Medicinal Herbs: Valerian Root


Medicinal Herb: Valerian |

Valerian Root:

sleep disorder, anxiety, headaches, depression, IBS.

Valerian Root is one of the herbs I was least familiar with in the 1860 Kitchen Garden of Champoeg State Park. However, when I looked at its common names, I was quite surprised.

Common names for Valeriana officinalis are Valerian, All-Heal and Garden Heliotrope.

Growing Valerian:

One of my very favorite garden flowers I have long used in window boxes is heliotrope for color, texture, and its sweet fragrance.  In fact, as early as the sixteenth century, flower extracts of garden heliotrope were used as perfume.

Plant Valerian in well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. This perennial is extremely cold hardy.

Medicinal Herb: Valerian |


It’s recommended to, “Dig roots in fall or early spring and dry outdoors, because they release an unpleasant smell as they dry. Store in airtight container. Dried valerian roots are used to make a bedtime tea that promotes sleep. They are also much loved by cats and dogs.”

Medicinal Herb: Valerian. Primarily for -- sleep disorder, anxiety, headaches, depression, IBS.

Medicinal Use:

Medicinally, oil extracts from the dried root of the Valerian has been used for centuries, dating back to Ancient Greece and Rome. In fact, Hippocrates, often wrote of its healing properties. It was commonly administered for sleep disorders and anxiety.

Today, Valerian is still used to treat sleep disorders, anxiety, and other conditions as well. It is used for headaches, depression, irregular heartbeat, trembling and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It acts almost like a muscle relaxant or sedative and is considered safe to use for short periods of time, four to six weeks, especially as a sleep aide.

Most commonly, you can find Valerian in supplement form, liquid extracts, and tea.

For more information on Valerian, visit the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. Always consult with your physician before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

Medicinal Herb Garden Series:

Below is a list of posts we’ve compiled on common herbs found in historic medicinal gardens. Each post contains information of the herb’s medicinal uses, growing tips, and more.

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Medicinal Herbs: Valerian Root

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Medicinal Herb: Valerian |

Written by 

Stephanie Wilson is an author, blogger, publisher, and former television news writer and producer. She lives in the Puget Sound area with her family.

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