Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

Main Facts about Valerian

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
Tiny whitish pink flowers clustered into bunches. Valerian flower extracts were used as a perfume in the 16th century. Valerian has been used as a medicinal herb since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome as a remedy for insomnia.

Using Valerian

Famous tranquilizer that is most commonly used for sleep disorders, especially insomnia. Some people who are trying to withdraw from the use of “sleeping pills” use valerian to help them sleep after they have tapered the dose of the sleeping pill. Valerian is also used for conditions connected to anxiety and stress including nervous asthma, excitability, headaches, migraine, and stomach upset. Some people use valerian for depression, mild tremors, epilepsy, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).Valerian is used for muscle and joint pain. Some women use valerian for menstrual cramps and symptoms associated with menopause, including hot flashes and anxiety. Sometimes, it is added to bath water to help relaxation. Valerian does not impair driving ability and produces no morning hangover effect. Cats like it almost as much as catnip.

Valerian is a remedy for: Anxiety

Cooking with Valerian

The chief constituent of valerian is an oil which is present in the dried root. A more mild option, especially if you haven't tried valerian before, is to use the leaves in a sleepy time tea. The leaves aren't as potent or smelly as the root. Valerian tea should not be prepared with boiling water, as this may drive off the lighter oils.

How to grow Valerian

Valerian does well in all ordinary soils, but prefers rich, heavy loam, well supplied with moisture. Provide valerian with full sun for at least 6 hours a day. Valerian can grow to about 5 feet high and more than a foot across, so give it plenty of space. Although you can propagate this herb from seed, the seeds require painstaking care, so prefer root division or rooted runners.