Valerian Valeriana officinalis
What is valerian?
Valerian is native to Europe and Asia and is a food source to many species of the butterfly. Valerian root has a particularly distinctive smell, often likened to old socks!
Interestingly, many cats love the smell of this herb and it was believed to have been used by the Pied Piper of Hamelin to persuade the rats to follow him out of the town. Despite its smell, valerian was traditionally used to sweeten the smell of clothes and as a base for perfume.
The roots can also be added to compost heaps to speed up the bacterial activity and shorten the time needed to make the compost.
What are the benefits of valerian?
Valerian has been used by people for thousands of years. Even today, it's remarkably calming effect is a great comfort to people struggling with everything from sleep and insomnia to nervous anxiousness.
What is the best way to take valerian root?
The best way to take Valerian root would be to take it in it’s dried form either as a tea or in a capsule. You can also find Valerian as a liquid preparation or tincture.
Are there any side effects to taking valerian root?
Valerian is a sedative, therefore it is always recommended not to be taken alongside any form of conventional sedatives or beta blockers. As it is often used to support sleep, it is safe to take alongside conventional sleeping pills where taken at night.
What is the safe dosage of valerian root?
Safe dosage of valerian is dependent on the preparation being taken:
- Dried: 3-9g per day as a tea or 600mg in capsule form
- Liquid: 2-6ml per day of a 1:2 (40%) tincture