Citation: The_Contortionist. "More Than a Sedative: An Experience with Valerian (exp55330)". Erowid.org. Feb 25, 2009. erowid.org/exp/55330
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Valerian root has intrigued me for a long time, mostly due to my dislike of over-the-counter sleeping pills. I feel these OTC pills only seem to promote bodily tiredness without affecting mental alertness. It is a perculiar situation to find oneself in when the body is so fatigued that it is impossible to stand up but yet the mind is racing at a mile a minute. This is why valerian is so appealing, it mainly acts as a mental sedative, which is clearly more desirable.
I have taken valerian root as a sleeping aid many times with great success. I usually take either 2 or 3 450mg tablets half an hour before attempting to sleep, and it has always proved effective. I haven't ever noticed any annoying side-effects or had any hangovers the next morning, which is definitely a bonus with a sleeping aid.
More interestingly, however, I experienced a different side to valerian recently. I was deep in thought one day about various anxiolytics (as I suffer from social anxiety) and I realised I had never tried valerian in this context. Intrigued, I decided to experiment. I was about to embark on a 4 hour shift at work, so I took 6 450mg tablets about half an hour beforehand. I'm not sure why I chose this amount, but it made sense at the time. When I arrived at work, I noticed a definite positive effect - I felt almost like I was slightly drunk, but without the nausea and incoordination, just a slight pleasant relaxed state.
I assumed that this was as far as it would go, but I was wrong. After another half an hour, I felt almost euphoric. I was very content with my life and excited about current and future events. I felt a slight tingling sensation all over. I was slightly sedated, but not to the point where it was overpowering. I could easily move and accomplish tasks without any mental clouding. After about 2 hours of this I could feel the effects dwindling so I took the plunge and decided to take another 6 pills. Aside from slightly increasing the sedation, this had no real effect on my euphoria or anxiolysis. I couldn't get back to that original peak.
Now, this may seem like a strange claim, but as a past MDMA user I can accurately compare this experience with the feeling I get from a small dosage of MDMA, perhaps half a pill. So far I haven't read of another experience with valerian that was this good, it seems to have only a mild sedative effect on most people, so I can't help but feel that this was a one-off...a freak experience. If I can repeat it again I would definitely use it as an alcohol replacement.
To conclude, valerian root in doses of 900mg-1350mg is an effective sleep aid, and there is a possibility that doses of 2700mg or more could be used recreationally.
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