Valerian root is also known as nature’s Valium. It is a herb that has been used for centuries as it is known to relieve anxiety, improve sleep and promotes tranquillity. But it has a pungent smell which is not so pleasant. Here’s why!
Valerian root contains a very hard, pungent smell due to the presence of valeric acid in it which is also a significant contributor to valerian’s calming effect. Isovaleric acid and a variety of antioxidants present in it also give a companion to valeric acid.
Valerian root is grown up with certain key components and all of them work together to provide you with improved sleep and reduced anxiety.
The pungent smell of valerian root can prompt you of the smell of your dirty socks or curdled milk but it’s a sign that valerian is ideal to use.
It’s natural and many spices, herbs and foods work like this. Like some smelly and pungent cheese smells awful but it just tastes divine, similarly ginger smells too hard but it’s an incredible spice.
Also, valerian capsules are very smelly but if you want a less smelly option go for valerian root tea infused with herbs such as lavender or chamomile.
No, it won’t make you smell. We know that it has a strong smell but don’t worry it will not make you stink.
Sometimes while consuming the capsules its smell may remain stuck to your hands and make your breath smell a little until it has been digested. But after that, the problem will get resolved automatically.
Just follow a few things so that you don’t get bothered much about it!
Wash your hands thoroughly with any soap and make sure that you scrub it for ten seconds.
For your breath, eat mints, dark chocolates or anything that you like but it should be strong enough to tackle the smell of capsules.
Valerian root is a herb and is native to Asia and Europe. Valerian is a common name while Valeriana officinalis is the original name.
Now it is also found to be cultivated in the US, China and many such countries.
Its flowers were also used for making perfumes for centuries and its root has also been used in traditional medicinal purposes for at least 2000 years.
The smell of its flowers and roots are opposite to each other. Its flowers have a very delicate scent due to which perfumes were made out of it but its roots have a very pungent smell.
Valerian root extract is found in many forms such as capsules, liquids and is also infused with tea.
A valerian root is made up of many components and multiple volatile oils.
One of these is valerenic acid and seems to be the most potent one.
According to studies, it works as an anxiety reliever without affecting movement.
You will also find a prescription mentioned behind every valerian package that you should not drive or should not operate heavy machines while taking valerian.
This is so because the large dose of valerian may make you sluggish and numb. A small dose is okay if you need it.
Valerenic acid triggers a serotonin response which leads to reduced anxiety.
It works well in people who suffer from anxiety or insomnia as it has been in use for centuries.
If you are in search of the less smelly option then sorry but there is no such option available. Even in tea form valerian smells pretty bad but you can infuse it with other spices or herbs to make it manageable. You can add lemon, lavender, chamomile, cocoa beans and ginger etc.
A potent valerian root always smells bad while in tea it becomes milder and less effective than valerian roots, extract or capsules.
Even the tea bags you get have a very small amount of valerian root in them and other ingredients are filler or other flavours.
So, it’s completely your choice whether you go for a temporary smell with a fast sedative effect or a masked smell and a mild, less effective tea!
Well! if you develop a habit of having it then it won’t bother you much. Also, they don’t have any long-term harm to your body if you use them regularly yet relying on them can make it difficult for you in future to fall asleep.
Some studies provide the health benefits of valerian root, a few of them are described below:
Menstrual problems: Valerian root may benefit women who deal with premenstrual syndrome or painful menstruation. It can improve physical, emotional and behavioural symptoms of PMS.
Restless legs syndrome: A study was done for eight weeks which found that people with restless legs syndrome improved in symptoms by taking 800mg valerian roots per day and not just that but also decreased the daytime sleepiness in them.
Parkinson’s disease: A study was done on mice with Parkinson’s disease, they were treated with extract of valerian’s root which afterwards resulted in better behaviour, decrease in inflammation and increased antioxidant levels in them.