Valerian has a long tradition of use as a medicinal herb for better sleep
No other medicinal herb is so strongly associated with stress reduction, relaxation and better sleep quality than Valerian (Valeriana officinalis). In fact, the roots of this important herb contain many effective ingredients that can be a gentle alternative to synthetic drugs in case of nervousness, sleep disorders or general restlessness. As a plant species, Valerian is native to the USA, as well as Europe.
Valerian has been used as a medicinal herb since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome. Its therapeutic uses were described by Hippocrates, and in the 2nd century, Galen prescribed Valerian for insomnia. In the 16th century, Valerian was used to treat nervousness, trembling, headaches, and heart palpatations. During World War II, Valerian was used in England to relieve the stress of air raids.
In addition to sleep disorders, valerian has been used for gastrointestinal spasms and distress, epileptic seizures, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. However, scientific evidence is not sufficient to support the use of valerian for these conditions.
Note that Valerian is used in Food Supplements in the USA. It is not recommended for consumption by children under the age of 18 and for pregnant women.