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How to Brew and Prepare Valerian Root Tea

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This article will break down how to brew your own valerian root tea to promote restful sleep.

This article will break down how to brew your own valerian root tea to promote restful sleep.

How to Brew Pre-Bagged or Loose-Leaf Valerian Root Tea

Valerian root is the pungent-smelling root of the valerian plant (Valeriana officinalis or Valeriana wallichii). The root has been used since ancient times to promote restful sleep and has exploded in popularity in recent times for this effect. With the wide variety of exotic tea blends on supermarket shelves today, let's get back to basics on how to easily prepare a cup of valerian root tea.

What You'll Need

  • kettle, stainless steel or ceramic (what you'll boil your water in)
  • teapot or mug with a lid (what you'll steep your tea in, which is not your kettle)
  • 1 teaspoon (about 2 grams) dried valerian root
  • infusion device (like a tea ball, heat seal tea bag, piece of cheesecloth and string, or steep loose and use a strainer after brewing)
  • 8 ounces of filtered water and hot water from the tap

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Instructions

  1. Fill the tea pot or mug you'll be steeping in with hot tap water to warm the container.
  2. Fill your infusion device with the valerian root. If steeping without a device (called "loose-leaf"), wait until Step 4 to add your valerian root.
  3. Heat 6–8 ounces of filtered water in your kettle on your stove to third boil (when the water produces big, rapidly breaking bubbles). Remove from heat.
  4. Empty your tea pot or mug of the tap water and add the valerian root to this container. Pour water from the kettle over the valerian root and cover. This helps to fully release the medicinal components of the root into your cup of tea.
  5. Steep (let sit) for about 10–15 minutes. The steep time is long because you are preparing a tough root, not a more tender leaf, flower, or stem.
  6. Uncover and remove your infusion device from your tea pot or mug. If you steeped loose-leaf, pour the steeped tea through a strainer into a second mug.

Your valerian root tea is ready to enjoy. You may add milk, honey, or sweetener to taste, though doing so may alter the medicinal benefits of your tea. I prefer this tea with nothing added.

Harvest valerian root near the end of the season—remember to plunk a chunk of the root back in the ground for next year!

Harvest valerian root near the end of the season—remember to plunk a chunk of the root back in the ground for next year!

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