Valerian officinalis

Popular names: aromatic, sore, cat grass, cat root, earthen incense, fever root, pink yarrow, meow.

Parts used: root.

Pharmacy name: valerian root – Valerianae radix (formerly: Radix Valerianae).

Botanical description.This important medicinal plant is known to almost everyone. However, only a few know what it looks like, that it is not only cultivated, but also grows wild in our country. Valerian is a powerful perennial plant reaching a meter height. On a hollow ribbed stem, oppositely pinnate leaves of 11-21 leaflets are located. Small pinkish-white flowers are collected in apical umbellate inflorescences. We have several varieties that differ in the color of the flowers and the number of segments of the pinnate leaf, but they are all the same in their healing effect. Blooms from June to August. Valerian grows both in wet meadows, along river banks, in damp forests, and in dry dams and wastelands, both on the plains and in the mountains. However, pharmacy raw materials are obtained almost exclusively from large specialized farms.

Collection and preparation. The roots are dug up in September, washed thoroughly and, combing out with a coarse comb, remove small roots. The remaining roots are hung out to dry. The roots of biennial plants are richest in active substances. Only during the drying process, valerian roots acquire their characteristic smell, due to bornyl isovaleric acid ester.

Active ingredients: a small amount of vale-potriate, essential oil, bicyclic sesqui-terpenes, alkaloids.

Healing action and application.First of all, I would like to say that scientific research has refuted the long-held notion that the smell of valerian root alone has a calming effect. It also turned out that none of the numerous substances that make up valerian can be attributed to a decisive therapeutic role. Only in combination they have a surprisingly beneficial effect, and then only with a sufficiently high concentration. 5-10 drops of valerian tincture will give practically nothing – in order for it to work, you need to dilute 30-50 drops with water or even a teaspoon of tincture. This is confirmed by the German National Health Service. Valerian is effective for increased nervous excitability and spasmodic pains in the stomach and intestines “on nerves”, with insomnia and neurotic palpitations. Patients, those suffering from nervous anxiety, having taken valerian, feel traditionally pleasantly refreshed. Valerian can be safely advised even to car drivers. In these cases, take 1 teaspoon of valerian tincture at least half an hour before driving. Instead of a purchased tincture, you can drink valerian tea, it also has a calming effect.

  • Valerian tea: 2 teaspoons of crushed valerian root pour 1/4 liter of cold water and let it brew for 10-12 hours, stirring occasionally. Drink the infusion if necessary as a course: 2-3 times a day for a cup. This high dosage is harmless and guarantees optimal action.
  • Valerian tea can also be prepared as an infusion in a hot way: pour 2 teaspoons (without top) of the root into 1/2 liter of boiling water and let stand in a sealed container for 10 minutes. To obtain the optimal effect, tea will need to be prepared anew each time. With neurotic insomnia, thanks to the release of tension, it is possible to fall asleep without the painful expectation of sleep, experiencing only a pleasant feeling of relaxation. And sleep will be healthy. Valerian tea also helps with neurotic palpitations.

So, valerian is very good to prepare for stressful situations due to its relaxing effect (see also oats). It is the means by which troubles and turbulent times can be countered. Its leveling, or, as they say now, adaptogenic, action relieves pain in the stomach and liver, gallbladder, pain in the heart, and even eliminates chronic constipation. In addition to tincture or tea, you can use industrially produced dragees containing the full range of active ingredients of valerian. Good results and valerian wine. Yes, and baths with valerian have a calming effect and improve sleep. It happened that some people even fell asleep right in the bath.

  • Bath with valerian: insist 100 g of root in 1 liter of water for 10 hours, strain and pour into the bath. It will turn out faster if 100 g of the root is poured into 2 liters of water, brought to a boil and strained after 10 minutes. You can do it even easier – pour 200-250 g of the finished tincture into a full bath or use a ready-made bath extract purchased at a pharmacy.

My special advice. If you need to relieve nervous tension and the painful spasms caused by it, prepare

  • Tea from valerian root and lemon balm leaves, mixed in equal parts. Pour 2 teaspoons of the mixture into 1/4 liter of boiling water, let it brew for 15 minutes, strain and slowly drink quite hot in small sips.

Soporific tea is also prepared, but the same amount of hops is added to the valerian root. Drink it before bed. Use in homeopathy. Homeopathic remedy Valeriana is prepared from dried roots and is used for increased irritability, insomnia, headaches, heart neurosis, menopausal disorders and flatulence. Dilutions D 1 -D6 are recommended.

Application in folk medicine. There is no doubt that already in the time of Hippocrates (V-IV centuries BC) valerian played a role in the treatment of women’s diseases. Since then, it has been in any herbalist. Dioscorides and Pliny wrote about it, herbalists of the Middle Ages, for example, “Physics” by the abbess Hildegard von Bingen, and later books by Mattiolus, Fuchs and Bock expanded the list of indications for the use of valerian. But in folk medicine, valerian is used mainly as a sedative, for mild heart ailments and, moreover, for stomach pains. Knowing about its anti-spasmodic and dehydrating effect, valerian is especially valued as a remedy for menopausal suffering in women.

Side effects are unknown.

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