Medicinal valerian (Valeriana officinalis); tall valerian, mahogany, meow, cat’s grass, goat’s pea, oleander; Valerian family (Valerianaceae); medicinal valerian
As the synonyms of valerian show, cats are not indifferent to it. On representatives of the feline tribe, the plant has an excitatory effect, and on humans – mainly sedative.
Valerian is known to many: if not the plant itself, then various products made from it — valerian drops, pills, dried rhizomes with roots. It is a herbaceous perennial, the height of which reaches 2 m. The rhizome is vertical, with numerous long and thin additional roots. The leaves are opposite, odd-pinnate, the leaves are ovate-lanceolate, toothed; the flowers are small, pale pink, fragrant, collected in panicle-like inflorescences at the top of the stem. Valerian blooms in May-June, the fruits ripen in August-September. The plant is widespread almost throughout the territory of Russia, except for the Far North and mountain deserts, as well as almost everywhere in Ukraine. It usually grows in wet places – along the banks of rivers and swamps, on floodplain meadows, marshy lowlands, grass and peat bogs, steppe slopes, meadow and multi-grass steppes, forest edges, among the bushes. It is grown on special plantations for the purpose of obtaining medicinal raw materials.
There are many types of plants, almost all of them have similar medicinal properties.
In medicine, rhizomes with roots are used, which are collected in the fall, after the fruits have ripened, or in early spring. The dug rhizomes are cleaned from the remains of the earth and extraneous vegetation, cut into 2-4 parts lengthwise and quickly washed in cold water. After drying, the raw materials are laid out in the open air for drying for 1-2 days. Then they are dried by spreading them in a thin layer under shelter or in a dryer at a temperature not higher than 30-35 °C.
The rhizomes contain essential oil (0.5-2%), alcohols, alcohol esters, alkaloids, tannins, sugars, etc.
Valerian products are used in scientific and traditional medicine in the form of tinctures, infusions, decoctions, drops and tablets. They are usually prescribed for insomnia, neuroses of various origins, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, spasms of smooth muscles of the stomach and intestines. Valerian helps with hysteria, and baths from the rhizomes of the plant are useful for epilepsy in children. In obstetrics and gynecology, valerian is used as a sedative for climacteric neuroses and toxicoses in pregnant women, especially when they have heart failure. In folk medicine, in addition, valerian is known as a means that promotes digestion and improves appetite, eliminates intestinal bloating, has a calming and tonic effect in nervous excitement, hysteria, physical and nervous overload, migraine.
It should be borne in mind that many people do not tolerate valerian, so it must be taken strictly individually under the supervision of a doctor, no more than one and a half months without a break, as various complications are possible (headache, feeling depressed, drowsiness, nausea, and others).
Bees know this plant well and visit it often, 100 flowers contain an average of 2.8 mg of sugar in nectar, and the honey productivity of valerian in the second or third year of life is 250-310 kg per hectare. Honey collection is especially effective in those places where there are specialized farms for growing valerian.
The medical industry produces briquettes of valerian rhizomes, which are used to prepare infusions and decoctions. As a component, valerian is included in the products corvalol, valocordin, validol.
Infusion of rhizomes. 2.5 tablespoons of raw materials per 200 ml of boiling water, infuse for 15 minutes. Take 2-3 tablespoons 3-4 times a day after 30 minutes. after eating
Powder of rhizomes. 1-3 g per single dose.
Tincture of rhizomes. Crushed rhizomes insist on 70% alcohol in a ratio of 1:5. Take 20-30 drops 1-3 times a day.
Baths with decoction of rhizomes. A full handful of raw materials per 1 liter of water, boil for 5 minutes, infuse, filter and cool. The decoction is added to the bath where the child is bathed. The duration of the procedure is 15 minutes. In childhood epilepsy.