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Uses

Toxic parts

It is said that prolonged medicinal use of this plant can lead to addiction[1]. A course of treatment should not exceed 3 months.

Edible uses

Notes

Seed[2]. No further details are given but the seeds of other members of this genus are parched and then eaten.

An essential oil from the leaves and root is used as a flavouring in ice cream, baked goods, condiments etc[3]. It is especially important in apple flavours[4]. The leaves can also be used as a condiment[5].

The plant is used in moderation as a herbal tea[3].

Unknown part

Material uses

The plant yields about 1% of an essential oil from the roots[6][4]. It is used in perfumery to provide a 'mossy' aroma[7][5][4], though the scent is considered to be disagreeable by many people[8]. The dried roots are also placed in linen cupboards and clothes drawers in order to scent the clothes[9].

The dried root attracts rats and cats, it can be used as a bait to lure them away from other areas[10].

An ingredient of 'QR' herbal compost activator[11]. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost[K]. The plant can also be used to make a very good liquid plant feed[12][13][14]. It attracts earthworms[12][13]. The leaves are very rich in phosphorus[14].

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Valerian is a well-known and frequently used medicinal herb that has a long and proven history of efficacy. It is noted especially for its effect as a tranquilliser and nervine, particularly for those people suffering from nervous overstrain[9][15]. Valerian has been shown to encourage sleep, improve sleep quality and reduce blood pressure[16]. It is also used internally in the treatment of painful menstruation, cramps, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome etc[4][16]. It should not be prescribed for patients with liver problems[4]. Externally, it is used to treat eczema, ulcers and minor injuries[4]. The root is antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, hypnotic, powerfully nervine, sedative and stimulant[9][6][1][12][17][18][19][20][21][22]. The active ingredients are called valepotriates, research has confirmed that these have a calming effect on agitated people, but are also a stimulant in cases of fatigue[15]. The roots of 2 year old plants are harvested in the autumn once the leaves have died down and are used fresh or dried[9][1][4]. The fresh root is about 3 times as effective as roots dried at 40° (the report does not specify if this is centigrade or fahrenheit), whilst temperatures above 82° destroy the active principle in the root[23]. Use with caution[17][4], see the notes above on toxicity.

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed because it requires light for germination[24]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant out into their permanent positions in the summer if sufficient growth has been made. If the plants are too small to plant out, grow them on in the greenhouse or frame for their first winter and plant them out early in the following summer. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Valeriana officinalis. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

A very easily grown plant, it succeeds in ordinary garden soil[25], preferring a rich heavy loam in a moist site[9][6][26]. Thrives in full sun or in partial shade[27], doing well in light woodland.

A polymorphic species, the more extreme variations are given specific status by some botanists[26]. Valerian is often grown in the herb garden and also sometimes grown commercially as a medicinal herb[25][24]. When grown for its medicinal root, the plant should not be allowed to flower[9]. The flowers and the dried roots have a strong smell somewhat resembling stale perspiration[28]. Cats are very fond of this plant, particularly the powdered root[25][9][29]. Once a cat has discovered a plant they will often destroy it by constantly rolling over it[9].The dried root also attracts rats and can be used as a bait in traps[9][12].

A good companion for most plants.

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Valeriana officinalis. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Valeriana officinalis.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Valeriana officinalis
Genus
Valeriana
Family
Valerianaceae
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
5
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Valeriana officinalis jfg1.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Valeriana officinalis jfg1.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    "image:Valeriana officinalis jfg1.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Valeriana officinalis jfg1.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.3 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.1 Schofield. J. J. Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest. ()
    3. ? 3.03.13.2 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    4. ? 4.004.014.024.034.044.054.064.074.084.094.10 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.3 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.4 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Schery. R. W. Plants for Man. ()
    8. ? 8.08.1 Coffey. T. The History and Folklore of North American Wild Flowers. Facts on File. ISBN 0-8160-2624-6 (1993-00-00)
    9. ? 9.009.019.029.039.049.059.069.079.089.099.10 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Polunin. O. Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide. Oxford University Press ISBN 0192176218 (1969-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Bruce. M. E. Commonsense Compost Making. Faber ISBN 0-571-09990-4 (1977-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.112.212.312.412.5 Holtom. J. and Hylton. W. Complete Guide to Herbs. Rodale Press ISBN 0-87857-262-7 (1979-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.2 Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (1979-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.114.2 Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting. Cassell Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-304-34324-2 (1993-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.115.2 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.116.2 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    17. ? 17.017.117.2 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    18. ? 18.018.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    19. ? 19.019.1 ? A Barefoot Doctors Manual. Running Press ISBN 0-914294-92-X ()
    20. ? 20.020.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
    21. ? 21.021.1 Emboden. W. Narcotic Plants Studio Vista ISBN 0-289-70864-8 (1979-00-00)
    22. ? 22.022.1 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    23. ? 23.023.1 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
    24. ? 24.024.124.2 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    25. ? 25.025.125.2 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    26. ? 26.026.126.2 Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)
    27. ? Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (1990-00-00)
    28. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
    29. ? Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening. Garden Way, Vermont, USA. ISBN 0-88266-064-0 (1978-00-00)

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