The Valerian root, also known as Valeriana officinalis, is a medicinal herb just like most herbs. What makes this plant so interesting is that aside from its curative powers the extracts of this plants flowery head, unlike Ginkgo, were used as a perfume in the 16th Century. Valerian has been used for centuries before that as well; even Hippocrates described the properties of this plant. This plant is indigenous in Europe and Asia such as the Himalayas, but can also be found in North America as a transplant. Many myths and fairy tales surround the use of Valerian Root such as Grooms wearing it on their wedding clothes to parish off the envy of the elves. The legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin had a pocket full of Valerian when he ambushed the rats away into the water.
Because this plant is a perennial and as it lives longer so it gives the plant plenty of time to become stronger causing it to have a greater effect on the human body and nervous system. Valerian Root it has sedative effects that makes it an alternative treatment for insomnia, asthma, anxiety, migraines, psychological stress, muscle and joint pain, ADHD, depression and CFS. Also, Ladies, if you are suffering from menstrual cramps or symptoms associated with menopause, Valerian Root will definitely help lessen the pain. This plant has been studied in Germany and Switzerland, which confirmed its tranquilizing qualities and has been used as a tincture for the disease known as “restless legs syndrome”. It is the best herbal remedy for sleep.
- Has a sedative effect
- Good for insomnia
- Great for PTSD
- Helps with depression
- Calms symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Ancient Medicinal Values
Ancient Greeks and Romans would prescribe Valerian Root for insomnia. Hippocrates, known as the Father of Modern Medicine, possibly treated Alexander the Great for what is now known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with Valerian Root. He also used a cleansing wash made of an infusion of various plants that included Valerian to treat Alexander’s battle wounds. Valerian is not addictive and can be used with other calming herbs like lemon balm, and chamomile to name a few. Be sure to check first with your physician if you are taking certain prescribed medications and be cautious with large amounts of Valerian as it is not recommended. It is one of the great herbal remedies for depression.
photo credit: oregano_20080718_1.jpg via photopin (license)