Medicinal Herbs: Valerian Root

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

Valerian Root Medicinal Uses:

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.

One of my very favorite garden flowers I have long used in window boxes is heliotrope for color, texture, and its sweet fragrance.  I had no idea of its other uses. In fact, as early as the sixteenth century, flower extracts of garden heliotrope were used as perfume.

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.

Read more: Medicinal Herb Series


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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