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Sleepy Valerian root has been used since ancient times to lull the tired and restless into deep slumber. So how does it work, and can it reallyhelp you fall asleep?

In fact, Valerian root has been used since ancient times to promote sleep and tranquillity.So how does it work, and can it reallyhelp you fall asleep?

Sciencesays yes.

The Valerian plant beautifully blankets its native Asia and Europe with a beautiful display of petite white blooms that, in ancient times, were used to make perfume. The root of the plant, used medicinally, has a very strong, earthy odour.

The odour is thanks to the root’s volatile oils and chemical compounds such as valerenic acid, isovaleric acid and antioxidants that are responsible for its sedative effects.

Studieshave shown that taking Valerian root helps people get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer, especially when combined with Hops, another herb found to have a relaxing, sedative effect.

And for those with anxiety, further studieshave also shown Valerian root to have significant anxiety-reducing effects, due to the plant’s valerenic acid content which increases the brains supply of gamma-aminobutyric acid, a compound that quietens brain signals and helps you to relax. This is the same way that many prescription-strength sedatives work. Many of these compounds also inhibit excessive activity in the amygdala, the part of the brain that processes emotional responses to fear and stress.

WelleCo formulator Dr Simone Laubscher PhD agrees.

“I have found that the herbs Valerian, Skullcap and Hops work brilliantly to help re-set your body clock and help you get to sleep faster and to stay asleep longer,” she says.

Researcherscan additionally explain Valerian root’s sleep-inducing properties with its high quantity of the antioxidants hesperidin and linarin, which have been shown to have calming properties on the brain and central nervous system, allowing you to drift off to sleep with ease.

“Valerian root and Hops work best in the form of a tea which is why I formulated WelleCo SLEEP WELLE Calming Tea with them,” Dr Simone adds.

Studies have also shown that Skullcap, another SLEEP WELLE hero ingredient, is stronger than chamomile in promoting sleep.

And perhaps the best part is that unlike some anti-anxiety or sleep medications, Valerian root doesn’t seem to cause any issues with dependency or withdrawal if regular use is discontinued.

Want to sleep better tonight? Try this calming sleepy time tonic for yourself.


Created by @sian_redgrave
Makes 6 mugs

4 WelleCo SLEEP WELLE Calming Tea bags
1 piece ginger (10cm)
1 piece turmeric (3cm)
2 lemons

1 small bunch sage
1 small bunch thyme
1 cinnamon stick
Raw honey to serve (optional)

Slice ginger and turmeric unto 1cm slices and place into a large pot with a lid.

Slice lemons into rounds and add, along with sage, thyme, cinnamon and tea.

Cover with water and bring to the boil over medium heat.

Once boiling simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes.

Serve as is or with a little honey for sweetness.

The Sleep Welle Calming Tea Caddy fortified with a blend of skullcap, hops and valerian root

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