Valerian root tea recipe

Valerian root tea is one of the most powerful bedtime teas out there, and if you’re suffering from anxiety attacks or large amounts of stress, it may become a good friend of yours.

I made this beginner’s guide to valerian root tea since it’s a bit of a sensitive topic. Some advocate against this herb, while others praise it for the relaxation it brought into their lives.

Not a very well understood plant, so let’s sit down and talk about it at length, and run over the health benefits and side effects as well.

Table of Contents

What is valerian root tea ?

Valerian root tea, or simply valerian tea, is a brew/infusion made from the dried or fresh roots of the valerian plant.

It’s a fairly effective sedative, and is usually taken in cases of insomnia, anxiety, or during periods of high stress (like work or school). You’ll find it on shelves as a bedtime tea, and maybe a few rows further you’ll find powdered valerian root, and next to it valerian root extract.

Valerian root tea is a very old tea, like most herbal teas in fact. It’s been known to induce relaxation and relieve anxiety for several centuries, and was used extensively.

This herbal tea is also caffeine free, which makes it even better for drinking right before bed.

Where does valerian grow ?

Valerian is native to Europe and Asia, but may be grown in other parts of the world as greenhouses allow.

Being native to Europe, it was very much used throughout Britain, continental Europe, and Scandinavia. It appears in older documents and is mentioned by Hippocrates as a calming and sleep aid.

Valerian has been known to grow in Asia as well, particularly China (or at least, that’s where it was recorded), and somewhere in the past has been planted in South and North America as well.

Do keep in mind that there’s about 200 subspecies and variations of the valerian plant, but what we’re discussing today and using in teas and tinctures is known medically as Valeriana officinalis.

You can grow your own valerian, most probably right in your backyard. There are quite a few articles on how to grow it at home, and how beneficial it is to other plants in the garden.

What does valerian look like ?

Valerian is a tall flowering plant, reaching as much as 6 full feet (1.82 m), with many thin but sturdy stems, and small white flowers.

The most important part of the valerian plant is the root itself, which what is used for teas, tinctures, ancient sleeping potions, valerian baths, and general brewing.

Left – valerian root, stem, and flower, and a small bowl of dried valerian root.
Right – close-up of valerian flowers, can sometimes be pinkish.

Can you use leaves or fresh root for valerian tea ?

As explained by Henriette (owner of a very helpful and thorough herbal guide), the best part to use is the root, the other parts above ground are much weaker. Flowers can be used as well, but again will be weaker than the root.

And the dried root is always stronger than fresh root, so make sure you get your hands on dried valerian root, otherwise it won’t be as strong.

Or, if you’ve got fresh valerian growing in your garden, make sure to dry the root before use.

How to make valerian root tea

Making your own cup of valerian root tea will be easy enough, since this is a herbal tea and will not get bitter if you steep it for too long. Neither does it have any special instructions.

I recommend you use loose dried root, as opposed to teabags. This is mostly because the teabags are a little dim in their effects. However if you use a teabag, it might comes as part of a bedtime tea blend, or some other blend intended to promote relaxation.

As a result it might be just as strong because it used another herb in conjunction with valerian – like chamomile or lavender – or it might just not smell as awful as full-on valerian.

So, for a cup of valerian tea, you’ll need:

  • 9 oz/266 ml hot water (90 C/194 F)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of loose dried valerian root
  • OR a valerian root teabag
  • tea mug to keep the tea
  • kettle or pot to heat the water
  • strainer or filter to separate the valerian from the tea

About the amount of water to use, I recommend you use 9 full oz/266 ml of water because about a whole ounce/33 ml will be absorbed by the dried valerian root, and you’ll end up about 8 oz/236 ml of actual, brewed tea.

So make sure you bring your water up to boil, either on the stove or in an electric kettle. This makes sure your water is evenly heated, and makes the whole process easier to stop when you please.

After your water’s been brought to boiling point, turn the heat off, and take the water off the heat. Let it sit to cool down for 2 full minutes, so it gets to about 90 C/194 F.

No tea, not even herbal tea, should ever be made with boiling 100 C/212 F water. You get a very poor tasting brew that way, and scald the plant as well.

Once the water is at the right temperature, add it to the valerian, or the valerian to it, however you please. The best method seems to be simply steeping the tea in the tea mug you’re going to drink from in the first place.

For this, Sweese has a nice little tea mug that comes with a metal filter and porcelain lid. Okay, the mug is not very little, it’s actually larger, about 15 oz/440 ml.

The mug is porcelain as well, and the metal filter is stainless steel. You simply need to insert the filter into the mug along with the tea or teabags, and steep with the filter in. Once you’re done, remove the filter and you’re ready to drink.

You can check the listing on Amazon for this mug, and read the reviews as well.

What does valerian tea taste like ?

You might’ve heard about valerian root before, and if so then you’ve definitely heard it stinks. Boy does it crack your nose.

But what about taste ? Well, I’ll be honest with you, valerian doesn’t taste all that great. It tastes less bad than it smells, but it’s still not a flavor many people readily embrace.

It’s tolerable, and after a few sips you can almost ignore it, especially if you sweeten it a little, or add half a slice of lemon to lighten things up.

If I had to describe the taste of valerian, I’d say it tastes a bit sweet, but a sickly kind of sweet, and reminds me of an unhappy cross between chamomile and lavender.

You know how lavender can be just too strong ? That, plus a very herbal tone.

If valerian root tea sounds like a good idea so far, you can give ti a shot. It’s best used as a longer term treatment (2-3 weeks), though I’ve used it for 203 days and slept well even like that.

So I recommend you give loose valerian root (dried) a chance, and get that over the pre-made teabags. For example this bulk bag from Frontier offers you 16 oz/400 gr of dried, cut, and sifted valerian root.

It comes in a sealed bag, and I suggest you get yourself some airtight containers to keep the valerian once you’ve opened the bag, as it can’t be sealed back.

I’ve had teabags that made my entire kitchen smell, just a heads up.

I’m recommending this bulk bag and not a box of teabags because it’s actually a steal. For how much valerian root you get, and how many uses – you can even grind it into powder and make it into capsules – it’s a very nice price.

You can check the listing on Amazon here, and read the reviews as well.

Why does valerian root smell ?

I mentioned the smell. Well, valerian root does smell, as do the flowers, but we rarely end up smelling the flowers themselves.

The roots are what we commonly use in teas and thus what we usually end up smelling.

There’s no way around it, valerian root smells like meat going bad, feet, or some varieties of aged cheese. For me the smells is very reminiscent of the proteins in milk breaking down, after it’s been left in a warm place for a couple of days.

That being said, there is a definite herbal note to it, resembling hay for example, which might make it tolerable for some people. And as with anything you’re exposed to for a long time, you’ll develop a tolerance tot he smell and end up associating it with drowsiness.

But why does valerian smell ? No one’s really got an answer to that, aside that it contains valerenic acid, which smells that way by nature.

Apparently valerian and its strong smell have been just accepted since ancient times, and there’s not much info on why it smells.

This means that any form of valerian you will find – tincture, essential oil, dried root, tea, capsules, powder form, anything – will have a strong smell.

Cats seem to love the smell of valerian though, since it’s very similar to the pheromones cats give out when they’re ready to mate. So, maybe don’t give valerian to your cat ?

Valerian tea health benefits and side effects

There are definite health benefits to valerian root tea, as well as some possible side effects. Most of them have to do with the calming qualities valerian has on our bodies, and sometimes that can go too far if valerian root is taken in large amounts.

Can you drink valerian tea every night ?

For a time, yes, you could drink valerian tea every night. Prolonged exposure to valerian gives you a higher tolerance, which may mean you’ll have to up the dosage, which is not something you should be doing, as this is a mild sedative we’re talking about.

Having said this, no one really agrees on exactly how long you should take valerian for. Most doctors recommend you don’t go past 3 weeks back to back, while others insist on 6-7 weeks of continuous treatment (albeit in smaller doses).

Valerian can take a while to have the desired effect on some people. Some react immediately and become relaxed, sleepy, calm.

Others, like those battling severe stress and chronic insomnia usually need the longer treatments. But in those cases I recommend you follow the instructions your doctor gives you about how long to take valerian.

In short, if you’re an average Joe, with no severe anxiety, insomnia, or stress, a cup of valerian tea every night for a couple weeks is probably fine, as long as you stop once you’ve got the desired effect.

Valerian tea for sleep

Sleep and sleep related troubles are probably the most common reasons people drink valerian tea. Not only is herbal tea (due to the lack of caffeine) a great sleep aid, but valerian tea is especially great at relaxing the mind and the body.

Why does valerian work so well for sleep and relaxation ? Because its M.O. is very much like a benzodiazepine (such as Valium), with a couple of differences.

Valerian is very useful in this respect, and has proven to be effective at aiding sleep, usually if taken in concentrations up to 1 gram per day (such as powdered root in capsules).

Most studies have been done on valerian in capsule form, which is a bit stronger than the steeped tea from the dried root. However, the effects are of the same type, only possibly on a smaller scale.

I used to take valerian for sleep in high school, and at times in college, because I’d have this knack of staying up much too late, considering I had to be up early the next day.

What I can tell you about valerian is that I sometimes woke up very groggy, when I’d taken too much. Not saying it will happen to you, just pointing out my experience.

Valerian tea for anxiety and stress

Valerian root, in all its glory (fresh).

The second reason people take valerian is to reduce stress response, and anxiety. This is again due to its similarity to Valium and other sedatives, helping to relax the body, and thus the mind.

It comes as a sort of companion effect to the sleep aid, since you can’t fall asleep if you’re continuously worried about this or that.

When drinking valerian tea for anxiety or stress, you should be drinking it during the day, but in a smaller concentration, Or, just one cup, so it won’t hinder your day-to-day activities.

Valerian tea and pregnancy

Valerian tea isn’t very well studied when it comes to pregnant women, however the studies we do have say that it may hinder the baby’s brain development in a small way (zinc deficiency). Granted, this research was done on lab mice, but it’s a definite find.

Also, since valerian is a mild sedative, it will induce drowsiness, sleepiness, and general low energy on your part as an expectant mother, which is not a good thing. As a pregnant lady you need your energy.

So I would day one cup every other day would be alright, as long as you don’t overdo it or drink it for months on end. These are just my two cents, keep in mind I am not a medic or a licensed herbalist.

You can follow my advice or completely ignore it, it’s up to you. If you’re unsure, speak to your medic and ask him which herbal teas are safe for you and the baby during pregnancy.

Valerian tea side effects

There are some side effects to drinking valerian tea continuously. These mostly happen when you’ve been drinking large amounts of this tea, for prolonged periods of time.

So something like 4 cups a day for 3 weeks, which is not something many people do, but I’m sure there’s a few out there.

Valerian’s side effects include drowsiness, sluggish responses to stimuli, groggy when waking up, lethargy.

In more extreme cases it can lead to dizziness, low blood pressure, and possible stomach aches or headaches.

This is why when taking valerian, whether as tea or extract or capsules, you should not drive or handle heavy machinery, or do anything that requires sharp reflexes.

And of course, make sure to not take valerian along with alcohol. Or in conjunction with any medication meant for anxiety, stress, or depression.

For some people, valerian works completely differently. Even if they were to take a small amount of valerian, it would give them energy, make them restless, much like a caffeine overdose.

Other than these, there aren’t many other known side effects of valerian.


Valerian tea is a wonderful aid for sleep and anxiety, but you need to be careful about it. It’s why some people have trouble understanding it, and maybe overreact when hearing you’re drinking valerian tea or taking valerian capsules.

As long as you’re responsible, and also check with your doctor if you have any questions, you should be fine. if you doctor is unavailable, a pharmacist should be able to help as well.

The tea itself a a very strong smelling and tasting tea, so blending it with other herbs to alleviate the flavor or scent might be a good idea.

If you want to know more about coffee or tea, feel free to check the related articles below. Who knows what else you might find ?

The perfect cup of valerian root tea is much easier than you would expect. Valerian root tea is one of the oldest natural remedies that has been described by ancient text. It has withstood the test of time due to ease of preparation, it’s medicinal benefits, and it’s ease of dosage. While in ancient times the process may have taken weeks from drying the root to brewing the tea, Native American Tea Company has made it quite simple. You can now order, steep, and drink the best cup of valerian root tea you have ever had!

The preparation process of valerian root tea has been simplified over the years with individually bagged, single-use tea bags. You no longer have to harvest the root and wait for the drying process. To brew the finest cup of valerian root tea, you’ll need to purchase Teepee Dreams from Native American Tea Company.

  1. Fill a tea kettle (stainless steel) with filtered water and allow to boil.
  2. Add Teepee Dreams tea bags to separate teapot.
    1. 1 bag per 8 oz. of water
  3. Once water in the kettle has boiled, pour the hot water into the teapot. The Teepee Dreams tea bags should be well covered with liquid.
  4. Allow the tea bags to steep for up to 15 minutes in the teapot.
  5. Open teapot and remove the Teepee Dreams tea bags.
  6. Close up the teapot.
  7. Serve in your favorite mug!

To reap all of the benefits of the Valerian Root within the Teepee Dreams tea bags, the proper steeping time is critical. Valerian root is a fantastic way to relax and unwind. It has also been proven to help with sedation which will improve sleep. No wonder Teepee Dreams is a popular bedtime tea! Native American Tea Company caters to tea drinkers and tea enthusiasts across the country. Shop our entire selection of teas to help promote healthy living and natural sleeping habits.

I’d like to show you a few ways how to make Valerian Root Tea. This herb is
one of the most powerful available and can help, prevent and cure different problems including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Heart palpation
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Mouth sores
  • Gas and stomach fermentation
  • Menstruation
  • Colds and fevers

And can even help with pimples when taken externally. It’s one of the best nerve tonics available and is very calming and soothing.

Were going to look at two different ways to make the tea, any dangers, and a few other ways to take the root. First let’s look at what you’ll need.

What You’ll Need

Before you make the tea you’ll need a few things. The first you thing you need to ask yourself is whether you wish to make the tea yourself, or to use teabags.

Some people believe the tea bags filter out the delicate taste of the root. Making a tea out of the root is really easy as you’ll see in a second. Here’s a great place to buy organic, cut Valerian Root.

If you wish to use use tea bags, this is the best place to get those.

All you’ll need is either the root or tea bag, a glass to drink the tea from, clean water, some way to heat the water up and non-aluminum pans. That’s all!

How To Make The Tea With The Root

If you are using dried herb you only need 1 teaspoon and if it is freshly crushed herb, you’ll need 3 teaspoons; this is the amount for 1 cup of water. If you are making 2 cups worth double the amount and 3 cups triple the amount.

Usually you would boil the water to make tea with a herb, but YOU CAN”T BOIL VALERIAN ROOT. So when the water is about 1/3rd boiled (when you start seeing the small bubbles) pour it onto the root in another container.

Cover it and let steep for 5 to 10 minutes and it’s ready to go.

I told you it was easy.

If you wish to make the tea stronger, use more herbs and don’t steep for a longer time. This can make the tea taste bitter. You can add milk and cream to help with flavor.

In warm weather you must make the tea fresh everyday to prevent souring. You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week.

How Much Should I Take?

This really depends on how strong your stomach is and whether or not you are prone to nausea or anything like that.

A good rule of thumb is to take about 4 cups a day; a hour before each meal and one before going to bed (you’ll sleep like a rock!)

If you aren’t getting good results, then you need to make minor adjustments until you feel its effects. This can include taking more or less throughout the day.

How To Prepare With Teabags

If you go this route, the Valerian will probably be mixed with other herb which is completely fine. If you wish to only have Valerian, then get the root and prepare it your own way.

My advice is to try both ways and see which you like better.

Having the teabag makes the process even easier. All you have to do is add a cups worth of water that’s boiled 1/3rd of the way to a cup with the teabag already in it.

Cover and let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes and enjoy.


This is one of the strongest herbs available and despite being deemed completely safe by the FDA, you shouldn’t take the tea for more than a few weeks at a time. If you do you can get some mild side effects.

Other forms of the Valerian root like capsules and extracts are safe to take for longer periods.

If you have a weak stomach, don’t be alarmed if you become nauseated or sick after taking the herbal tea. It’s not the herbs fault, but the sensitivity of the stomach is to blame. If this is the case, it can be remedied by taking small amounts throughout the day.

Just take teaspoon doses of the tea about every 15 minutes and increase until it’s possible to take the full amount.

If you wish to improve the taste for children, you can add some honey or malt sugar. Do not used refined sugar or sugar substitutes.


Other Ways To Take The Root

The reason I recommend getting the root is because of all the different things you can do with it.

You can make your own:

  • Infusions
  • Extracts
  • Tinctures
  • Powders
  • Capsules
  • Syrups
  • Salves
  • Poultices

Of course, you could always buy each version of those too. This is a very versatile root and can be taken so many different ways.

Before I Go

I just want to say thank you for reading. I hope you learned a few new things and found exactly what you were looking for.

Herbs are far better for you than any chemical medication. They have no side effects if used correctly.

They heal your body the way nature intended.

There’s literally a herb for every sickness or disorder you will come across. They are so easy to use and with a little guidance, like you’ll find on this website, you’ll have no problem getting their powers.

Valerian root is just one of the herbs that can help you in life. There are literally hundreds that will calm you, energize you and heal you.

Starwest botanical is a great place to get any herb, extract, tea, capsule or any other thing you can think of. Everything is delivered right to your door and can be shipped to any where in the world. They are one of the leaders in the industry.

If you have any questions, opinions or thoughts please comment below and I’ll respond as fast as possible. Also, share on social media for friends and family to see.


If you struggle with insomnia or have difficulty relaxing at night, then you might want to sip on a cup of valerian root tea before heading to bed. Known for its ability to help you sleep better, ease your nerves, calm your mind, and relax your body, valerian root has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for countless ailments.

What is valerian root tea?

Valerian root tea is a brew that uses valerian root as its primary ingredient. Valerian root is taken from the valerian plant, which is native to Europe and parts of Asia. The medicinal properties come from drying the root of the plant and using it in various remedies to help induce sleep, calm nerves, and reduce stress.

Valerian root has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, according to the National Institutes of Health. It can be purchased as a health supplement and used in many different forms, including tinctures, capsules, and tablets, but many people opt to drink it in the form of warm valerian root tea right before bed because it has been shown to help ease nerves and encourage sleep.

“Valerian is a non-addictive and safe botanical with mild anxiety and sleep-inducing effects,” explains Elizabeth Trattner, AP, LAc., Dipl. Ac., NCCAOM, a board-certified acupuncturist who practices integrative and Chinese medicine.

“Valerian is a non-addictive and safe botanical with mild anxiety and sleep-inducing effects,” explains Elizabeth Trattner, A.P., L.Ac., Dipl. Ac., NCCAOM, a board-certified acupuncturist who practices integrative and Chinese medicine.

Valerian root tea health benefits are numerous, but get ready to plug your nose when you drink it. Dr. Trattner says that valerian root tea has a distinct pungent smell of dirty socks. If you’re very sensitive to smells, you may want to try standardized capsules instead of valerian root tea.

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Valerian Root Tea Benefits

By now you probably have a general sense of valerian root’s primary health benefit — calming — but what is valerian root tea good for, exactly? Well, imagine having a safe, non-habit-forming solution to your mild anxiety and sleep problems at night that you can sip on; that’s the way many people describe valerian root tea health benefits. But let’s dive into the specifics, shall we?

Valerian root tea is most known for its use as a sleep aid and its relaxing and sedative properties. As a result, it is most often used for inducing sleep and managing chronic insomnia. There have been several studies done on the effectiveness of valerian root tea for sleep.

In a May 2017 study published in Nature and Science of Sleep, researchers looked at various herbal supplements for treating insomnia. They tested 120 subjects with sleep disturbance symptoms. The 120 participants were randomized in two groups of 60 each, receiving either the placebo or the dosage of two pills per day 30 minutes before their scheduled bedtime.

The study found a statistically significant difference between the two groups. The group receiving the compound showed a lower time of sleep onset, more total sleep time, and fewer night awakenings compared to the placebo group. And the researchers found evidence that botanical dietary supplements with relaxing and soothing properties — valerian root among them — may help practitioners treat insomnia.

Valerian root tea has been known to help with various sleep issues, including trouble falling asleep, frequent wakefulness in a mid-sleep cycle, and inability to fall back to sleep after waking in the middle of the night.

In addition to its ability to help with sleep, you may be able to use valerian root tea for anxiety. In fact, because valerian root tea is also good for relaxing muscles and calming nerves, it’s sometimes used in place of anxiety medications, according to herbalist Karen Brennan, MSW, NC.

Valerian root is known to increase a calming neurotransmitter called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the body. Brennan says valerian root tea has also been found useful for headaches, ADHD, stress, restlessness, muscle and arthritis pain, and menstrual cramping.

Even though valerian root tea is well known for its ability to help induce sleep, Trattner says it’s important to remember that the herb takes time to work and will not help you fall asleep immediately; valerian root tea usually requires two to three weeks of nightly use before you see a difference.

The recommended adult dosage of valerian root is 1 to 3 grams of the root (or 800 to 1,200 mg of an extract standardized to 0.8 to 1.0 percent valerenic acid) taken 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime. Because of the time it takes for your body to respond to valerian root tea, you might only want to use it if you have chronic insomnia.

Valerian Root Tea Side Effects

Because people drink valerian root tea to aid sleep and calm nerves, it makes sense that the main side effect of valerian root tea would be drowsiness. Brennan recommends trying valerian root tea at home and not doing any complicated tasks afterward until you know how your body responds to it.

Not everyone reacts the same way to valerian root. In fact, while some people can fall asleep right away, others might have the opposite reaction and become wired. This is another good reason to try valerian root tea at home on a night when your sleep could be disrupted with little to no complications the next day.

It’s wise to stick to the recommended dose of valerian root tea for your needs. Using too much could lead to a valerian root tea overdose and cause headaches, dizziness, and gastrointestinal disturbances. Other valerian root tea side effects include mental dullness, uneasiness, excitability (if you have the opposite reaction), and heart disturbances. If you drink valerian root tea at a higher dose than is recommended, you may also feel sluggish the next morning.

Considering one of the main risks of taking prescription sleep aids is becoming dependent on them, it’s reasonable — and smart — to want to ask, “Is valerian root addictive?” Unlike other sleep medications that can cause you to become dependent on them for falling and staying asleep, valerian root tea is non-habit forming. That said, even though valerian root tea is not considered addictive, you may experience withdrawal symptoms if you abruptly stop drinking the tea, which is why it’s best to reduce your intake over time.

The effects of valerian root tea on the heart could be an issue. There have been some valerian root tea dangers associated with heart disturbances, especially if you are taking a medication to treat a heart or blood pressure condition. If you have a heart condition, it’s wise to talk with your doctor prior to using valerian root tea.

Is valerian root tea safe?

Safety is always something that comes up when using a supplement. When trying to decide if a product is safe for you, it’s best to start by speaking with your doctor. If they give you the go-ahead to try valerian root tea, you might want to take your research one step further and talk with an herbalist.

Valerian root is sold as a dietary supplement and regulated as a food in the United States, which means that premarket evaluation and approval is not required by the Food and Drug Administration, and resulting products can vary in potency and quality. That’s why it’s best to work with an herbalist who can help you find the highest quality valerian root tea to fit your needs.

The good news is that valerian root tea is listed as Safety Class 1 by the American Herbal Products Association, which means it’s considered safe for consumption, says Shari Auth, DACM, LAC, LMT, a board-certified acupuncturist and herbalist; however, Auth says there are some instances when valerian root tea can be dangerous.

Drinking valerian root tea during pregnancy is not recommended. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not take valerian root without medical advice, according to the National Institutes of Health, and children under three years old should also avoid valerian.

Mixing alcohol or drugs — such as barbiturates, benzodiazepines, anticonvulsants, and antidepressants — with valerian root can increase your risk of adverse effects. Experts advise that you avoid driving or operating any machinery if you plan on drinking valerian root tea due to its sedative nature. It’s best used when you are ready to settle in and go to bed.

How to Make Valerian Root Tea

There are a variety of ways to make and brew valerian root tea, so it’s a good idea to experiment with different brands and methods to find a valerian root tea recipe that works for you. Valerian root tea is often found in nighttime teas and can be combined with other sleep-inducing herbs, such as lavender, jasmine, and chamomile.

If you’re looking for the best valerian root tea you can purchase at the store, Auth recommends Hey Girl, It’s Bedtime ($17.09 for 18 bags, Amazon), a ready-made nighttime tea blend that contains valerian root and other herbs.

Sunny Brigham, MS, CNS, a board-certified clinical and integrative nutritionist, recommends buying and using valerian root tea the way that is easiest for you. She suggests trying commercial brands of valerian root tea, such as Traditional Medicinals’ Nighty Night tea ($22.17 for 16 bags, Amazon) or Alvita’s Valerian Root tea ($12.67 for 24 bags, Amazon). Yogi also has a sleepy-time tea with valerian root in it. Brigham says that purchasing the dried herb from a reputable source is also an option.

The correct valerian root tea dosage depends on the product you buy. But typically, you will use one valerian root tea bag to make your tea. You can make a valerian root tea or infusion with herbs purchased either commercially or in bulk. Place a valerian root tea bag in a cup and pour boiling water over it. Cover the cup to trap the steam. Brigham recommends covering the cup with another cup, then allowing the tea to steep for 10 minutes.

If you are looking for something stronger than tea, Brigham says you can try a valerian root infusion, which would be stronger than the valerian root tea. An herbal infusion is very much like a tea, only it is steeped longer and uses a larger amount of herb. If you plan on making an infusion, she says to double the amount of tea and allow it to steep for several hours. This makes the brew stronger and sometimes more effective.

When it comes to deciding which method to use, Brigham explains that utilizing a valerian root tea or valerian root infusion really depends on the level and length of symptoms, as well as on your overall health.

Many people decide to make their own valerian root tea from scratch. If you want to know how to brew valerian root tea at home, Brennan recommends the following recipe for valerian root tea:

  • To make valerian root tea, steep a teaspoon of the dried root in one cup of hot water for 10 minutes (roots need to steep longer than the aerial parts of a plant).
  • Strain and drink.
  • If you are using this as a sleep aid, consume 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime.
  • The root has a distinct aroma. Some people like the scent, while others do not. In order to make valerian root tea taste (and smell) better, you can add a bit of raw honey to the tea.
  • Choose organic valerian root whenever possible.

If you’re wondering how to make valerian root tea taste better, you’re not alone. In addition to adding honey, there are a variety of other ways to make valerian root tea taste better. You can add sugar, milk, lemon, and peppermint to minimize some of the bitter taste. If you want to minimize the valerian root tea smell, consider steeping the valerian root tea bags for a shorter amount of time. The longer the tea steeps, the stronger the odor and taste become.

This post was written by Sara Lindberg.

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I drink lots and lots of tea. I’ve never had any reaction to caffeine, but I still don’t like to drink tea right before I sleep. I do sometimes crave a cup late at night so I drink herbal. I vary between my nightly picks but lately, I’ve been drinking a DIY sleep time herbal tea to promote sleep.

I don’t like chamomile (which would be the obvious choice) because I think I was given too much being sick as a child, so I have a really bad association. I searched for a while for a ready made night time herbal tea blend, but everything had chamomile.

Blend it Yourself

I finally gave up and decided to do my own blend. It took a minimal effort to read and learn about what herbs, roots or flowers helped with relaxation or as a sleep aid, and a bit of trial and error with blending. After a few tests, I decided to add some extra ingredients to help improve its flavor, since during my first trials my husband said it tasted like ‘hot dirty water’, yikes! I’m not going to say this is the most flavorful tea, but it’s meant for a purpose. This sleep time herbal tea has lemony notes and works well unsweetened.

Please note there are some affiliate links, meaning I will get a small commission if you click through and make a purchase, without any extra cost to you. This will help support my blog and create new content!

The herbs I considered to use were some popular ones that have some relaxing effect to reduce physical and mental tension. (NOTE: Please ask your doctor if you are pregnant, nursing or taking any medications before trying herbal products. Since many herbs and supplements have the potential to interact with both prescription and over-the-counter medications, always consult your healthcare provider before adding a herbal tea to your nightly routine)

Always get your herbs from reputable sources! I recommend Starwest Botanicals if you’re purchasing herbs online.

Sleep Time Herbal Tea Recipe

Valerian – Promotes healthy relaxation and sleep (This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration). It is widely used in teas, extracts and as capsules to treat insomnia. Smell and taste can be considered unpleasant to some (but don’t worry, it is well blended with other herbs and you won’t feel its taste!). If you want to use it on its own, it’s recommended to use about 2 gms and steep for 10 minutes in boiled water. Studies have shown that it works more effectively after 2 weeks of consistent use.

Lemon Balm – It is considered a calming herb. Especially when it is combined with other calming herbs like valerian and hops, it helps to reduce anxiety and promote sleep. It has a nice lemony scent. (Check out some other ideas on how to use this herb)

Passionflower – There are many species of passionflower, but certain species like Passiflora incarnata may treat insomnia. Its chemicals have calming and sleep inducing effects. It has citrusy notes and can tone down the bitterness of valerian when combined with it.

Lavender – It has a reputation of being a relaxing herb. It support the nervous system and may help to calm your nerves and relieve anxiety. You can make an infusion from fresh or dried flowers and it also helps with flavoring the tea.

Linden – It is commonly used as a natural sedative to combat anxiety and promote relaxation. You can use the flowes, leaves or bark to make an infusion.

I added Rose Petals and Lemongrass to improve the blend’s flavor and aroma. The result was a pleasant infusion with a slight lemony flavor and scent.

Herbal Tea Recipe

  • 1 part Valerian
  • 2 parts Lemon Balm
  • 1 part Passionflower
  • 1 part Lavender
  • 1 part Linden
  • 1 part Rose Petals
  • 1 part Lemongrass

Mix well and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

To brew: use 1 full tablespoon to 1 cup of boiling water and brew for 5-7 minutes, ideally covered. You can also cold brew it and drink it iced before bedtime.RELATED: DIY Golden Milk Recipe

If you DO Enjoy Chamomile…

After writing this post I got a night time herbal tea with chamomile and I was able to drink it and even enjoy it! The key ingredients to weaken that strong chamomile flavor were: hibiscus and rosehip.

– Another option for this recipe would be to use the 5 main herbs, add chamomile (1 part), rosehip (1 part) and hibiscus (1/2 part).

By all means, do play around and add chamomile if you love it, or remove a herb that you don’t like. Try to keep the first 5 ingredients the same but experiment to modify the flavor (just try not to add stimulating herbs like ginger, turmeric, etc.).

Do you drink a night time herbal tea? What’s in it? Let me know in the comments if you have another recipe, or if you tried it and liked it!

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a lovely garden plant with pinkish-white aromatic flowers. A perennial to Zone 4, valerian thrives in sun to partial shade, is easily propagated, and requires little care. Plant it in the back of your garden, though, since it can grow up to six feet tall!

Valerian is more than a garden beauty, however. It has a documented use spanning more than 2000 years!

When people think of valerian, it’s typically on their go-to list for insomnia. While valerian has been used extensively as a sleep aid, it has also been used for upper respiratory problems, pain relief, skin problems, and cramps. You’ll find valerian used in tinctures, cough syrups, ointments and salves, teas and other beverages.

9 Ways To Use Valerian

To learn more about valerian and its many uses, stop on over to our article here and then follow up with these resources that follow!

Sheltering with Valerian

If you’re a history buff and an herbalist, you’ll enjoy learning about how valerian was used during World War II. Soldiers with shell shock and civilians with frayed nerves used valerian to counter the psychological effects of war.

Valerian for the First Aid Kit

Do you have your herbal first aid kit ready for summer? Keep versatile valerian root on hand to soothe sore muscles and bruises, to relieve a chesty cough, or to help you fall asleep.

Dad’s Cough and Bronchial Concoction

If you’ve used mullein to calm a cough, you might want to add valerian and make “Dad’s Cough and Bronchial Concoction.” Making this during the summer will help you prepare for the upcoming cold and flu season.

*Editor’s Note: This recipes has been updated, and lobelia has now replaced the valerian the recipe originally called for. Either can be used appropriately here.

Bronchial Relaxer Tea

This bronchial relaxer tea made with valerian is perfect for spastic coughs. Get this recipe and nine others especially good for cold and flu season on this post:

Black Cherry Cough Syrup

This black cherry cough syrup tastes great and is perfect for soothing coughs and sore throats.

Sleepytime Tea Tincture

Are you one of many people who have trouble falling—or staying—asleep? If you lead a fairly healthy life and still having one of those nights that you just can’t get to sleep, there are many herbs that can help calm the mind and body to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Try this sleep time tea with valerian. Get the recipe, along with additional tips for getting a good night’s rest here:

Valerian Mint Cordial

Hard day at work? This valerian mint cordial recipe makes a perfect, relaxing nightcap. The cordial is rather simple, with only two main ingredients. Valerian is the main force in this recipe, keeping us covered for the sleepy side of the formula. Get the recipe:

Aunt Flo’s Cramps-B-Gone Tea

If you suffer from menstrual cramps, be sure to read how valerian and other herbs can help and try out this tea by The Hippy Homemaker. For an even yummier flavor in your tea, add a pinch of cinnamon chips or peppermint leaf to your herbal mixture.

Headache Ease Tincture

Struggle with headaches? This “headache ease” tincture can help get the pain under control. Don’t have all the ingredients on hand? Check out the handy list of herbal substitutions in the post.

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