Let’s face it. At some point in our lives, we’ve all faced trouble falling asleep or had to deal with insomnia. Whether is it over the loss of a loved one, a breakup, financial worries, or family troubles, the reasons for sleeplessness are many.
Studies claim that insomnia is the most common sleeping disorder, beating even more troublesome issues, such as sleep-walking and night terrors! Plus, additional research suggests that insomnia can affect the heart, causing heart attacks and strokes. Obviously, popping sleeping pills like candy is hardly a healthy and sustainable solution.
But what if we told you there is a natural, safer alternative to receiving a blissful night’s sleep? In the Ayurvedic circles, this Ayurvedic herb is known as Tagara or Tagar (Hindi name), Valeriana Wallichii (Botanical name), or Indian Valerian (English name). The Tagara plant has been in use for the last 2,000 years and has been mentioned in ancient Ayurvedic texts, such as Charaka Samhita, Susruta Samhita, Bhava Prakash, and Nighantu.
Belonging to the Valerianaceae family of plants, the Valerian herb’s most commonly-used part is its roots as it contains compounds that are used in sedative and tranquillizer preparations. A sweet aromatic oil is extracted from the dried rhizomes of the plant and the roots that is said to contain different types of ethanol extracts. The Tagara tree is perennial in nature, blooms with pink and white Valerian flowers, and is typically found in parts of India (particularly the Himalayas), Nepal, and China.
Valerian Root’s Versatile Uses
When it comes to understanding Valeriana Wallichii’s diverse uses, there’s plenty to consider. Here’s why Tagara stands true to its fame.
- Improves sleep quality.
- Calms the mind and reduces stress.
- Relaxes the body and reduces bodily inflammation (when applied topically).
- Reduces anxiety, helps in treating depression and relaxes the muscles.
- Prevents convulsions and gas formation in the stomach.
- Strengthens the nerves.
- Minimizes hot flashes during menopause.
- Alleviates pain (when applied topically) in cases of bone fracture, arthritis, etc.
- Heals external wounds.
Tagara’s Medicinal Properties and Physical Characteristics:
- Mild sedative.
- Digestive stimulant.
- Reno protective.
- It is bitter and pungent in taste.
- It has an astringent-like property.
- It is light and oily in nature.
- It comes with a hot potency and is known to pacify the Vata and Kapha doshas.
Valerian Root’s Recommended Dosage
Tagara is found in various forms, such as essential oil, tea, extracts, tablet, tincture, etc. It can be taken post breakfast and dinner. For Vata disorders, you can take it with cow’s ghee or milk, and for Kapha disorders, you can take it with lukewarm water and honey. Here’s a snapshot of its recommended dosage in various forms.
- Valerian aqueous extract: 400-900 mg (Ideal dosage is 500 mg) for not more than six weeks.
- Rhizome extract: 125-250 mg for up to 30 days.
- Root (fresh or dried): 2-3 gms orally twice a day.
- Tablet: One tablet twice daily.
Important: Please consult your doctor before consuming it in any form as a precautionary measure.
How to Make Valerian Root Tea?
If you’re having trouble sleeping, try brewing this herbal tea for a change and welcome a night of peaceful, uninterrupted sleep. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Here’s the recipe to get you started.
- One teaspoon of dried Valerian root (the primary ingredient that is extracted from the Valerian plant).
- Raw honey.
- Optional add-ons: Milk, lemon, pepper, and sugar.
- Steep one teaspoon of the dried root powder in a cup of boiling water for at least ten mins. (You can steep it for a shorter time if you want a less bitter taste).
- Strain and add honey (as per taste).
- Optional: You can add milk, a dash of lemon, a pinch of pepper, and sugar (if not adding honey) to enhance the taste as some believe that it smells like stinky old socks!
- You can combine other flavours with this tea, such as lavender, jasmine, and chamomile.
- Make sure to drink this tea at least an hour before bed-time.
- Organic Valerian root is preferred over other alternatives for the best results.
Ayurvedic Medicines With Tagara As The Primary Ingredient
- Nalikerasavam: This ayurvedic liquid medicine helps in cases of erectile dysfunction and also helps to improve skin quality.
- Vilvadi Gulika: This tablet medicine comes in handy in cases of insect bites, such as scorpion, spider, etc. It also helps to treat dyspepsia, fever, etc.
- Pippalyasava: This liquid ayurvedic medicine treats piles, anaemia, digestive issues, liver problems, respiratory problems, etc.
- Devadarvarishta: It helps to treat skin issues (due to diabetes complications), digestive disorders, etc.
- Bhadradarvadi Kashayam: It treats cough, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma.
Tagara Valerian Root VS Melatonin: A Comparison
|A natural hormone that helps regulate the sleep cycle. It is used in the supplement form.||It is a natural sedative which has been in use for the last 2,000 years.|
|There are two forms of melatonin, for immediate release, and extended-release. Typical dosage lies between 1 to 10 mg.||There are two types of Valerian, True Valerian, and Indian Valerian. It is available in the supplement, powder, or raw root form. Typical dosage lies between 400-900 mg.|
|It enhances sleep quality while helping people to sleep.||It is used for anti-anxiety treatment, and to calm the body and the nerves.|
Tagara’s Top Eight Benefits
In this section, we will look at Valeriana Wallichii’s much-revered benefits.
Valerian Root for Anxiety
You can drink the Valerian root tea mentioned above to treat anxiety. To add better flavour, steep it with a cinnamon stick and star anise. You can also add lemon balm extract to add more depth to the flavour.
Tagara For Disturbed Sleep or Insomnia
You can take the decoction of the plant’s roots in the quantity of 25-30 ml to treat paralysis.
You can take its fresh rhizome extract (consult your doctor for the recommended dose) along with buttermilk to alleviate pain.
Abdominal Pain, Gas, or Flatulence
A decoction of the bark and the roots in the quantity of 40-50 ml helps to treat indigestion and abdominal pain.
You can mix Tagara root powder (250 mg), Pushkarmool (1000 mg), and Kuth (1000 mg), and add honey to it and consume. This can be taken twice a day to clear the airway in the lungs.
Wounds or Infection
The Tagara plant’s roots are ground to a paste and applied on the wound for faster recovery. It is also useful in cases of snake bites and insect stings. Alternatively, a cold infusion of the plant’s roots in the 50-60 ml quantity helps to treat infections.
For treating general weakness, take a cold infusion of the plant’s roots in the quantity of 30-40 ml for a maximum of one to two weeks.
Valerian Root’s Common Side-Effects: Better to be Safe Than Sorry!
A lot of people wonder about Tagara’s side-effects and rightly so. This Ayurvedic medicine, if used in excess and over a prolonged time period, may have the following side effects:
- Headache (most common side effect).
- Weight gain.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Morning grogginess.
- Stomach upset.
- Mental dullness and a feeling of sluggishness.
- Heart issues.
- Dry mouth.
- Vivid dreams.
Important: Continued use of Tagara (more than three months at a time) can cause the above-mentioned side effects. Plus, it can lead to withdrawal symptoms if used extensively. So please monitor the usage as closely as possible. That said, it is highly recommended that you consult your doctor to understand the accurate dosage and preferred consumption duration based on your health history, body type, requirements, among other critical factors.
Tagara’s Precautionary Measures to Keep in Mind
Tagara is known to raise the body’s internal heat, as a result of which it should be avoided in the following scenarios.
- Prevent consuming Tagara at least two weeks before or after any surgery.
- If you’re suffering from ulcerative colitis, avoid taking Tagara as it can increase bleeding.
- Avoid taking Tagara if you have pre-existing conditions, such as acidity and heart-burn.
- Pregnant and lactating mothers should avoid consuming this medicine in any form.
- Avoid driving or using heavy machinery immediately after taking Valerian.
Where Can You Buy It Online?
There are numerous well-established Ayurvedic brands, such as Netmed, Patanjali, etc. that sell Tagara in the tablet form. But the most-used Ayurvedic capsule is,
- Tagara Himalaya: This Ayurvedic herb helps to promote sleep (especially useful for those suffering from insomnia) and calm the nerves. It is priced at INR 152 only. You can take this tablet twice a day or as directed by your doctor.