Information on Valerian

Latin NameValeriana officinalisphoto
Other NamesGarden Valerian
Part UsedRhizome
Herb FormsTincture, capsule, tablet, bulk herb, powder.
AffectsDigestive system, Nervous system
CautionsLong-term use may cause minor side effects such as headaches, excitability, and insomnia. Valerian is not as effective for people with deficiency and internal heat, with such symptoms as mild anxiety, sleeplessness, depression, fatigue, or general weakne
Botanical InfoA perennial garden herb that forms spreading clumps with strongly-scented underground rhizomes and tall flowering stalks with small pink or white flowers.
DescriptionValerian has been used since antiquity as a healing herb to help relieve digestive problems, and from the middle ages to help relieve emotional stress, sleeplessness, nervousness, menstrual and intestinal cramps, and muscle pain. A wealth of clinical studies support the sleep-promoting and central nervous-system relaxing qualities of this popular herb. In earlier times, valerian was touted for its diuretic and expectorant properties.

Valerian has a taste of SWEET, SPICY and a temperature of WARM.

Dosages

TypeDosage
Powder1-2 capsules 2-3 x daily
Decoction1 cup 2-3 x daily
Tincture2-5 droppersful 2-3 x daily or before bed

Ailments Treated by Valerian

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Deliriumnervinetincture, tablet, capsule
Delirium tremensnervine, calmativetincture, capsule, tablet
Headache, acutenervine, calmativetincture, tablet, capsule
Hypochondriarelaxing nervinetincture, tablet, capsule
Insomniacalmative, mild sedativetincture (from fresh roots), tea
Jaw, tenseantispasmodic, calmativetincture, tea
Menstrual crampsantispasmodictincture, capsule, tablet
Migraine headachenervinetincture, tablet, capsule
Muscles, tightcalmativetincture, tablet, capsule
Sleeping aidsnervine, calmativetincture, tablet, capsule
Nervousnesscalmativetincture of fresh roots, rhizome

References

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Wren, R.C. 1988. Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs. Essex: C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd.
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Bradley, P.R., ed. 1992. British Herbal Compendium. Dorset: British Herbal Medicine Association.
Kuts-Cheraux, A.W., ed. 1953. Naturae Medicina. Des Moines: American Naturopathic Physicians & Surgeons Association.
Remington, J.P. et al. 1918. The Dispensatory of the U.S. of America. 20th. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott.
Sherman, J. 1979. The Complete Botanical Prescriber. Corvallis: Corvallis Naturopathic Clinic.