Although valerian dosing guidelines are not fully established, information can be obtained from clinical trials and practical experience with the supplement. For treating insomnia, doses of 300 to 900 mg are sometimes recommended. You may need to adjust your valerian dosage based on what works for you. Keep in mind that it could take up to a month for valerian to start working.
Valerian Dosage: An IntroductionIt is important to note that unlike medications, for which the standard doses have been well established, there is less information for determining the best dose for supplements, including valerian.
What Is a Reasonable Valerian Dose?Some information about valerian dosing can be obtained from clinical studies and from practical experience with the supplement. For insomnia, doses of 300 mg to 900 mg of valerian extract are sometimes recommended. It is best to try it at night first, 30 minutes to two hours before bedtime. If you find that it does not work quickly enough for you, then you may try taking it a little earlier in the evening. There is some evidence that valerian may take a while -- sometimes as long as a month -- to start working in some people. There is not enough evidence to recommend a valerian dosage for any other use, such as for anxiety.
Because there is little strong evidence to guide you in your choice of a valerian dosage, a good plan is to start with a reasonable dose and see how your body reacts to it. If you find that you are groggy in the morning and have trouble getting up, or if you are experiencing other valerian side effects, you may need to try a lower dose. If it seems to be working a little, but not quite well enough, you may want to try a higher dose, but not more than that recommended on the label. A safe maximum valerian dose has not yet been established.
General Information on Dosing With ValerianConsiderations for people taking valerian include the following:
- Because the manufacturing of supplements such valerian is not closely regulated, it is important to choose a trustworthy manufacturer of valerian supplements. It is a good idea to look for the "USP" symbol, as this means that the supplement has been tested and contains the right ingredients in the right amounts.
- You can take valerian with or without food. Of course, you should not take it with foods or beverages that tend to keep you awake, such as those that contain caffeine.
- If you have any chronic health problems or take any prescription medications, you should check with your healthcare provider before taking valerian.
- If you are unsure about anything related to your valerian dosage, please talk with your healthcare provider.