Valerian herb (Valeriana officinalis) not to be confused with the beautiful Red Valerian perennial plant, has been used as a medicinal herb for insomnia since the time of ancient Greece and Rome. While it can be a sedative, it sometime can cause agitation, headaches and night terrors.Other fun facts form my webpage:
Valerian comes from the Latin word valere meaning strong referring to the strong odor from the root system, quite frankly it reeks of the worst moldy smelling dirty socks or dog. Do I make my point?
But when it is in blossom in June through September the clusters of small white to light pink flowers sweetly perfume the air and bring butterflies and bees in droves. Cultivation of valerian does well in all ordinary soils, but prefers rich, composted loam, well supplied with moisture. This also makes harvesting of the roots easier.
When I make my catnip blend I always add a small amount valerian root to the mix, it seems to send the cats into a passionate zone. Actually the active ingredient in valerian is similar to the active ingredient in catnip and might mimic the odor of cat urine and is also attractive to rats so much so that it was used to bait traps. Legends of the Pied Piper of Hamelin used valerian as well as his pipes to attract rates.
Masses of strongly fragrant scented white to pink flowers, used at one time for sedative tinctures and called the "poor man's valium." The valerian holds a prominent position as one of the best herbal tranquilizers and muscle relaxants the plant kingdom has to offer. Caution: valerian may cause headaches, muscular spasms, and palpitations. It is not recommended for long-term use. Tincture of valerian helps clear dandruff. Folklore: Used in protective sachets or place under the pillow to help you sleep. Powdered valerian roots are considered a substitute for graveyard dust.