Valerian root is about as well known for sleep as are the health benefits of magnesium. That’s not going to make your shopping for supplements containing the valerian herb any easier however. It’s likely that you’re going to find good ol’ valerian for sleep, and also combination products containing hops – that’s right, hops.
Why would anyone want to combine these two ingredients? Well, for starters, hops are also a centuries old remedy for insomnia, and so it’s quite possible that the existing valerian benefits for nighttime are amplified. Additionally, hops can bring other bonuses to the table such as increasing appetite and helping troubled urine flow. It’s been touted as a natural healing solution for anxiety and irritability, and even as a remedy for indigestion. Valerian root is more of a one trick pony, but a very good pony. While the valerian anxiety link has been made, it’s abundantly evident that it is more effective as a mild sedative.
So in making your decision between the two products, you will really have to determine which benefits you are looking for. Combination products will yield both valerian benefits and also those of hops, however in much lower dosages. For instance, many combination products will use between 200 – 300 mg of valerian, taken up to three times a day to manage anxiety and irritability, while in standalone valerian products, users are instructed to use between 400-900 mg before bed for a period of weeks in order to manage sleeplessness.
Both valerian benefits and those of hops are impressive, but for the mellow male that isn’t battling the plight of menstruation or interested in getting his nonexistent breast milk flowing and just wants a good night’s sleep, then the valerian benefits previously mentioned are likely more than adequate as an individual product. For long term maintenance of anxiety and anxiousness, a thrice daily but smaller dose combined with the multiple benefits of hops may be more appropriate.
Complementary ingredients like hops and valerian can add extra benefit to supplements, but it can also add more side effects. You will need to determine if valerian benefits alone are enough for you to be happy with, or if you need a combination product.