Valerian is a herbal calmative that helps to reduce stress, calm nervous excitability and soothe panicky thoughts and mental over-activity. Valerian tincture helps you switch off if you have a tendency to worry a lot. Valerian is an extremely effective relaxant that helps to bring sound, healing sleep, enabling relaxation and reducing tension without sedating the body. Valerian is a well-researched remedy and so widely recognised that it is still included in many orthodox pharmacopoeias as a sedative. Valerian tincture is classed as a hypotensive and can be helpful in reducing blood pressure when associated with mental and physical tension. Indeed, this idea runs all through the picture, and so it seems that Valerian’s success in relieving pain, headaches, insomnia, cramps and various other symptoms, seems to centre on its power to release tension and instil the relaxation response.
In this age of tension and anxiety, many people and their advisers, are finding it quite a challenge to help relieve the anxious state without creating a situation of dependency or impaired functioning. This is where the gentle relaxant herbs that do not cause any addiction are so valuable.
Valerian is thought to be derived from the Latin ‘Valere’ – ‘to be well’: In the Middle Ages it was called all-heal. Mrs Grieve reports that Valerian was used by a man called Fabius Calumn in 1592 to cure himself of epilepsy, after reading of its anti-spasmodic properties in the old Herbals, although this was later put into question by Cullen. Nicholas Culpeper, the 17th Century herbalist, spoke highly of Valerian and used it in a cough mixture, again stressing the anti-spasmodic properties.
Valerian reduces nervous tension by pralolonging the action of an inhibiting neuro-transmitter. German and Swiss studies have confirmed that Valerian enhances sleep quality. This study on children with difficulty in staying calm used a combination of Valerian and Lemon Balm
Properties: Nervine Antispasmodic Carminative
Botanical name: Valeriana officinalis
Common names: Valerian – Phu – All-heal-Set well
Habitat: Valerian is a perennial plant that is native to Europe and Northern Asia and widely cultivated
Parts used: Roots and rhizomes
Tincture Strength: 1:3: 25% vol.alc
10 – 20 drops in water up to 4 times daily.
As a sleep inducer it is usually taken an hour before bedtime.