Diseases and effects: nervous excitement, anxiety, insomnia, stomach diseases, dysentery, typhoid-paratyphoid diseases.

Active substances: borneol, essential oils.

Collection time:  July – October

Valerian family – Valerianaceae\r

Several types of valerian grow in the Far East, of which the most widespread are Amur, Korean, alternate-leaved and trans-Yenisei (V. Amurenis Smirn. Ex Kom., V. coreana Brig., V. Alternifolia Ldb., V. transjenisensis). Other species are much less common and, as a rule, have not been studied medically. This is the capitate valerian (V. capitata Pall.), found along the Okhotsk coast, in Kamchatka (Komarov, 1930), Chukotka (Vasiliev, 1956) and, probably, on the Commander Islands (Vasiliev, 1957), Stubendorf valerian (V. Stubendrofii Kreyer ex Kom.), growing in the Khanka lowland, Ayan valerian (V. Ajanensis (Rgl. Et Til.) Kom.) (Kurentsova, 1941).\r

Valerian are perennial herbaceous plants with straight furrowed stems hollow inside, sometimes branching in the upper part. Leaves pinnately dissected. From the base of the stem to the top, the leaves and their cuttings gradually decrease, the upper leaves are already sessile. The flowering period lasts from late May to mid-July. The flowers are collected in dense corymbose inflorescences. They can be white, pink, light purple, lilac.\r

Medicinal value are short, sometimes quite powerful vertical rhizomes, densely covered with succulent cord-like roots. Borneol and its esters contained in the rhizomes and roots of valerian have a calming effect on the central nervous system. Therefore, valerian products are used for nervous excitement, anxiety, and insomnia.\r

The most commonly prescribed tincture of valerian (alcohol). It is taken in 30-35 drops. In addition, you can use an infusion of 6-10 g of dried and crushed valerian rhizomes and roots per glass of water (a tablespoon per reception), as well as a thick extract of valerian and soothing tea, one of the components of which are the roots of the plant.\r

It is generally accepted that at recommended doses, valerian products have their characteristic effect on the central nervous system only when it is stimulated. This is not often explained by the ineffectiveness of valerian tincture, taken prophylactically by excitable people, before the expected conflict situation.\r

A pharmacological test carried out in the last years showed, however, that the generally accepted doses of valerian tincture are extremely underestimated and therefore cannot always provide a sufficiently clear effect. To obtain a “fail-safe” calming effect, the doses of products should be increased up to the corresponding 510 g of dry root per reception (Rovinsky, 1959; Kempinskas, 1964, etc.).\r

Noteworthy is the peculiar way of preparing a homemade valerian product used in Germany. A tablespoon of crushed roots is poured into a tea cup of cold boiled water and infused for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally. Then the liquid is filtered and sweetened. The resulting cold infusion is drunk in two doses: in the morning and in the evening (both times, probably on an empty stomach). In a similar way, you can get an extract from the roots of valerian with hot water for 20 minutes. However, such a product is considered less active.\r

Alcohol tincture of rhizomes and roots of valerian in Germany is recommended to be taken not in drops, but in a teaspoon (Berngen, 1961). It is easy to see that in this case, a person in two doses uses the number of valerian roots, which, when using the traditional infusion, provide 10-12 doses. It remains unclear the question of how completely the active substances are extracted from the roots with the described method.\r

When using increased doses of valerian products, it will be necessary to remember the likelihood of this plant to increase blood clotting (Mirnov, 1966). For patients with increased blood clotting, this effect can be very undesirable. It should also be noted that high doses of valerian products should not be consumed for a long time: this can cause headaches and anxiety (Derfler and Roselt, 1962).\r

It is known about the likelihood of using valerian as an anticonvulsant (antiepileptic) agent (Liguori, 1960; Matsku and Krejcha, 1970, etc.), in the treatment of certain diseases of the stomach (Derfler and Roselt, 1962). It is possible that in the later case, the favorable effect is associated with a rather strong choleretic effect found in valerian (Pasechnik, 1961). Of course, the antibacterial effect of valerian tincture is also useful. Those who described it I.V. Pronin and N.F. Hofstadt (1959) even points to the possibility of using the usual doses of valerian tincture in the complex treatment of dysentery and typhoid-paratyphoid diseases.\r

Harvest rhizomes and roots of valerian from mid-July to mid-October. The dug out rhizomes are shaken off the ground, placed in a basket and thoroughly washed in running water. After that, the remains of the stems and small urolithic roots are cut off from them. The rhizomes prepared in this way are dried for 2-3 days in the attic or under a canopy, then dried in a dryer at a temperature of no more than 40 ° to prevent the loss of essential oils. Rhizomes can also be dried in the attic or under a canopy, but with all this they must be turned over many times. Well-dried rhizomes break when you try to bend them. In the process of drying and storage, it is necessary to protect raw materials from cats.

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