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Valerian

(Valeriana officinalis)

Range:

Identifying characteristics:

A hardy perennial, Valerian is a non native species which has escaped cultivation, and become transplanted sporadically across the northern half of the US. I would suggest planting your own plants, or f that is not an option, purchasing Valerian from a health food store.

Habitat:

Gardens, open fields, waste areas.

Parts Used:

Root

Uses:

Wild Food Uses:

None Known

The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.

Medicinal Uses:

Valerian has been used for insomnia and other sleep disorders. It has been studied alongside of barbiturate sleep aids, and was found to be more effective at relaxing the subjects so that they were able to achieve sleep. It was further shown not to have the grogginess associated with barbiturate sleep aids. Subjects awoke fresh in the morning with absolutely no barbiturate fog. IT has also been shown to be effective for users who have trouble staying asleep. It has also been used as a sedative, and for treatment of anxiety and stress. I have personally witnessed the efficacy of Valerian as a muscle relaxant. My wife was experiencing severe back spasms. She took Valerian tincture, and within 15 - 30 minutes her back had completely relaxed. I have also given Valerian to a female friend who was experiencing a panic attack. Within a short time, she was completely calm and relaxed. Valerian is often indicated as transition medication when discontinuing benzodiazepines.  Valerian has also been recommended for epilepsy although no clinical study exists to support this use.

Medicinal Actions:

Adaptogen, Analgesic, Anticonvulsant, Antiepileptic, Antispasmodic, Anxiolytic, Carminative, Hypnotic, Nervine, Relaxant, Sedative, Soporific, Vasodilator

 

 

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Revised: 05/11/16 Living Afield