7 Powerful Benefits of Valerian Essential Oil during Pregnancy

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Valerian essential oil cures insomnia and improves healthy sleep pattern, reduces mental stress and depression, improves digestive function, helps to moisturize the skin, regulate blood pressure, reduce frequency of heart palpitations and stretch marks, improve bone health and reduces pain due to swollen feet.

Valerian essential oil is one of the herbal oils that has become popular in the last few years and can be bought from any retail e-commerce website. It grows in North America, Europe and some parts of Asia. It grows for over two years and exists in 200 different types. Valerian root has been commonly used to treat insomnia and anxiety. Pregnancy is a time when a woman’s body undergoes many physical and chemical changes. For sleeplessness and anxiety, which are common symptoms of pregnancy, strong chemical medicine is usually to be avoided. In that case, essential oils can serve as a healthy alternative.

valerian essential oil

Is Valerian Oil Safe during Pregnancy?

Valerian root is technically safe during pregnancy, but it is best to consult your doctor who is aware of your medical history. There are a few research reports on valerian oil by the American Pregnancy Association which indicate when used under controlled dosage, some essential oils including valerian oil can reduce stress and swelling and insomnia caused by pregnancy. Valerian oil is stronger that valerian root tea. The acceptable dosage of valerian is different for different symptoms, but ranges between 400 mg to 1050 mg.

What Essential Oils are Safe during Pregnancy?

According to a study by National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), there is no proof of complications associated with using the following essential oils in their properly diluted state during the second and third trimesters of your pregnancy: benzoin, bergamot, black pepper, chamomile (German & Roman), cypress, eucalyptus, frankincense, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, juniper, lavender, lemon, mandarin, marjoram (sweet), neroli, petitgrain, rose, sandalwood, orange (sweet), tea tree, ylang ylang.

However every pregnancy is unique and all bodies react differently to essential oils. Hence it is best to consult a medical professional if you have any doubts regarding which oils to use.  Also, instead of consuming it directly you should use a diffuser to inhale essential oils, apply it externally, or dilute it and consume it mixed with a healthy beverage. Direct consumption can cause unwanted complications during pregnancy.

Benefits of Valerian Oil during pregnancy

Cures Insomnia and Improves Healthy Sleep Pattern

In the medical research journal Sleep Medicine, the study named Valerian for insomnia: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials suggests valerian root relaxes body muscles, reduces the hyperactivity of your body and mind. When you get enough sleep, your brain is completely functional and you have increased energy to go through the day. Consuming valerian oil in a controlled dosage ranging from 400 mg to 1000 mg depending on your medical history and physical specifications, can reduce insomnia and make you fall asleep 20 minutes faster than usual.

May Reduce Mental Stress and Depression

It is easy to feel extremely stressed during pregnancy because of the financial and emotional responsibility that you are undertaking in the process of being a mother. Pregnancy changes you and activities you had found relaxing and enjoyable before might be restricted- like heavy dancing. Drastic lifestyle changes and changes to your diet, cutting off from alcohol consumption, smoking, may also cause a feeling of loneliness and depression. In that case, valerian oil has a calming effect which helps in reducing mental stress and promotes relaxation.

May Improve Digestive Function

During pregnancy the regular efficiency of the digestive system is reduced. You may have more trouble digesting food than usual due to lesser secretion of digestive enzymes. The hormonal changes in your body affect smooth digestion and can cause gas build up, indigestion and acidity, which are regular symptoms of digestion. The valerian oil smoothens the digestive muscles, promotes better absorption of nutrients into the body and prevents constipation and acidity.

Helps to Moisturize The Skin and Helps with Stretch Marks

Valerian oil is commonly used in skin care products because it moisturizes and nourishes the skin. Valerian oil also prevents opening up of sores which prevents flaky, dry skin which cracks easily. You can use valerian oil with any moisturizer or cream that you use regularly and apply it on your face and belly. If you have a history of sensitive skin, please consult your dermatologist before doing so.

Helps to Improve Bone Health and reduces pain due to swollen feet

Osteoporosis is extremely common in women. During pregnancy your body needs more nutrients and minerals than usual. Calcium aids bone health. Apart from a healthy diet of Calcium, the root of the valerian plant contains compounds that increases bone strength and reduces the pain caused due to swollen feet, especially near the ankles.

Help Regulate Blood Pressure

Increased blood pressure can be very unhealthy for the baby. Valerian oil contains soothing anti-inflammatory properties which help in steadying the blood flow in muscles and helps to regulate blood pressure, according to a report published in 2013 by BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Help Reduce Frequency of Heart Palpitations

Heart palpitations are common during pregnancy. It may be because of the baby putting pressure on your diaphragm or due to indigestion. Taking a regulated dose of valerian oil can control cardiovascular functions and reduce chances of heart palpitations.

Side Effects of Valerian Essential Oil during Pregnancy

Valerian oil should not be consumed with alcohol or sedatives as they interact and produce harmful effects. Drowsiness and lethargy are common symptoms of pregnancy. If one does not check the amount of valerian in daily diet, it can lead to pregnancy complications. Valerian may reduce the zinc content in your body. Lack of zinc is harmful because it prevents the development of healthy brain functions in children. Valerian is still treated as non-mainstream medicine, since the Food and Drug Administration has allowed valerian only as a dietary supplement. Valerian root tea can be consumed to relax your body and induce sleep. However keeping the cautions in mind it is best to consume valerian only after consulting a medical professional to enjoy a safe pregnancy.

References

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0021967307021280

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25495725

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