Valerian

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a powerful and very amazing herb. It has very potent medicinal qualities, makes your cats go crazy, and it is easy to grow. Valerian has a high calcium content and is also high in selenium, tin, aluminum, chromium, iron, and magnesium. For medicinal purposes, Valerian root is good in the following ways:

  • It is an excellent remedy for stress, insomnia, and anxiety.
  • Valerian is great for healing the nervous system and the digestive system.
  • It can be used for headaches
  • Valerian can be made into a diluted tea and added to pet food for anxious/restless pets, especially if you are about to travel with the pet, because it calms them. Beware of using on show or racing horses as  it is on the list of banned drugs.
  • It is a good sedative for such conditions as neuralgia, hypochondria, insomnia, and nervous tension. It also appears to have real benefits in cases of sciatica, multiple sclerosis, shingles, and peripheral neuropathy, including numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and pain in the extremities.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is considered to be one of nature’s most effective herbal tranquilizers. It is a powerful root for the nerves, and as such, Valerian should not be taken for longer than a few weeks, as it can become addictive.

The medicinal part of the plant, is in the roots. You will need to be able to dig it up for the medicinal roots, so choose the location for your Valerian carefully. You harvest Valerian either in the Autumn of the first year OR the Spring of the second year. Sometimes known as garden heliotrope, Valerian is one of the most fragrant perennials you can grow. Its rounded clusters of pale pink blooms perfume the garden and indoor bouquets for up to six weeks in early summer. But Valerian is much more than a pretty flower. Its roots contain compounds with calming effects so potent that Valerian sometimes is called “poor man’s valium.” (Valium is not made from Valerian, but the two travel similar neural pathways in the brain). Valerian is said to reduce nighttime awakenings, especially among people who reported they were poor sleepers.

Dig up the plant, digging up as much of the roots as possible. Chop off the flowers/leaves.

Gently rinse off the roots until you get all the dirt off of them. Some people do not like the smell of the roots .After the roots are cleaned, pat them dry, and then stick them in your valerian rootpreheated oven (at 200 degrees Fahrenheit). Leave the door of your oven slightly ajar, and check on the roots every 15 minutes or so until they are dried. Once the roots are dried, you can either store them whole, chopped them up roughly, or grind them into a fine powder.

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