Best Valerian Root Supplements Ranked for 2018 – Top 10 Brands

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Jump Ahead to the Best Valerian Root Product

What is Valerian Root?

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a beautiful flowering plant with a tall stem (up to 6 feet) and pink to white sweet-smelling flowers.  Some people believe that it was named after Valerius, a man who was the first to describe its benefits and use it in medicine. Others think that the name comes from the Latin word “valere”, which means “to be healthy”. Valerian also shares its name with Valeria, an ancient ruling-class family in the Roman empire.

Throughout history, valerian has been used for its medicinal properties. Perhaps the most famous application is its use as a sleep aid for insomnia, but some accounts have described its use for anxiety, cough, seizures, headache, stomach cramps, pain, nasal congestion, menopausal symptoms, and even as protection against the plague!

The medicinal properties of valerian are mostly contained in the roots. Traditionally, valerian was used to make tea and other concoctions. Most modern valerian dietary supplements contain crushed roots of Valeriana officinalis in a capsule, making it very convenient to use.

Most valerian root supplements are marketed as mild sedatives and sleep aids, which has long been its dominant use. Research has suggested that the sedative and anxiety-reducing effects of valerian root may be due to mimicking the action of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. This mechanism of action is similar to that of much stronger sedatives such as diazepam (Valium) and alprazolam (Xanax).

Uses & Benefits of Valerian Root

*It is important to note that the currently existing evidence does not support using valerian root as a standalone therapy or as a substitute for conventional therapy for any of the above indications. Consult your physician before making any changes to your treatment regimen.

How to Take Valerian Root

Some people like to make tea with valerian to drink before bedtime, helping them calm down and sleep better. Others prefer to make tinctures from it since some of the compounds in valerian are not soluble in water.

A more convenient method that requires minimal effort on your part and is sure to provide you with the full valerian root benefits is taking it in capsule form. Valerian supplements contain concentrated valerian root extract, which is rapidly absorbed and typically  well tolerated.

According to some sources, the recommended valerian root dosage for insomnia ranges from 250 to 600 mg before bedtime or up to 3 doses during the day. It may take a few days or weeks for the effects to become apparent. A higher valerian root supplement dosage should still be well tolerated, but we recommend starting with a lower dose and working your way up if needed.

The valerian supplement dosage for anxiety is often lower than that required for insomnia. 120 to 200 mg three times per day is a good starting point.

Valerian Root Side Effects & Precautions

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies valerian root under the “generally recognized as safe (GRAS)” category, which means that it can be used as a food additive or dietary supplement safely.

Most of the clinical trials that were conducted to evaluate the benefits and effects reported no significant side effects. Although some studies reported headache, dizziness, itching, and gastrointestinal disturbances, similar effects were often reported in the placebo groups.

Furthermore, a clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of valerian root extract on reaction time, alertness and concentration the morning after intake, and found no negative impact.

Valerian may interact with other central nervous system depressants, potentially producing harmful effects. It is recommended not to take valerian with benzodiazepines (e.g. Xanax), barbiturates (e.g. phenobarbital), morphine, or alcohol.

We recommend that you consult your physician before using valerian root, especially if you take any medications

What to Look for in a Good Valerian Root Supplement

As with any other supplement, buying from a reputable manufacturer that adheres to good manufacturing practices (GMP) is essential. High quality products come in varying dosages and potencies, which you should consider before buying.

Top 10 Valerian Root Products Compared

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1. NOW Foods Valerian Root

NOW Foods Valerian Root

NOW makes one of the best valerian root supplements available today. It comes in the form of veggie capsules containing a hypoallergenic and powerful formulation. Now Foods Valerian Root is non-GMO and is made in a GMP certified facility.

Specs

  • 500 mg valerian root per capsule
  • Natural herbal supplement
  • Vegan/vegetarian
  • Gluten, nut, sugar, dairy, egg, soy, and corn-free
  • Non-GMO
  • GMP certified facility
  • Affordable

Who Makes It?

NOW is a very popular manufacturer of dietary supplements. Founded in Illinois in 1968, NOW has since maintained a family-owned, quality-oriented business model. NOW Foods is committed to providing consumers with premium products that help them support their health. Keeping in line with their reputation, they make one of the most powerful valerian root supplements.

Bottom Line

This is definitely a top valerian root supplement. NOW is a reputable manufacturer; you can rest assured that their products have passed rigorous tests and are free of harmful substances. The valerian root dosage in this product is just right, and the price is affordable.

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2. Nature’s Way Valerian

Nature's Way Valerian

This is another top valerian root supplement. Nature’s Way uses whole powdered valerian root in this product, which is as close to natural as you can get. These good valerian root pills are vegetarian and contain no artificial additives, gluten, corn, starch, sugar, wheat, dairy, or yeast.

Specs

  • 530 mg valerian root per capsule
  • Natural herbal supplement
  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten, sugar, dairy, egg, soy, and corn-free
  • Non-GMO
  • Affordable

Who Makes It?

Nature’s Way is a reputable manufacturer of premium dietary supplements. Established in 1968 by Tom Murdock, Nature’s Way has grown into a quality-minded, science-based supplement manufacturer. They use only the best ingredients and incorporate rigorous quality control measures. Nature’s Way was one of the first manufacturers to implement Tru-ID verification, which ensures that the info on the label is accurate and authentic.

Bottom Line

You can’t go wrong with Nature’s Way Valerian Root. This strong valerian root supplement is affordable and is sure to give you the full valerian root benefits.

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3. Gaia Herbs Valerian Root

Gaia Herbs Valerian Root

Gaia Herbs makes one of the most effective valerian root supplements. Their patented Liquid Phyto-Caps are vegetarian; free of heavy metals, pesticides, and other contaminants; and are easily swallowed and rapidly absorbed by the body.

Specs

  • Each serving (2 capsules) contains 450 mg valerian root providing 1.8 mg valerenic acid
  • High bioavailability
  • Certified organic
  • Vegetarian
  • Gelatin free
  • Dairy and gluten-free

Who Makes It?

As a company, Gaia Herbs is all about purity and integrity. Gaia Herb’s formula for success includes treating all their workers as family, as well as their commitment to providing top-quality products that can help people maintain their wellbeing.

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4. Solaray Organic Valerian

Solaray Organic Valerian

Solaray Organic Valerian Root supplement provides a high content of valerenic acids, the active component in valerian. This organic, green-screened product is a very effective valerian root supplement.

Specs

  • Each capsule contains 515 mg organic valerian root
  • Vegetarian
  • A bit more expensive

Who Makes It?

Founded in Utah in 1973, Solaray has since been a leading dietary supplement manufacturer. They follow GMP guidelines and employ rigorous quality control measures, ensuring the purity of their ingredients and potency of their supplements.

Bottom Line

Solaray Organic Valerian Root is a very good valerian root supplement, but it is priced a little higher than similar formulations from competitors.

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5. Solgar Valerian Root Extract

Solgar Valerian Root Extract

Solgar Valerian Root Extract is standardized to provide a high content of valerenic acid, making it one of the best valerian root supplements.

Specs

  • Each capsule contains 300 mg standardized valerian extract, providing 2.4 mg valerenic acid
  • Vegetarian
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Somewhat expensive

Who Makes It?

Solgar, the maker of this product, has been around for 70+ years. Their science-based approach to manufacturing and their commitment to quality have earned them a reputation as one of the best.

Bottom Line

Due to its potent standardized formulation, this Solgar product is a great product. The price is a bit on the high end though.

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6. Sundown Naturals Valerian

Sundown Naturals Valerian

Sundown Naturals Valerian Root deserves a spot among the top valerian root supplements. These great valerian root pills contain natural whole herb that is sure to provide you with the full benefits of valerian root.

Specs

  • 530 mg valerian root
  • Gluten-free and hypoallergenic
  • Affordable

Who Makes It?

Sundown Naturals is committed to providing products that are as natural as possible. Their entire product line is 100% GMO-free. Their 40-year history of making top-quality dietary supplements has earned them a loyal customer following.

Bottom Line

This is a very effective valerian root supplement that is not too expensive. Some users may find its distinct smell a little unpleasant.

7. Oregon’s Wild Harvest Valerian

Oregon's Wild Harvest Valerian

This is another top organic valerian root supplement. Oregon’s Wild Harvest Valerian is 100% vegetarian and is made with non-GMO ingredients.

Specs

  • 450 mg valerian root
  • Certified organic
  • Hypoallergenic
  • A little expensive

Who Makes It?

Established in 1994, Oregon’s Wild Harvest is a younger company than many of its competitors. However, their science-based approach has secured their reputation as a top manufacturer of supplements.

Bottom Line

These 100% vegetarian, certified organic capsules are some of the best valerian root pills you can buy. Had the price been a bit lower, this product would have earned a higher spot on the list.

8. Natural Factors Valerian Root

Natural Factors Valerian Root

Natural Factors Valerian Root contains a standardized valerian root powder extract. This is a very effective valerian root supplement that can provide you with the valerian root benefits.

Specs

  • 300 mg valerian root powdered extract, providing 2.4 mg valerenic acid
  • Dairy, gluten, starch, yeast, wheat, and soy-free
  • Contains no artificial additives
  • Higher price per capsule

Who Makes It?

Natural Factors is a manufacturer of nutritional products that dates back to the 1950s. They only use organic, non-GMO ingredients, and pride themselves on the rigorous quality control measures every seed, herb, and ingredient passes before being accepted.

Bottom Line

This is a good valerian root supplement that is made by a reputable company. The price per capsule is a tad higher than we’d like.

9. Planetary Herbals Full Spectrum Valerian Extract

Planetary Herbals Full Spectrum Valerian Extract

Nature’s Bounty Valerian Root is a unique product in that it contains a proprietary herbal blend in addition to the valerian. The lemon balm, hops, and passionflower in the blend are sometimes mixed with valerian to boost its effectiveness.

Specs

  • Each serving (5 capsules) contains 2,250 mg valerian and 500 mg herbal blend (hops, passionflower, and lemon balm).
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-GMO

Who Makes It?

Nature’s Bounty has been making quality products for decades. They combine nutritional science breakthroughs with top-of-the-line manufacturing to produce supplements that are trusted by many customers.

Bottom Line

This is one of the strongest valerian root supplements on the market. The large serving size makes it a bit inconvenient to take.

10. Real Herbs Valerian Root Extract

Real Herbs Valerian Root Extract

This powerful valerian root supplement contains a valerian root extract that is equivalent in potency to 3,500 mg of dried valerian herb.

Specs

  • Each capsule contains 700 mg valerian root extract
  • High potency
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Per-capsule price is somewhat high

Who Makes It?

Established in 2008, Real Herbs is a relatively young company. Their labeling truthfulness, quality of ingredients, and strict adherence to GMP guidelines have helped them secure a spot among the top dietary supplement manufacturers.

Bottom Line

This is a powerful supplement, but it is not as economical as some other brands.