phytochemicals Phytochemicals
 
 

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Valerian

Valerian

Valeriana officinalis

What is valerian?

Valerian is found in Europe and Northern Asian and naturally prefers damp fields, but will also grow in more dry places.Valerian is an erect perennial herb. Valerian roots consist of may white coloured erect root stocks or rhizomes. In spring, every plant forms one hollow stem. The leaves are arranged in pairs and consist of six to ten leaflets. During midsummer the valerian plant starts to bloom. The flowers are white to pink with a very unique but rather pleasant smell. The roots and other parts have a more strange and foetid smell. Cats do like this smell very much and enjoy to rub there noise against the valerian plant or dried roots.

Parts used

Only the valerian roots and rhizomes are used.

Phytochemicals

These are typical phytochemicals found in valerian: valepotriates, valtrate, acevaltrate, .

Benefits of valerian

Valerian is one of the most important herbal sedative. Valerian is a non-addictive tranquilliser that is used against sleeping disorders, restlessness and anxiety. Valerian seems only to work when taken over longer periods (several weeks). Studies have demonstrated that valerian extracts interact with the GABA and benzodiazepine receptors. Valerian is also used traditionally to treat gastrointestinal pain and spastic colitis.
Long term safety studies are missing. Valepotriates are potential mutagens, therefore valerian should only be used after consultation with your physician.

Other facts

The valerian roots are harvested in Autumn. Valerian contains volatile oils and is often used to aromatize baths.

Other names

Setwall, phu, baldrianwurzel


 
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