Valeriana - Valerian
ORIGIN: Valerian is a hardy perennial flowering plant from the Valerianaceae family.It grows to about 50 cm tall and and has intensive green leaves.The flowers umbrella out and are pale pink in colour. An unusual feature of Valerian is that the essential oil of Valerian root attracts cats in a similar way to catnip.
USES: For making tea you should use the dried roots from plants which are at least 2 years old.
CAUTION: Valerian root is non-toxic but may cause side effects if taken in excess or over long periods. Should be avoided by people suffering low blood pressure.
PROPERTIES: Valerian is used against sleeping disorders (insomnia), restlessness and anxiety, and as a muscle relaxant. It is also used traditionally to treat gastrointestinal pain and irritable bowel syndrome. Valerian has uses in herbal medicine as a sedative and has been used to relieve epilepsy but this is not supported by research.
Sow: from March - July
Horticultural name: Valeriana Officinalis