side effects.
Valerian is a very well tolerated herbal tea and unless you have a pre-existing medical condition that leaves you predisposed, or you have an allergy, then you shouldn’t experience any side effects. Most users do not wake up feeling groggy in any way and they don’t report any other major issues.
There may be some slurring of the words and some fatigue if you take it during the day, but that’s only the effects of valerian and it’s these effects that users seek in the first place.
Now, for the biggest side effect of valerian tea:
It Tastes Like Animal Urine
It’s true. While camomile is sweet, floral and delicate, valerian tea is anything but. It is possibly the worst tasting edible substance in the world. If good medicine tastes bad, then this must be the best medicine in the world.
And to make matters worst, all of the studies done on valerian have been conducted with relatively large doses. If you want to replicate these studies in order to feel the benefits for yourself and you want to consume it as a tea, you would need to consume a tea so thick, so strong and so potent that you might not have any tastebuds left by the time you finish.
That’s how disgusting it is. So, let’s leave you with one of the main issues where valerian tea is concerned: it’s always good to take an insomnia or anxiety herbal medicine as a tea because the act of drinking a hot liquid is, in itself, very soothing. But with valerian, you need to opt for the tablet. Unless, of course, you have no tastebuds or scent receptors, in which case you might be able to tolerate valerian tea.