What is Valerian Tea?

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  • Written By: D. Waldman
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 10 December 2019
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Valerian tea is a popular drink made from the roots and leaves of the valerian plant. With its known use dating back to ancient Greece and Rome, the benefits of the Valerian plant are also strongly upheld in both Indian and Chinese medicine. Valerian tea, in particular, is a common blend taken to alleviate a variety of health issues, including anxiety, migraines, and insomnia.

Valerian is a flowering plant of a perennial nature. Once native to Europe and Asia, its relatively hardy nature now allows it to be grown around the globe in order to meet the demands for the range of supplements derived from its various components. The Greek philosopher Hippocrates was the first person to speak of valerian, emphasizing its calming properties. These same calming properties are what continue to make the plant so popular today, particularly in the form of valerian tea.

The primary reason many people choose to look past the initial smell and taste of valerian tea is for the wide range of benefits consuming the beverage is said to possess. Anxiety and insomnia are said to be the two most common ailments the drink can help alleviate or eliminate. Its calming properties and light sedative nature are also believed to help lower blood pressure. Some of the lesser-known conditions valerian tea is said to help include digestive issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome, menstrual cramping, and muscle spasms.


The one thing the tea is not known for is its pleasant taste or smell, a factor that discourages many people from trying it. There are, however, several ways that can help make the tea more tolerable, including the additions of honey and sugar, as well as the infusion of other more fragrant herbs. Many frequent users of the product also claim that the natural smell and taste of valerian tea becomes much easier to tolerate over time as the body becomes accustomed to it.

Valerian tea can be found packaged in the standard tea bag format, which is considered ideal for brewing individual cups. The dried leaves can also be bought in bulk and used to brew larger quantities of tea at once. Regardless of the form being used, the concentration of the valerian content can be adjusted to suit the personal preferences of the tea drinker. While some prefer to consumer larger quantities of the tea with a lower valerian concentration, others are able to tolerate the taste and smell of the herb enough to use it in a more concentrated form.


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Post 3

I think valerian might be best for sleep problems. I tried it for anxiety and it did help but made me super sleepy in the process. Most of my anxiety during the day and I can't really sleep during the day so that was a problem. I will keep the box and use it when I have anxiety at night though.

Post 2

@ysmina-- Yea, I know what you mean. I've been using valerian tea for a few months now to manage my sleep issues. I did find the smell repulsive at first but I think I'm used to it now. It's difficult to find something that's natural, effective, non-addictive and without side effects for insomnia. So I'm not going to give up on valerian tea just because of the smell.

I think it smells a little better after the tea has been brewed. And I recommend adding some fresh mint leaves in there to improve the smell and taste. You could even brew it with a mint tea bag if you want. Lemon and honey are great ideas too. These precautions should make it drinkable enough. Also, in my experience, some valerian tea brands taste better than others. So you might want to try a different brand.

Post 1

I'm having difficult getting past the smell and taste of valerian tea. I decided to give it a try because my mother in law said that it helps with difficulty sleeping. She recommended having a cup at nighttime. She did not mention that strange smell and taste of the tea though. I put honey and lemon in it but those didn't help at all.

I did manage to drink half of the cup and it did help me feel sleepy. But I don't think I can drink it again.

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