How Long Does Valerian Root Stay in Your System?

Bradley Keys · May 11 2023

Millions of adults experience frequent difficulty falling or staying asleep, and countless Americans have turned to supplements like valerian root to safely and naturally improve their sleep quality.

Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) and its rhizomes have been used therapeutically for centuries and remain popular today. The herbal remedy is frequently used for its sleep-supportive effects without any noticeable downsides.

But how long does valerian root stay in your system?

Let’s explore how valerian can add value to a healthy sleep routine, including how long the popular herb’s active ingredients are known to remain in the body.

Where and How It’s Found

In ancient times, it was used to treat insomnia, anxiety, and stress, and today valerian root continues to be consumed worldwide for its calming effects.

The herb can be cultivated in the US but is naturally found in regions of Europe and Asia. The pink-flowered plant grows to roughly 6 feet, and the root is sought after in traditional and alternative medicine for its calming effects.

Its root is consumed in various ways, including teas, tablets, essential oils, and tinctures. The herb’s organic contents include valerenic acid, lignans, flavonoids, and valepotriates.

How It Works

Many herbs have been studied as natural sleep remedies, and valerian is one of the most heavily researched. Studies suggest valerian can encourage falling asleep faster, apparently inducing a calming effect.

Promotes Sleep Naturally

Research suggests valerian may promote falling asleep faster to enjoy a better night’s sleep without unwanted side effects. However, due to the variable quality and potency of studies and supplements, its effectiveness has yet to be scientifically confirmed.

The neurotransmitter GABA is responsible for regulating brain impulses that affect the nervous system. GABA receptors are associated with anxiety levels and calming the system to support improved sleep. Generally, poor sleep and stress are tied to low GABA.

Valerian may interact with GABA, slowing its breakdown to promote a greater sense of ease.

Potential for Additional Benefits

The essential oil and active ingredients in valerian have long been studied for their potential benefits, including sedative effects. It’s also being investigated and consumed for headaches, trembling, irregular heartbeat, PMS, menopause, and psychological symptoms like depression and anxiety.

Many find success promoting sleep naturally with valerian root, which reportedly helps them to relax and doze off easier. The calming effects of valerian root have also been used to potentially mitigate PMS and menopause symptoms.


Valerian appears to help users relax mentally and fall asleep with greater ease and efficiency, but it’s not a substitute for treating underlying conditions.

Adverse effects can include stomach upset, headache, and sleep issues. In higher doses, drowsiness the next day becomes more likely.

Due to valerian’s sedative effects, activities that require alert attention should be avoided. It’s not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Don’t combine valerian with other sedatives or alcohol, as this may cause an unwanted interaction and increase the risk of accident or injury.

How Long Does Valerian Root Stay in Your System?

How long valerian root stays in your system depends on individual factors like age and weight. A standard dosage of 400-600mg consumed between 30 minutes and two hours before bed will likely remain in the bloodstream for at least five hours.

The duration of detectable valerian root that will remain in someone’s system depends on multiple factors, such as dosage.

Valerenic acid can be detected for upwards of five hours after a single, normal dose (600mg). Research suggests that about half the given dose is typically eliminated within a few hours, with a peak concentration found 1-2 hours after consumption.

Valerian root appears to be non-addictive, and the FDA deems it generally safe for consumption. It’s non-habit-forming and normally safe to discontinue, but in extremely rare cases, withdrawal symptoms have been observed after extended use.

Speak with your doctor about how best to start or discontinue sleep-promoting supplements to determine your healthiest nighttime routine.

How Does Valerian Root Compare to Melatonin?

Another popular natural remedy often consumed to support a healthier night’s sleep is melatonin. Both valerian root and melatonin are commonly taken by healthy adults before bed as natural sleep aids.

Valerian is distinct because it is a root found in nature, whereas melatonin is a hormone found in the brain. Like valerian root, melatonin is known to induce a feeling of sleepiness and is frequently taken at night to encourage deeper sleep.

Dubbed the sleep hormone, melatonin is naturally produced by the pineal gland to support an optimal sleep cycle, typically peaking in the evening and slowing in the morning. If someone’s sleep rhythm is interrupted by travel, for example, melatonin can potentially aid in regulating their sleep-wake cycle to better recover from jet lag.

For those experiencing persistent trouble sleeping, it’s best to consult with a medical professional to determine the best next steps and choose the most appropriate therapeutic and treatment options.

Valerian in Sleep Supplements

The best supplements work by boosting GABA, l-theanine, and melatonin, all of which are linked to promoting relaxation to support healthy sleep. Its proprietary blend is supported by several herbal sleep aid compounds and comes in three distinct formulas: original, for kids, and melatonin-free.

The LUNA sleep supplement from Nested Naturals combines confirmed organic, all-natural sleep-supporting ingredients, including valerian root, chamomile, hops, and extracts of passion flower and lemon balm.

Here's how it works.

  • Chamomile: a popular and natural sleep aid, chamomile includes the flavonoid apigenin. This may interact with the brain's benzodiazepine receptors, resulting in better sleep.
  • Hops: considered a natural sleep remedy for centuries, hops are often associated with alcoholic beer. However, they may have sedative properties without the inclusion of alcohol.
  • L-theanine: this amino acid is associated with black and green teas and has been suggested to promote healthier sleep.
  • Passion flower extract: aromatic, sweet, and historically used for insomnia and anxiety, passion flower extract is a natural sleep aid.
  • Lemon balm extract: lemon balm is typically used alongside other agents that promote healthy sleep, such as passion flower and hops. It adds a fresh, calming taste and may produce a calming effect.

Final Thoughts

So how long does valerian root stay in your system? Half the dose is typically broken down within about two hours. It takes up to 6 hours for your body to process the full dosage. This is perfect for helping you get to sleep without making you feel groggy in the morning.

When healthy adults have difficulty sleeping, the natural benefits of sleep-supporting valerian root and other time-tested herbal remedies can gently offer the soothing calm they crave to induce the satisfying snooze they need.

LUNA from Nested Natural combines valerian root with other natural, well-known sleep supplements to produce the restful slumber you deserve. Discover the benefits of LUNA today!