VALERIAN

VALERIAN: “You’re Getting Sleepy…”

Induces Sleep, Lowers Blood Pressure, Sedative, Tranquilizer

Also Known As: All-Heal, Garden Valerian and Phu

HISTORY:

The Pied Piper used valerian as a hypnotic. But, 100 years before this happened, Hildegard the German herbalist recommended the herb as a sleep aid and tranquilizer. Valerian is the active ingredient in more than 100 over the counter tranquilizers and sleep aids, some of which are specially formulated for children.

PREPARATION:

  • Infusion:

For a sedative infusion and to help in reducing blood pressure, add 2 teaspoons of powdered roots per cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink one cup before going to bed. Add sugar, honey, lemon or mix with an herbal beverage to improve the flavor.

  • Tincture:

Take one half to no more than one teaspoon before bedtime.

  • USE: (Grow Your Own)

Valerian can grow in a variety of soils, but does best in moist, rich, well-drained soil. Thin plants to 12 inches in spacing. Once the plant is established, they will self sow. Seeds or roots may be propagated. When harvesting, thin the roots. Harvest in the fall of the second year. Split the roots to speed drying time. As the roots dry, valerian will develop more of an unpleasant odor.

SAFETY:
Taking in larger amounts than recommended may cause headaches, blurred vision, giddiness, restlessness, nausea and morning grogginess. Valerian is regarded as safe on the FDA’s list of herbs.