Valerian is a flowering plant native to Europe and Asia, and has been used as an herbal sedative and anti-anxiety supplement since the times of ancient Greece and Rome.
Valerian Root to Aid with Smoking Cessation
- Valerian root is widely available in capsule form. Take as directed on the package. Alternatively, you may steep 2-3 grams of valerian root in hot water to make a tea, and drink daily. For best results, use 30 minutes to 2 hours before bedtime, as drowsiness may occur.
Why It Works
The exact mechanism is unclear, but valerian root seems to interact with GABA receptors in the brain, causing a sedative effect. Since many nicotine cravings are caused by stress and anxiety, this calming effect may help stave off cravings. Valerian root is also particularly helpful as a sleep aid.
Valerian root has been shown to cause gastrointestinal discomfort in some users. Rarely, it can also cause headaches and night terrors. Large doses may cause dizziness and drowsiness. Ask your healthcare provider if valerian root is appropriate for you.