Support Your Children and Your Own Peaceful Dreams with Valerian Oil

Mature couple sleeping in bed togetherDuring the holiday bustle, I’ve been finding some time to bond with my computer and update my essential oil references for my upcoming book, BreakFree Medicine.

Recently, I was searching for some more references on valerian essential oil and found a very interesting study that supported its use in combination with lemon balm (melissa) for restlessness and concentration in young children.

As a little holiday present, I’m going to give you, my essential oil subscribers, a sneak peek inside my book, before it even heads to the publisher. However, it is copyrighted, so I’m okay to send it out as it’s been registered by the Library of Congress! (Exciting!)

Here it is. Happy holidays and sweet, calming dreams to you!!

(For friends of restless children, this may be a good gift idea!)



Valerian has been clinically investigated for over thirty years, and according to the German Commission E, it’s an effective treatment for restlessness and sleep disturbances.50-53 Some studies have even favorably compared the effectiveness of valerian root to pharmaceutical sleep aids.50

Scientists believe that the sedative action of valerian may be due to its effect on the neurotransmitter gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain.50-53 However, several studies have exhibited that valerian constituents may also influence other receptors that effect brain activity, including serotonin54 and adenosine.55 A 2003 study in American Physician stated the following on the mechanism of valerian:

The chemical composition of valerian includes sesquiterpenes of the volatile oil (including valeric acid), iridoids (valepotriates), alkaloids, furanofuran lignans, and free amino acids such as ?-aminobutyric acid (GABA), tyrosine, arginine, and glutamine. Although the sesquiterpene components of the volatile oil are believed to be responsible for most of valerian’s biologic effects, it is likely that all of the active constituents of valerian act in a synergistic manner to produce a clinical response. Research into physiologic activity of individual components has demonstrated direct sedative effects (valepotriates, valeric acid) and interaction with neurotransmitters such as GABA (valeric acid and unknown fractions).56

Therefore, I’ve suggested the use of valerian to help in situations where calming the nervous system will be beneficial in the alleviation of symptoms related to sleep disturbances, nervous indigestion, headaches, restlessness, and nervous tension.51-52 I’ve found that this oil can be very supportive when a person has a temporal lobe imbalance and resultant mood symptoms as well. In fact, a 2014 observation study demonstrated improvement in restlessness and concentration in 164 primary school children by using a combination of valerian root and lemon balm.57


In case you missed it, you can view my latest webinar on essential oil use in children here.

How do you use valerian and valerian oil?

Comment below!




Anderson G, Elmer GW, Taibi DM, Vitello MV, Kantor E, Kalhorn TF, Howald WN, et al. Pharmacokinetics of Valerenic Acid After Single and Multiple Doses of Valerian in Older Women. Phytotherapy Research. 2010: 24:1442–1446.

Hadley S, Petry JJ. Valerian. Am Fam Physician. 2003 Apr 15;67(8):1755-1758.

Dietz B. M., Mahady G. B., Pauli G. F., Farnsworth N. R. Valerian extract and valerenic acid are partial agonists of the 5-HT5a receptor in vitro. Molecular Brain Research. 2005;138(2):191–197.

Müller C. E., Schumacher B., Brattström A., Abourashed E. A., Koetter U. Interactions of valerian extracts and a fixed valerian—hop extract combination with adenosine receptors. Life Sciences. 2002;71(16):1939–1949.

Fernández-San-Martín M. I., Masa-Font R., Palacios-Soler L., Sancho-Gómez P., Calbó-Caldentey C., Flores-Mateo G. Effectiveness of Valerian on insomnia: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. Sleep Medicine. 2010;11(6):505–511.

Hyperactivity, concentration difficulties and impulsiveness improve during seven weeks’ treatment with valerian root and lemon balm extracts in primary school children. Phytomedicine. July-August 2014. 21(8-9): 1098-1103.




This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. Please see the original reference for the source. These studies are not specific for any essential oil brand or company.

There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin.

This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.