Next time you pick up a copy of Newsweek and feel like throwing a tantrum grab a flower and give it a sniff. See if it helps...
Valerian is a great choice for the Puget Sound area, as I've seen big patches of a native variety growing at Mt. Rainier Nat'l Park.
So I picked a bunch up while backpacking, was fingering it as I walked, and 15 minutes later am wondering to my friends: 'golly, I'm feeling So tired all of a sudden, what's up?'
It can be made into a tea or tincture dropped into water or tea to help one sleep. It is very stinky and smells like rotten gym socks.
I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS TO ANYONE - JUST MY OWN EXPERIENCE:
Years ago I worked with a praticularly awful witch and the only way to get through my day was to take valerian root at least once a day. In my mind it couldn't be any worse than perscription anti-depressants. It does not make me tired.
I describe the feeling like this: The problems have not gone away, I am still alert and can deal with them, but I just don't give a @#$%.
I still keep a bottle at work and another at home - just in case.
There have been numerous studies done on ADHD and other such afflictions and how they react to valerian root. The pharmacutical companies cannot make a bunch of money on it though so I don't expect to see much research - if valerian is too successful they might make it illegal.
I have valerian growing in the flower garden. If i let it go to seed, little valerian plants pop up everywhere - in the lawn, in other gardens.... I'd like to develop a way to make it useful - without having to taste it too much or drink it in a tea. So I'll try cutting it back to make the roots bigger. Thanks for that tip.
As for blood pressure, hmmm. Look into implementing raw apple cider vinegar and good quality water, and also herbally into Hawthorn, Motherwort, Garlic, Ginger, Turmeric and/or Cayenne - and if needed, Sweet Clover (white or yellow, the Melilotus spp.). While the nervine herbs can calm you, solving the underlying issues can go a long way. Please work with someone knowledgeable since your situation may differ.
It would be nice to find a way to use it that is not so stinky.
I told her that when we buy valerian, we find the brands with liquid extract in oval, plastic-looking capsules more effective than those with powder in transparent gelcaps. She suggested that the latter may be old stock that had lost its potency. The material will stay effective longer as whole roots than if it's ground up.
She hadn't heard of the cutting back trick to increase the size of the roots.
Then as we were walking around, we found a valerian plant in an old schoolyard!
It is also said that the Pied Piper carried it to attract the mice.
Harper Stone wrote:We've got little valerians sprouting all up over the garden. I've recently moved here and it took me a while to even identify the plant as valerian. But I have one question: I have read that there is a 'Valerian officinalis' which has the medicinal properties, and another one (perhaps the pacific nw native one? or 'Red valerian'?) which does not. Does anyone know how to tell the difference, or if it's even true that one is ineffective? They all have burgundy/maroon leaves right now, and had stalks 3 feet high that had gone to seed and dried by the time I moved in.
Both are effective and one report I've read said that the native Valeraina sitchensis is even stronger in some ways than the officinalis. It's really all about what you're looking for in your medicine. I went to my book that I thought it was in, no luck, will keep looking and link it later.
I can add that there is a plant Centranthus ruber, common names Jupiter's Beard, and Red Valerian among others. From what I know, Jupiter's Beard/Red Valerian is not medicinally interchangeable with Valerian officinalis, the medicinal plant. I just did a quick web search, and found conflicting reports on the medicinal uses. I'd stay with Valerian officinalis for medicinal uses. And if you are going to try the Jupiter's beard, go carefully, with all precautions.
I used to think valerian was stinky, but I've been making tea from valerian root, and at first I put in hops and chamomile and lavender. I drank it with honey and soy milk. Now that is all too much bother. I just make the valerian tea and drink it straight. I guess I'm used to it. It does help me sleep, and funny enough I DO have type O blood.
As for killing the plant(s), or weakening them by digging the roots: Jupiter's beard is so invasive you could almost never be rid of it, and my friend who has true valerian in her garden says it is invasive and everywhere... and it is beautiful and she loves it, and is going to dig me some. YAY.
Things from the US that are labeled "organic" often aren't, "free range" is a totally misleading misnomer. If it is from China, there is no reason to have any confidence in the growing practices, they are out for the buck! Wikiality and truthiness are a large part of what is said about the things that arrive here from China.
I have 2 acres of ground. The valerian flowers are beautiful. I prefer valerian plants to tumbleweeds, puncture vine, goat heads, sand burs cockleburrs, all the things that would grow if I diudn't have my chosen weeds in place. I live on a limited income. I have plenty of time. I drink valerian tea on a regular basis. I know of others who would prefer to have the things in their life primarily originate close to home, who would buy organic valerian root from me. The money I would have to spend to buy the easier choice, I would have to earn by selling something I produce. I won't end up with a bag of trash that was used to package the valerain I bought. The resources expended to process and package and transport the valerian in a bottle, the warehouse where the bottled valerian was stored, all these resources can be left in place, or expended towards something I CAN'T produce just a step out side my door.
I love the feeling of security that the things I need are right here with me, self replenishing and pristine, and I feel HAPPY just to look at what I have tended.
There are plenty of reasons to grow your own valerian and many other things. And yes, I am glad that there is a store that stocks all the things I make for myself, I enjoy the presence of the safety net, even if I never need it.
Some business man without conscience made many bad things, it was really shame of China, but everyone can not clare it never happened in your countries. It is only byproduct of rapidly development.
Now we are trying to fix it, although my own strength is little, but I think it will do some effect.
My cats went wild!
I caged the cat nip last year so they couldn't smother it, now I'm wondering if I'm going to have to cage the mother valerian! The cat was just spread out across the patch, sun bathing! Earlier, I'd seen our other cat basking and rubbing at the edge of the patch over the spot where we dug it up.
They're chasing the dragon.
I didn't know I was planting a garden of cat narcotics.
Cats are great aren't they?
Do you have room to plant LOTS of catnip, valerian and catmint? My cats love the stuff, and always come find me if I am cutting the catnip. They lick the cut stems, they rub against it, they lie on it. But I have so much, spread so widely, even together we could not make a dent in it!
"In conclusion, treatment with a herbal extract of radix valerianae demonstrated positive effects on sleep structure and sleep perception of insomnia patients, and can therefore be recommended for the treatment of patients with mild psychophysiological insomnia."
Precautions- Should not be used by pregnant or nursing women or people awaiting surgery. "Valerian may potentiate the effects of anesthetics that act on GABA receptors, and presurgical valerian use may cause a valerian-anesthetic interaction."
divide and multiply keep moist and well drained
Jeanine Gurley wrote:The top of my valerian plant has completely died back.
It is now at the end of it's second summer with me. I'm not sure what to do.
I'm going to dig up the root tomorrow and see if it is O.K.
Any advice from valerian growers? This is my only plant.