Hi, everyone! Well I'm so thrilled with the reception this blog has had thus far. I really never expected this many people to love the idea, but I'm glad that it's keeping your attention. It's Friday and that means we have a new "Herb of the Week!" I am working on a "cowboy" blend as a request for one of my followers, but I'd love to hear your suggestions as to some herbs or flavors you think would be good to include as I'm having a bit of a tough time sorting out the idea of what kind of tea a cowboy would drink, haha!

The cherished part of Valerian is it's root, but I felt that it had interesting stories behind its uses so I wanted to share it.

from "20,000 Secrets of Tea: The Most Effective Ways to Benefit from Nature's Healing Herbs"
by Victoria Zak
Valerian (valeriana officinalis)
"Nature's tranquilizer"

This native of Europe and Asia likes temperate climates and marshy areas by woods and rivers. It has dark green, segmented leaves, and one log stem that rises from the root and can reach five feet in height. There are 150 species of valerian, but the official plant is identified by its small pink-tinted white flower lusters.

Valerian has an odd aroma when it is blooming, and this gave it the name of "Phu." Its name comes from the Greek valere, which means "to be in health."

The Thomspon Indians of British Columbia carrierd valerian in their medicine bags to apply to wounds. In World War I in England, valerian was given for airraid strain, and proves to be an effetive weapon against nerve damage.

Valerian was prized as an aromatic bath in ancient Greece Its sedative waters ease pain, tension, muscle spasms, and relax your whole body. It's an excellent way to benefit from valerian's tranquilizing nature before bed.

Tranquilizer and Sleep Aid. Sedative to the higher nerve centers, valerian relieves pain, tension, and the effects of excessive strain to bring sleep in stressful situations, with no morning-after effects. It quiets and soothes the brain and vercous system. It should not be taken along with sleep-inducing medications, since it will enhance their effect. Low doses are recommended, and regular breaks (every two to three weeks) are suggested. It's best to use valerian in small amounts in blends.

Vision. Valerian has been used to strengthen the eyesight, particularly if the weakness is in the optic nerve.

Uses through the Ages. Valerian has been used for hsyeria and stress-induced nervous disorders.

Benificent Parts: Root.
Properties: Good source of Niacin, Calcium, Vitamins, and Minerals; Volatile Oil - Isovalerianic Acid, Valepotriates, Alkaloids, Iridoids.
Values: Tranquilizer, Antispasmodic, Expectorant, Diuretic, Carminative, Mild Anodyne.

Caution: Use very moderately. A small percentage of users (5%) can have hallucinatory reactions to valerian. As always, avoid this herb if pregnant or breast-feeding, and be on the lookout for any skin reactions. Do not combine this herb with Antabuse, or any alcohol or other drugs that depress the nervous system. Don't use valerian if you have liver disease. Don't drive or perform other dangerous activities until you know how valerian affects you.

And that's Valerian! Hope you enjoyed reading about this very interesting, and in my experience extremely effective, herb.

2 Responses
  1. Ian Says:

    I was wondering where I could obtain a Valerian plant? Would any nursery have it or are they more obscure then that? If i can't find one i will just end up buying seeds online i guess.

    Great blog keep up the good work,

  2. Ry Says:

    here is a great site all about growing your own Valerian plant.


    hope that helps! and thanks!