6 Incredible Benefits of Valerian Root Tea

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

There are many excellent health benefits of valerian root tea, including regulating sleep, reducing anxiety, eliminating headaches, soothing heart palpitations, easing digestion, stimulating the mind, and treating menstrual cramps.

What is Valerian Root Tea?

Valerian root tea is made from the Valerian plant, taxonomically known as Valeriana officianalis. It is a flowering plant that has been used for traditional medical applications for thousands of years. More specifically, the root of this plant is often dried and used in these remedies due to the high concentration of valerenic acid, flavanones, alkaloids, and sesquiterpenes. These powerful active ingredients have a number of anxiolytic, sedative and anti-spasmodic properties that make this herbal tea so widely used around the world. [1]

Valerian Root Tea Benefits

Drinking valerian root tea helps if you suffer from hyperactivity, insomnia, upset stomach, cognitive slowness, menstrual cramps, heart murmurs, migraines and headaches, anxiety and stress.

Sleep Aid

As a sedative substance, this tea is good for people suffering from sleep disorders such as insomnia, or constantly interrupted sleep patterns. This tea should not be combined with other sleeping pills under any circumstances, but when taken independently, it can provide restful sleep and a refreshed feeling in the morning. [2]


Traditional cups with valerian tea, valerian tea leaves, and a teapot on a table

Valerian root tea has been used for centuries to treat insomnia and anxiety. Photo Credit: Shutterstock


ADHD numbers are increasing at unprecedented rates, and hyperactivity is a major problem in educational and public contexts. Valerian root tea can help calm those hyperactive symptoms and allow users to concentrate and focus on a clear head, while also reducing stress hormones and strain on the body. [3]


If you are suffering from an upset stomach, constipation, bloating, cramping, nausea or indigestion, the antioxidants in valerian root tea can stimulate positive muscle function and reduce spasms in the gut. This will result in normal bowel movements and a reduction in discomfort. [4]

Headaches and Migraines

One of the best ways to eliminate a headache or a migraine is with a cup of delicious valerian tea. The natural anti-inflammatory properties of this tea can soothe inflammation in the capillaries and lower blood pressure, helping relieve the pain and tension of most headaches. [5]

Menstrual Cramps

Women know that menstrual cramps can be extremely painful, but a cup of valerian root tea has anti-spasmodic and sedative qualities, meaning that it can easily eliminate those symptoms and provide relief during menstruation. It can also soothe the mood and rebalance hormones that may be causing irritability or anxiety during your period. [6]

Mental Boost

Many people take valerian supplements as brain boosters, but a cup of this beneficial tea can have many of the same effects. Research has shown that valerian root tea can increase focus, memory, retention, and neural activity!  [7]

How to Make Valerian Root Tea?

If you want to make valerian root tea at home, the recipe only requires warm water, valerian root (dried or fresh), and a natural sweetener to counter the bitterness. Herbal teas are typically best when prepared with fresh ingredients, but the majority of valerian root is sold in dried or powdered form.

If you do have fresh valerian in your garden and wish to dry it for future use in valerian root tea, simply harvest the main rhizome or the rootlets beneath the plant. Wash the root thoroughly and then allow it to dry in the open air.

You can also quickly dry it at temperatures below 100 degrees, so you don’t compromise the phytonutrients in the root. Once the root is completely dried, you can chop it into small segments, or pulverize the root into powder. Both can be used to brew this tea, or you can use freshly cut roots, without waiting for them to dry. Take a look at the recipe below.

Traditional cups with valerian tea, valerian tea leaves, and a teapot on a table

Valerian Tea Recipe for Better Sleep

This pungent-smelling tea is your answer to better sleep 
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Course: Beverage
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: valerian root, valerian root tea
Appliance: Stove
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Ishani Bose


  • 2 tsp of valerian root (fresh, dry or powdered)
  • 2 cups of water (filtered)
  • 1 tsp of honey or sugar (optional)


  • To make valerian root tea, heat the water to a simmer, but do not boil it; excess heat can neutralize many of the beneficial phytonutrients in the root. The water should be warm, not hot.
  • Add the valerian root to the water and cover the pot.
  • Allow the root to steep for at least 10 minutes; you can wait for as long as 30 minutes to ensure that all the nutrients are released into the water.
  • Strain the mixture and add honey or sugar, as valerian root tea can be quite bitter, particularly after steeping the root for a long time.
  •  Enjoy your perfectly brewed cup of tea!
    A cup of valerian root tea, kept next to valerian root and flowers, against a white background

Side Effects of Valerian Root Tea

First and foremost, before adding valerian root tea to your health regimen, be sure that you are not allergic to valerian root. Due to the powerful compounds found in valerian root tea, a number of side effects are possible, some of which can be serious.

Those side effects can be very rapid and include shortness of breath, as well as swelling of the throat, lips, face, and tongue. However, there are other side effects that are less predictable, but if you experience them, discontinue or reduce your use of this herbal tea.

  • Headaches: Some people experience headaches or migraines when they drink too much valerian tea. You can cut down the strength of the tea by brewing it in more water or use a less powerful herbal tea.
  • Cognitive Effects: Experiencing confusion, difficulty focusing, strange dreams or anxious states is not unheard of, although valerian root is often used to treat these types of symptoms, due to its ability to improve cognitive functioning and relieve stress.
  • Gastrointestinal Problems: The active ingredients in valerian root tea can occasionally cause stomach upset, indigestion, nausea, vomiting or constipation, usually when consumed in excess.
  • Pregnancy: Although formal research hasn’t been done regarding the use of this tea during pregnancy, it is not recommended, particularly in the first trimester and while breastfeeding.
  • Drug Interactions: There are many medications that should not be combined with valerian root tea, specifically those for anxiety, asthma, high blood pressure, headaches, and seizures. Before adding this herbal tea to your daily or weekly health practices, speak to your doctor about any potential interactions with medicines you may be prescribed. [8]
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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