ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Medicinal Plants- Valerian

Updated on August 31, 2014

Valeriana Officinalis

A member of the umbelliferous plant family, valerian is native to the moderate climates found in Europe and areas of Asia; valerian has been successfully introduced in North America as well. Although it prefers moist, swamp like soil, valerian can also be found growing wild across the plains and into the mountains. About five feet tall at maturity, valerian is a perennial. And during the summer months, beautiful white blooms adorn its graceful foliage.

Hippocrates
Hippocrates

Valerian's medicinal properties have been recognized for thousands of years. Hippocrates extolled its therapeutic uses, and during the second century, Galen prescribed it for the treatment of insomnia. During medieval times, valerian was used as a remedy for nerves, headaches, and trembling limbs. Later, doctors in the nineteenth century blamed the root for the very things it was supposed to relieve, but WWII England widely disagreed and used the herb to combat stress during air raids.

Although the blooms of the valerian were popularly used throughout the sixteenth century in perfumes, valerian's medicinal properties are found in the rootstock (also known as rhizome) of the plant. Valerian roots contain a number of well-known medicinal properties including valepotriate (a calming substance), camphor (an antiseptic numbing agent), acetic acids (found in all living organisms, vinegar), tannins (astringents), and mucilage (gooey and loaded with protein). Roots may be used fresh or dried, but the drying of the roots requires temperatures over 104 degrees.

Valerian Tea
Valerian Tea

Most popular as a natural tranquilizer, valerian's calming properties make it a remedy for all types of nervousness and anxiety. In today's "always in a hurry" world, valerian is said to be an excellent remedy for people suffering from mental burn out and sleepless nights. On the other hand, valerian is also reputed to have the exact opposite effect on some users, and its use should be discontinued immediately if nervousness or headaches are experienced. Research is undecided on the benefits of valerian; some research claims that the root is ineffective as a sleep aid, others show that people using the supplements have an easier time falling asleep (without waking "sleepy headed") and awaken far less during the night. As in all things, different people experience different reactions.

Sleep disorders aside, valerian has also been seen as an anti-convulsive, and it has been used in the treatment of intestinal spasms and epileptic seizures. These uses have never been scientifically supported. Other uses are in the ever-expanding diagnoses of ADHD, but again, there is no scientific evidence to support its use for this disorder.

Valerian tea has long been a nighttime favorite, and may be easily prepared using a scant teaspoon of dried valerian per cup of boiling water. The herb should be steeped for at least five minutes prior to consumption and may be imbibed with no other additives, but if you like to sweeten with sugar or cream........... Be my guest.

Health food stores carry a variety of valerian products. Tablets and capsules are available as supplements, as are drops that can be added to water or other beverages. Dried valerian can be purchased and sewn into sachets. Use the sachets to indulge in an herbal bath; you'll feel twice as calm with a good soak. Another option would be to make a valerian soak on your own. Simply soak 3.5 ounces of dried root pieced in a quart of water overnight and strain; then add the strained soak to your bathwater. If you don't have the patience or desire to prepare your own soak, there are many valerian root products on the market.

As with any other medicinal plant and its supplements, consult a doctor before using.

Sources

The Complete Guide to Natural Healing . Orangeville, ON: International Masters

N.p., n.d. Web.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)