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Health & Nutrition
Zaheera Swing
Nutritional Therapist & Herbalist BSc Hons Nutritional Science + NTPD

Ashwagandha Vs Valerian Root: Benefits, Differences, Pros & Cons of These 2 Herbs

Ashwagandha and Valerian Root are two ancient herbal remedies that have been used for centuries for their therapeutic benefits, especially to reduce stress, anxiety, and to improve sleep disorders. Both herbs are revered in their respective traditional medicine systems - Ashwagandha in Ayurveda and Valerian in Western herbal medicine. This extended analysis aims to provide a deeper understanding of each herb, exploring their origins, benefits, mechanisms of action, safety considerations, and how they differ from each other.

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha, also known as Withania Somnifera or Indian Ginseng, is a vital herb in Ayurvedic medicine. This small shrub with yellow flowers is native to India and North Africa. The roots and berries of the plant are used to make medicine. Ashwagandha is known for its adaptogenic properties, helping the body cope with daily stress and promoting physical and mental well-being.

Health Benefits of Ashwagandha:

  1. Stress and Anxiety Management: It significantly reduces cortisol levels, which is known as the body's primary stress hormone, thereby alleviating stress and anxiety.

  2. Cognitive Function: Studies suggest that the effects of Ashwagandha may enhance brain function, including memory, attention, and information processing speed.

  3. Improved Physical Performance: It is believed to improve muscle strength and endurance.

  4. Regulation of Sleep Patterns: Ashwagandha is often used to treat insomnia and improve sleep quality and sleep latency.

  5. Thyroid Function Support: Particularly useful in managing hypothyroidism.

  6. Sexual Health and Fertility: Known to enhance libido and fertility, particularly in men.

  7. Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties: Helps in reducing inflammation and combating oxidative stress.

What is Valerian?

Valerian, scientifically known as Valeriana officinalis, is a perennial flowering plant native to Europe and Asia. It has sweetly scented pink or white flowers and is used for its sedative and anxiolytic effects in herbal medicine. The root of the plant is primarily used in various preparations for its therapeutic benefits.

Health Benefits of Valerian:

  1. Prominent Sleep Aid: Valerian is most commonly used for its sedative properties to treat sleep disorders like insomnia. Valerian may increase sleep time and improve quality of sleep.

  2. Anxiety Relief: Helps in reducing psychological stress and anxiety.

  3. Nervous System Support: Valerian may calm the nervous system, providing relief from restlessness and nervous tension.

  4. Pain Relief: Some studies suggest its effectiveness in reducing menstrual and stomach cramps.

  5. Mood Enhancer: Valerian has been used to alleviate symptoms of depression and improve overall mood stability.

Differences Between Ashwagandha Vs Valerian

Origins and Active Compounds:

  • Ashwagandha contains withanolides, which are known for their adaptogenic activity.

  • Valerian's active ingredients include valerenic acid and valepotriates, contributing to its sedative effects.

Targeted Benefits:

  • Ashwagandha is more versatile, addressing stress, cognitive function, physical strength, and hormonal balance.
  • Valerian is primarily focused on improving sleep quality and reducing anxiety.

Mechanisms of Action:

  • Ashwagandha works by modulating stress response systems in the body, particularly affecting cortisol levels.

  • Valerian interacts with the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter, a key chemical in regulating nerve impulses in your brain and nervous system.

Safety Profile and Side Effect Differences Between Ashwagandha Vs Valerian

  • Ashwagandha might have mild side effects like nausea or diarrhea and should be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women and people with certain medical conditions.

  • Valerian is generally well-tolerated but can cause drowsiness, headache, or stomach upset in some individuals.

Usage and Dosage Differences Between Ashwagandha Vs Valerian

  • Ashwagandha can be taken in various forms, including capsules, powders, and teas. The typical dosage varies but it's generally suggested to take Ashwagandha at dosages from 300-500 mg of Ashwagandha root extract per day.
  • Valerian is available in capsules, tinctures, and teas. The recommended dose for sleep disorders and to treat anxiety is typically between 300-600 mg.

Can you take Ashwagandha and Valerian together?

Combining these two herbs is generally considered safe, and they may have synergistic effects on better sleep, relaxation and stress management.

However, it is crucial to consult a healthcare provider before combining them, especially if you are taking other medications or have underlying health conditions.


In summary, both Valerian Root and Ashwagandha extract offer significant health benefits, particularly in the realms of stress management and sleep enhancement. Ashwagandha stands out for its adaptogenic properties, enhancing both mental and physical health, whereas Valerian is a preferred choice for those specifically seeking natural sleep aid and anxiety relief. Understanding their unique attributes and health implications is vital for anyone considering these herbal supplements as part of their wellness regimen. As with any supplement, consultation with a healthcare professional is advised to ensure safety and efficacy.

NutriRise Ashwagandha: The Superior Choice



NutriRise is a health and wellness brand providing dietary supplements to support the health of your mind, body, and spirit, including our top-selling Organic Ashwagandha, used by over 1 million happy customers.

Co-founders Basim & Ramsha Mirza started NutriRise in 2016, fuelled by the desire to transform their own health through the power of nutrition and ancient wisdom. NutriRise is now backed by a world-class team of researchers, chemists, biologists, doctors, and nutritionists. Every supplement we provide is produced in the USA in a CGMP-certified facility for unparalleled safety, purity, and quality.

At NutriRise, we ensure the quality and effectiveness of our Organic Ashwagandha Capsules and Ashwagandha Gummies by rigorous third-party testing. This stringent protocol helps us guarantee that the Ashwagandha we offer is of the highest standard. 

We also ensure you're getting the most potent and effective form of Ashwagandha by only using the root extract of the ashwagandha plant. This delivers the perfect, safe amount of bioactive withanolides for optimal thyroid support, stress relief, sleep and mood, hormonal balance, and overall vitality, making it the superior choice. 

Finally, we go beyond just creating and selling products; at NutriRise, we care deeply about the customer experience too. Through our efficient delivery system, we ensure your Ashwagandha reaches you in perfect condition with all of its incredible adaptogenic properties intact. By choosing NutriRise, you can trust in the quality and potency of each product, from our meticulous production processes to its arrival at your doorstep.

Key Points

  • Ashwagandha and Valerian Root are ancient herbal remedies used for stress, anxiety, and sleep disorders.

  • Ashwagandha, from Ayurvedic tradition, improves stress, cognitive function, physical performance, and sleep. It also supports thyroid, sexual health, and has anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Valerian, used in Western herbal medicine, aids in sleep, reduces anxiety, supports the nervous system, and relieves pain. It's also used to enhance mood.

  • Ashwagandha contains withanolides; Valerian contains valerenic acid and valepotriates.

  • Ashwagandha is versatile for various health aspects, while Valerian focuses on sleep and anxiety.

  • Ashwagandha affects cortisol levels; Valerian acts on GABA neurotransmitters.

  • Ashwagandha can have mild side effects and is not recommended for certain groups. Valerian is well-tolerated but may cause drowsiness and other minor side effects.

  • Dosage for Ashwagandha is typically 300-500 mg/day, and for Valerian, it's 300-600 mg.

  • Combining Ashwagandha and Ginseng is generally safe but requires consulting a healthcare provider.

  • Both herbs are beneficial for stress management and sleep enhancement, with specific benefits depending on the herb. Professional consultation is recommended.
Zaheera Swing
Nutritional Therapist & Herbalist BSc Hons Nutritional Science + NTPD
As a qualified Nutritional Therapist (BSc Hons Nutritional Science + NTPD), Zaheera Swing has a deep passion for restoring balance and harmony to the body through the modalities of nutritional science, herbalism, and holistic lifestyle practices. Using the functional medicine model coupled with wisdom from ancient paradigms, she aims to provide insight into the underlying root causes of poor health and the holistic tools we can harness to enhance the well-being of mind, body, and spirit.
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