Chamomile vs Valerian Root: An Honest Comparison For Sleep, Side Effects & More!

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Last Updated on December 17, 2022 by theworldofsleepstaff

Chamomile and Valerian root are herbs often used to help promote relaxation and better sleep. Both have long been used as natural remedies for insomnia, but they actually work quite differently.

They have several similarities as both provide calming effects, reduce stress and anxiety, and can be taken in supplement form or brewed into tea. However they differ too. For example, valerian root acts as a sedative and tends to be stronger than chamomile and so is usually better for more severe sleep disorders like insomnia, while chamomile is more of a relaxant and could help more mild sleep issues.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how these two sleep aids are similar and different!

Luckily right here we will explore the differences and similarities between chamomile and valerian root for sleep. We will look at how each works to improve your sleep, the potential risks and side effects associated with each, and tips for finding the proper herbal remedy for you.

Disclaimer: Please note that this is general information and does not substitute for professional advice from your doctor or pharmacist. Always consult with a professional healthcare provider before using chamomile or Valerian Root.


  1. Which Is Better For Sleep?
  2. The Similarities
  3. The Differences
  4. Can I Take Valerian Root & Chamomile Together
  5. How The Side Effects Compare
Sleepless woman suffering from insomnia, sleep apnea or stress. Tired and exhausted lady. Headache or migraine. Awake in the middle of the night. Frustrated person with problem. Alarm clock with time. Vesalainen

Chamomile vs Valerian Root: which one is better for sleep?

When choosing the best remedy for sleep, it can be challenging to decide between chamomile and valerian root. However, both remedies have a long history of use as natural sleep aids, and each has unique properties that may make them better or worse for particular individuals.

Chamomile is typically the milder of the two remedies, as it has a calming effect that can help relax and soothe your body while improving sleep quality.

It is also widely available in tea and can be taken safely without significant side effects. Rachbauer

Valerian root, on the other hand, is known for its sedative properties. Therefore, it can be helpful for those who have insomnia as it may help reduce the time taken to fall asleep and promote deeper sleep.

However, valerian root can cause side effects such as headaches, nausea and dizziness in some cases.

Ultimately, the best sleep remedy will depend on the individual’s needs and preferences.

Chamomile may be a better choice if you’re looking for something milder that won’t disrupt your daily activities. However, valerian root may provide more powerful relief from sleeplessness if your insomnia is more severe.

It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any natural remedies, especially if you have any existing medical conditions.

Recommended: Foods To Avoid With Insomnia

Heap of valerian roots (close-up shot)on vintage wooden background

Chamomile vs Valerian Root: The Similarities

When comparing chamomile and valerian root for sleep, there are a few similarities to note:

1. Both Herbs Have Long Been Used To Treat Insomnia & Other Sleep Problems

In terms of its practical use as a sleep aid, both chamomile and valerian roots are backed by centuries of traditional use. The ancient Greeks and Romans were known to have used them for this purpose.

Today, both herbs are widely used in many countries worldwide, with chamomile in particular being one of the most popular remedies worldwide for insomnia.

Depressed man suffering from insomnia lying in bed

2. Both Herbs Have Calming & Soothing Properties

Chamomile and valerian root contains flavonoids and terpenes, which help promote relaxation and sleepiness.

These compounds interact with the GABA receptors in our brains, producing a calming effect that can help us drift off into a peaceful sleep.

You can also take GABA as a sleep aid, as we’ve written about before.

A young brunette woman sleeping in white bed,

3. Both Have Minimal Side Effects & Are Generally Considered Safe

Unlike some pharmaceutical medications, chamomile and valerian root are not known to produce a lot of unwanted side effects.

Mostly, they are considered safe for adults and children, with few people being intolerant or allergic to either herb. However, it is still essential to consult your doctor before taking any herbal supplement.

Valerian herb root and flowers with dropper bottle and mortar with pestle over oak background.

4. Both Can Be Taken In Various Forms

Chamomile and valerian root are available in supplement form, teas, tinctures, oils, and creams. You can find the best way to take either herb, depending on your preference.

That said, it’s essential to remember that different herb forms may differ in potency and efficacy. As such, it’s best to follow any dosage instructions for your product of choice.

Overall, chamomile and valerian root share many similarities regarding their use as sleep aid. Both herbs are widely used around the world and have minimal side effects. In addition, they can both be taken in different forms, depending on your preference.

However, it is essential to consult your doctor before taking any herbal supplement and follow the dosage instructions provided with the product of your choice. By understanding these similarities, you can make an informed decision about the best sleep aid for you. You can enjoy a good night’s rest and wake up feeling refreshed and energized with the right choice.

Recommended: 30 Tips On How To Get Better Sleep Naturally

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Chamomile vs Valerian Root: The Differences

While chamomile and valerian roots share many similarities regarding their use as a sleep aid, there are also some critical differences between them. These include:

1. The Effectiveness & Strength

Chamomile is generally milder than valerian root, with fewer side effects.

In terms of efficacy, chamomile may be more effective in treating mild to moderate insomnia and helping people drift off into a peaceful sleep.

On the other hand, valerian root is considered stronger than chamomile and may be more effective at treating severe cases of insomnia.

Man sleeping on side in bed

2. The Taste

In terms of taste, chamomile is generally considered to be more pleasant than valerian root.

Chamomile has a mild, sweet flavour that can be enjoyed in teas and other forms, making it an ideal choice for those who don’t like the strong taste of valerian root.

Man harvesting chamomile flower heads on the meadow. Yankovets

3. The Preparation

Chamomile and valerian root also differs in terms of their preparation.

Chamomile is usually prepared as a tea, while valerian root can be taken in supplement form and other forms such as tinctures, oils, and creams.

By understanding these differences, you can make an informed decision as to which herb is best suited to your needs. Then, you can enjoy a good night’s rest and wake up refreshed and energized with the right choice.

Stems and tea of medicinal valerian - Valeriana officinalis Echeverri Urrea

Can I Take Chamomile And Valerian Root Together?

Taking Chamomile and Valerian Root together is generally considered safe. However, talking with your healthcare provider before doing so is essential.

Both herbs can interact with medications, and people may experience different side effects. For example, some people may become overly sedated, while others may not experience any noticeable difference in their mood or energy when combining these two herbs.

Therefore, it is important to always talk with your healthcare provider before taking any herbal supplement, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Additionally, it is recommended to start by taking the lowest dosage possible and gradually increasing it as needed for effectiveness. When taken in appropriate doses and monitored regularly, Chamomile and Valerian Root can be effective natural remedies for specific ailments.

However, it is always best to consult your healthcare provider before taking any supplement or medication. Be sure to inform them about any other medications you are currently taking. By discussing potential interactions and side effects beforehand, you can ensure that taking chamomile and valerian root together suits you.

Cure For Insomnia And Depression. Selective focus on pills sprinkled from jar on table, stressed African American woman lying in bed in blurred background, cannot fall asleep

How The Side Effects Compare


The known side effects include:

1. Nausea and vomiting

Usually mild, but in some cases can be pretty severe.

2. Allergic reactions

You may experience skin rash, hives, itching and swelling of the face, lips or tongue. If you have an allergy to this type of tea, it is best to avoid it altogether.

3. Drowsiness

Chamomile tea can cause drowsiness and should not be used while driving or operating heavy machinery.

4. May interact with certain medications

If you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications, check with your doctor before consuming chamomile tea, as it may interact with them.

5. Diarrhea

Chamomile tea may cause temporary diarrhoea in some people. If you experience this, stop drinking the tea and contact your doctor if it persists.

6. Low blood pressure

In rare cases, chamomile tea can lower blood pressure and should be avoided by those who are taking medications for hypertension (high blood pressure).

It is important to remember that chamomile tea may cause side effects in certain people and should be used with caution. It is best to consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about drinking this herbal tea. Additionally, the potential interactions of chamomile tea with other medications should always be considered before consumption.

Toilet paper on the toilet Thongbun

Valerian Root

The known side effects include:

1. Drowsiness

Valerian root is well known for its sedative-like effects and can make you sleepy. If you take it before bed, you may experience prolonged sleep or wake up feeling groggy.

2. Digestive Issues

Taking high doses of valerian root can cause stomach pain and nausea.

3. Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions to valerian root may include swelling, rashes, and difficulty breathing.

4. Interactions With Certain Medications

Valerian root can interact with certain medications, such as those that contain sedatives or depressants like alcohol, benzodiazepines and barbiturates, so it’s essential to check with your doctor before taking it.

Although valerian root is generally considered safe when used in moderate doses, its side effects can be powerful and potentially dangerous. It’s best to talk to your healthcare provider before adding this herbal supplement to your daily routine. As with any supplement, it’s essential to follow the instructions on the label and only take it as directed.

It’s also important to remember that supplements are not regulated by the FDA and may contain varying amounts of active ingredients or include contaminants that have not been removed during processing. This is why purchasing supplements from a trusted and reliable source is best.