Last updated: August 10, 2021

Welcome to our big valerian root test 2021. Here we present all the valerian roots we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

With this, we would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best valerian root products for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy valerian root.




The most important facts

  • The valerian root is a part of the valerian plant and is very popular in natural medicine.
  • Valerian products have a calming effect on living beings and can be used for sleep disorders or stress.
  • The valerian root can be processed in many different ways, for example into tea, oil, tinctures, powder, medicines, capsules and others.

The Best Valerian Root: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying valerian root

What is valerian root?

Valerian root is the root of the valerian plant, which is also known as cat's weed, witch's weed or valerian. You can plant it in your garden or you can find it in the wild. Valerian grows particularly well in damp meadows, ditches, forests and in some cases even directly by the roadside.

The valerian plant can be found in a wide variety of places. (Source: unspalsh.com / Elle Hughes)

You can dry the fresh roots. This intensifies the typical smell even more and the valeric acids in the essential oil are released when exposed to the air. Valerian has its own smell. Many like it, but many do not. One thing is certain, however: valerian has a calming effect on living beings.

If you do not have the opportunity to pick valerian yourself, you can of course buy the root in various forms at the pharmacy.

There are different types of valerian and they all belong to the valerian family. The individual species are more or less medicinal, sleep-inducing or relaxing. The smell also varies.

Who is valerian root suitable for?

Valerian root is mainly used for calming, but it can do more than that.

Valerian root is suitable for people who... Description
...suffer from nervousness or pain Everyone has been in a situation that is out of their comfort zone. That's when nervousness can really kick in. Valerian calms you down and can even relieve some pain.
...have a lack of concentration or suffer from insomnia insomnia and lack of concentration are often related. Valerian helps you to fall asleep and you can start the next day better rested.
...are just struggling to get rid of an addictive substance withdrawal symptoms can already occur and cause stress. This can lead to insomnia and other symptoms. With valerian you can counteract this a little and sleep better.
...have an inner restlessness stress and too much thinking can be particularly stressful, especially if sleep suffers as a result.

Valerian is mainly good for you if you have trouble sleeping for various reasons. A healthy sleep is important for the human body so that you can also perform during the day.

Observe the ideal daily dose of valerian and do not exceed it. You should also consult a doctor if you have any complaints.

Watch the video below to learn how valerian can affect your sleep.

What are the effects of valerian root?

Valerian root and the valerian plant in general can be used in many ways. Valerian can be used in the following areas:

  • Insomnia
  • Stress
  • Tension
  • Inner restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Tension
  • Headaches and stomachaches
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

The ingredients of valerian, essential oils, valeric acid, alkaloids as well as valerenic acid and sesquiterpenes have a very calming effect on the body. Most of the ingredients are found in the root, which is why it has a much better effect than the contents of the flowers.

Valerian root relieves states of nervousness, cramps and pain. If you are nervous, exhausted and perhaps even sleepless, valerian can help you.

A valerian-hops mixture has the same effect as chemical products. Valerian also helps you to stay away from addictive substances such as sleeping pills, tranquillisers, alcohol or cigarettes. The tension that occurs during the withdrawal phase can be relieved by valerian and its roots.

Valerian also helps against muscle and stomach cramps, asthma, intestinal colic, headaches, irritable bladder and nerve pain, such as arthritis or rheumatism.

Depending on the symptoms, you can drink 1 to 3 cups of valerian root tea to relieve pain or restlessness. Especially before going to bed, it calms you down and you can let yourself be deeply relaxed and lulled to sleep.

Valerian helps to find sleep. (Image source: unsplash.com / Kinga Cichewicz)

Valerian root also strengthens the eyes' vision. Valerian improves a great many areas of life and can cause an improvement in your general well-being.

Pregnant women and children should stay away from the various valerian products. Consult a doctor before use as to how long or until when you should not take valerian.

The sleep-inducing effect of valerian even has the advantage that even prolonged use does not impair concentration or reaction during the day.

Furthermore, other functions in the waking state remain unaffected. The ability to drive as well as the psychomotor and cognitive abilities remain intact.

The plant has a positive effect on the psyche, exerting a calming effect in stressful situations.

However, after taking it directly, make sure that you do not drive a vehicle or operate machinery.

How much does valerian root cost?

The price of valerian root can vary a little. It depends on which form of processing you prefer. The range for normal consumer products goes from 4 to 110 euros per kilogram or per gram or per 10 or 100 millilitres. Often, however, not much more than 30 euros is spent on valerian root.

A tincture or cut and dried valerian roots are relatively inexpensive. It is mainly the oils and valerian root capsules that are expensive. If you have the opportunity, you can also pick and process valerian roots yourself, which is the cheapest option.

How much you pay for valerian root also depends on the quality.

Valerian root price
Valerian root tea 15 £ - 70 £per kg
Valerian root oil 13 £- 110 £ per 10 ml
Valerian root dry extracts 4 £ - 40 £ per 100 g
Valerian tincture 4 £ - 25 £ per 100 ml

What are the alternatives to valerian root?

The main use of valerian and its root is for sleep disorders. There are other home remedies for this that can ensure a peaceful sleep.

Grapes contain the hormone melatonin, which is responsible for the day-night rhythm of our body. Grapes can supply missing melatonin and thus improve sleep problems.

A glass of red wine in the evening can also have a positive effect on sleep, but you have to be careful with the amount, because alcohol should never be a solution to sleep disorders. Otherwise, the opposite is more likely to happen.

You can also prepare an almond drink in the evening. The tryptophan and magnesium contained in it relax the body.

Herbal pillows also serve as natural aromatherapy and counteract sleep disorders.

Bananas also contain tryptophan, which stimulates melatonin production and is therefore a simple home remedy for insomnia. For example, you can prepare a banana water with cinnamon in the evening.

Decision: What types of valerian root are there and which is right for you?

If you are considering buying valerian roots, there are several alternatives to choose from.

  • Valerian root tea
  • Valerian root oil
  • Valerian root dry extracts
  • Valerian tincture

Depending on how the valerian roots have been processed and what quality they are, the prices will vary. Which alternative you choose depends on your personal preferences.

What are the characteristics of valerian root tea and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The tea is usually made from dried valerian root. However, other herbs can sometimes be added. A fresh valerian tea helps especially with stress or insomnia.

The ingredients of valerian have a very calming effect and a cup of tea makes it easier to fall asleep in the evening. The tea is also effective for other complaints, such as headaches or stomach and intestinal pain. But always watch the dosage. Too much of something is usually not good.

Advantages
  • Calming effect
  • also effective against acute pain in the head and gastrointestinal tract
Disadvantages
  • You have to watch the dosage
  • You have to like the smell/taste

What distinguishes valerian root oil and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The scent of valerian oil is rather woody and balsamic. The oil also has a calming effect on people. Everyday stress and nervousness can be relieved by it.

Never apply valerian oil purely to the skin, as it is very irritating. You can make ointments from valerian oil or skin creams. You can also mix other oils, such as safflower oil, with a few drops of valerian oil.

Valerian oil can also be taken orally. However, you should not take more than 3 times 8 drops daily.

You can also use the oil as a fragrance oil. For example, put a few drops in a bowl of water and warm it a little.

Valerian oil also has few side effects. In rare cases, it can cause headaches, slight dizziness or stomach aches. The smell of the oil is also very peculiar and you have to like it.

Advantages
  • Versatile use
  • Calming effect
Disadvantages
  • Side effects may occur
  • You have to like the smell

What are the characteristics of valerian root dry extracts and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Dry extracts of valerian root include:

  • Valerian root powder
  • Valerian root capsules
  • Valerian root tablets
  • Valerian root lozenges

All of these dry extracts also have a calming effect, are effective against nervousness and stress and offer their advantages and disadvantages. Some you can make yourself and the others you can buy at the pharmacy.

You can also make the powder yourself by grinding dried roots in a mortar and then putting them in an airtight jar. You can take the powder with a spoonful of honey or sprinkle it over yoghurt. Here too, pay attention to the dosage and don't take too much.

When taken, valerian capsules can relieve everyday stress and calm you down. There are usually preparations containing valerian, which are often mixed with others. Pay attention to the package leaflet when taking the capsules

Valerian capsules and tablets can also have a positive effect. (Source: unsplash.com / Brett Jordan)

Valerian tablets can either consist solely of the active ingredient valerian, or they can be enriched with additional extracts of hops or lemon balm. The tablets are odourless and tasteless and can simply be taken with a sip of water. It is important to pay attention to the dosage of the tablets.

Valerian dragées should always be bought in a pharmacy because, unlike in normal drugstores, the quality can be guaranteed. It is advisable to read the package leaflet beforehand.

Advantages
  • Calming effect
  • Some variants are odourless
  • Powder can be made yourself
Disadvantages
  • Side effects may occur
  • Care must be taken with the dosage

What are the characteristics of valerian tincture and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

You can even make a tincture of valerian yourself. You put the valerian in a jar with a screw-top lid. Then pour the valerian into a glass jar with a screw cap and pour double schnapps or ethyl alcohol over the valerian until all the plant parts are covered with the liquid.

Leave this mixture to infuse for 2 to 6 weeks. After that, strain it and pour the liquid into a dark bottle. You can take the tincture in the evening with 1 to 2 teaspoons. If it is too strong, you can also add it to a glass of water and dilute it. Always pay attention to the product description and dosage on the package leaflet.

Advantages
  • Versatile
  • Calming effect
  • Can also be made yourself
Disadvantages
  • Side effects may occur
  • Care must be taken with the dosage

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate valerian roots

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many ways in which valerian root is used.

The criteria you can use to compare valerian roots include:

  • Valerian root
  • Method of preparation
  • Origin

In the following paragraphs, we will explain what each criterion entails.

Valerian variety

Valerian is found all over the world and there are more than 200 species. Of these, about 20 species are found in Europe. The following table gives you an overview of some of the different species, which are also often used as useful plants:

Name Area Description
Common Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) Europe, Asia Common Valerian is the best known of its fellow species and prefers sunny to semi-shady locations. It grows 1 - 2 metres high and has rich green leaves. It flowers from May to July.
Creeping medicinal valerian (Valeriana procurrens) Germany This species grows between 80 and 150 centimetres high. The flowers are reddish white and bloom from June to July.
Three-leaved valerian (Valeriana tripteris) Southern Europe This valerian grows between 30 and 60 centimetres high and has pale pink flowers that bloom from April to July.
Lesser Valerian (Valeriana dioica) Europe, Central Asia, USA, Canada This valerian grows up to 35 centimetres high and has umbrella-shaped, white to pink flowers that bloom from May to June.
Indian Nard (Valeriana jatamansi) Afghanistan, India, China This species of valerian grows up to 60 centimetres high and grows mainly in dry places. The flowers are pink and bloom in June.
True Speik (Valeriana celtica) Alps The true speik grows up to 15 centimetres high and has spike-shaped flowers that bloom from June to August. It is yellowish to reddish brown.

The most commonly used is the true valerian, which is also widespread throughout Europe. So you can easily pick or grow it yourself.

Method of preparation

The method of preparation you choose depends entirely on your personal preferences. Depending on whether you prefer tea, oil, tinctures or dry extracts, the choice is yours.

If you like the smell, you should go for the valerian root oil. If you like the taste, then the tea is the right choice.

However, if you can't stand the smell at all, you should go for valerian tablets or lozenges.

Origin

The valerian plant is found all over the world and there are over 200 different species. The common valerian is the most common species and is found all over Europe.

It is therefore best to choose a regional variety so that you avoid long and expensive transport routes and do not pollute the environment. You can also simply go out into nature and collect it or grow your own.

In the following video you will learn how to recognise valerian, how it works and how you can use it.

Facts worth knowing about valerian root

Valerian for animals

Valerian oil can also be used for different animals. Many animals react to it completely differently than humans.

The valeric acid contained in the oil is also a pheromone that female cats emit when they are ready to mate. Mainly male cats react extremely to this smell. Cats love the smell of valerian. In rare cases, however, it can make them aggressive, especially if there are several male cats in the same room.

The oil also has a completely different effect on dogs. It has a very stimulating effect on them and the dog can only break down the oil slowly. However, the effect can also be positive, especially for dogs that have little energy. However, valerian should not be used for dogs.

In horses, valerian oil has a very calming effect, similar to that in humans, and is mainly used for nervous and anxious animals. However, this oil must not be used at horse shows, for example.

Image source: unsplash.com / Elle Hughes

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