Some caution is advised with the use of this plant. At least one member of the genus is considered to be poisonous raw
and V. officinalis is a powerful nervine and sedative that can become habit-forming.
Root - cooked. A strong flavour, it needs to be steamed for 24 hours
Seed - parched
The dried root has been used as an incense
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
. Valerian has been shown to encourage sleep, improve sleep quality and reduce blood pressure
. It is also used internally in the treatment of painful menstruation, cramps, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome etc
. It should not be prescribed for patients with liver problems
. Externally, it is used to treat eczema, ulcers and minor injuries
The root is antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, hypnotic, powerfully nervine, sedative and stimulant
. 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
. The roots of 2 year old plants are harvested in the autumn once the leaves have died down and are used fresh or dried
. 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
. Use with caution
, see the notes above on toxicity.
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed because it requires light for germination
. 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 sitchensis. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil.
Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Valeriana sitchensis. 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 sitchensis.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
Material uses & Functions
Native Climate Zones
Adapted Climate Zones
Native Geographical Range
Root Zone Tendancy
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