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Valerian Root

Valeriana officinalis



Description: One of about 200 species in the genus. This use of this attractive plant dates back to at least Hippocrates in the 4th century BC and appears in many Anglo-Saxon herbal texts.  Since the Middle Ages its been used as a cure-all and in WWI was used to treat shell-shock. Today, it's recognized as a safe, effective sedative that doesn't react with alcohol or cause dependency.


Valerian attracts cats and is used in baits to trap wild cats and rodents.

Family: Valerianaceae

Synonyms: common valerian, garden heliotrope

Origin: Western Europe

Parts Used: dried rhizomes (roots)

Aroma Description: very strong, green-balsamic, musky, woody, slightly camphoraceous and sour aroma

Emotional Attributes: cleansing/purifying, sleep

Cosmetic Uses: perfumery, aromatherapy

Culinary Uses: used in herbal teas, extracts are used to flavor ice cream, bakery products, condiments, soft drinks, liqueurs, beers, tobacco, etc.

Medicinal Attributes: bitter, sedative, warming herb that is sued to calm the nerves, relax spasms, improve digestion, relieve pain, treat insomnia, and lower blood pressure. May cause drowsiness.

*Warning: Do not use if currently on sedative drugs or antidepressants*

Element Association: Water

Magical Associations: Protection

Astrological Association: Capricorn, Taurus

Planetary Association: Saturn

Season: Summer

Aromatic Note: Base note

Essential Oil: Yes, a steam distilled essential oil and a solvent extracted absolute are both made. There is also a lesser-quality "Indian Valerian" absolute made from the species Valeriana Wallichii.

*Warning: Do not use if currently on sedative drugs or antidepressants*

Mixes Well With: cedarwood, lavender, musk seeds, oakmoss, patchouli, pine needles, rosemary, vetiver, tobacco, etc.

Medical Disclaimer: Information on this web site is for entertainment purposes only. This information is NOT intended as medical advice or for use as diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a licensed medical professional.

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