Medicinal valerian



Valeriana officinalis (L.) Sensu lato

The Valerian family is Valerianaceae


What does it look like? Perennial herb 100-150 cm tall. The general name ” Valeriana officinalis” (Valeriana officinalis LS I.) combines a number of types of valerian that are used in medicine. In Ukraine, from the medicinal valerian group, the most common are the glossy valerian (V. nitida Kreyer), the high valerian (V. exaltata Mikan) and the shoot valerian (V. stolonifera Czern). The best of them is the one that grows in dry places. In the second year, a straight, furrowed, hollow flower-bearing stem grows. The leaves are opposite, odd-pinnate, the leaves are ovate-lanceolate, toothed or entire. The inflorescence is large, branched, its separate parts in the form of complex shields. The flowers are small, fragrant, bisexual, pink or white. Blooms in June – August.

Where does it grow? In its wild state, it is widespread in the Carpathians, Roztochchi-Opilla, in Polissia, in the forest-steppe and steppe (Valeriana brilliantus) – in river floodplains, on grass-sedge swamps, in wet bushes, among vines, cultivated in state farms.

What and when are collected? Two-year-old roots with rhizomes – in spring, late autumn (wash in cold water and dry in the shade).

When is it used? With disorders of the nervous system, insomnia and digestive disorders on a nervous basis, nausea; as an anthelmintic, anthelmintic and a means to maintain strength; with diarrhea (relieves spasms of smooth muscles and increases inhibitory processes in the cerebral cortex); to enhance the effect of sleeping pills and mental fatigue (the active factor is amethyl-pyrylketone or the alkaloid khatinine). The volatile oil contains borneol ester, terpenes and isovaleric acid, the roots also contain alkaloids valerine and chatinine, glycoside valeride, saponins, tannins, acetic, formic and other organic acids, alcohols, phenols.


The best sedative effect is shown by the cold infusion of the powder from the rhizomes with valerian roots , due to its content of a crystalline substance unstable to the action of high temperatures — isovaleric acid ether (valepatriate).

With mental fatigue , valerian eliminates disorders in the cerebral cortex, increases its functional activity, similar to tranquilizers. Valerian regulates the work of the heart, acting directly on the central nervous system, as well as on the heart muscle and on the autonomic system of the heart, which creates and conducts impulses. Valerian improves coronary blood circulation and increases the production of the glands of the gastrointestinal tract and the secretion of bile.

In the form of tea, it is prepared like this. For 1 cup of boiling water, take 1 teaspoon of crushed roots and boil for 10 minutes. Drink 1 glass each for hyperthyroidism, nervous excitement, hysteria, epilepsy, insomnia, convulsions, spasms of coronary vessels, increased heartbeat, neuroses of the cardiovascular system. Babies are given 1 teaspoon every hour for stomach aches. An enema made of valerian decoction soothes intestinal colic. When you feel empty in your stomach, when your tongue is coated and your head hurts a little, drink 3 glasses a day of this tea: boil 6 spoons of yarrow in 1 liter of water for 10 minutes, pour 1 tablespoon of bitter wormwood herb and valerian root and 2 spoons of cold mint; insist for half an hour.

To prepare an alcohol tincture, 1 part of the roots (preferably raw) is poured with 5 parts of 70% alcohol and infused in heat (25°) for 7 days. Then drain, squeeze, settle, filter through filter paper and use 1/2 — 1 teaspoon, depending on the need, but not for long, because valerian disrupts the functions of the gastrointestinal tract. Ether tincture is made from 1 part of ground valerian rhizome in 4 parts of 90% alcohol, infused for 4 days, 2 parts of ether are added and infused for another 3 days. Next, they do the same as when preparing alcohol tincture. Externally used for nervous shock (fear) with convulsions in children; in epilepsy. The child is bathed in a warm decoction of valerian roots (take 1 handful of roots per 1 liter of water, boil for 10 minutes and add to the bath). The bath is done every other day, and 7-10 drops of alcohol tincture in a teaspoon of water are given inside 5 times a day. A fifteen-minute bath is taken every other day before going to bed.

For adults with functional diseases of the nervous system, overtiredness, excessive irritability, as well as with some rheumatic diseases, sciatica, thrombophlebitis, hypertension and hypotension, a decoction is prepared from a mixture of thyme, sage, valerian root , marigold flowers and medicinal chamomile (in comparison). Take a handful of the mixture per 2 liters of water, boil for 30 minutes and add to a full bath; aromatic baths are taken twice a week.

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