by in Plants from A to Z 15 July 2019

Presentation : 

Valerian is grown in Asia and Europe except the Mediterranean side. This herb has been known since ancient times. At the time, Hippocrates already recommended it against insomnia. “Herb of Cat” is one of his names. It comes from the fact that it attracts cats by its characteristic odor and its euphoria effect on them.

Scientific name : Valeriana officinalis L.

Common names : Valerian Officinale, Valerian of the hills, valerian with small leaves, herbs with cats, herbs of St. George, herbs in the bruises.

Botanical family : Valérianacées.

Used part : Roots.

Active molecules : Iridoides (valépotriate, valerenic acid), flavonoids and traces of alkaloids.

Properties : Sedative and anxiolytic.

When do I use Valerian?

This plant has a well-established use in case of sleep disturbances as well as slight nervous tensions. It is assumed that the iridoids present in Valerian stimulate the processes of the nervous system which are intended to promote the reduction of the time of sleep and the reduction of nervousness and agitation related to stress.

This plant is traditionally used to improve the quality of sleep, to improve mood and to alleviate the adverse effects (nervousness, insomnia) associated with smoking cessation.

So how do I use it?

Valerian is traditionally used in herbal teas: Brew for 10 min, 1 to 3 g of Valerian roots in a cup of tea, to be renewed up to 3 t/d.

For a well-established result, it is advisable to take Valerian extract which represents the equivalent of 2 to 3 g of root powder per catch and at the rate of 3 sockets/d.

Some details about its use :

For more efficiency, take this plant an hour before you sleep. As for the beneficial effects, they appear after 2 to 4 weeks of cure. Valerian roots have a rather unpleasant taste and smell. Only the bravest would opt for infusion. PHYNACARE advises dry extracts rather than infusion because the taste is less unpleasant and the active molecules will be in larger quantities. In case (and only in this case), symptoms such as drowsiness and habituation may appear.

It is not recommended in case of pregnancy, breastfeeding or in children <12 years but also in people on anti-vitamin K (AVK), anti-depressant, anticonvulsant, as well as all the other drugs called «depressants» of the central nervous system.

Valerian improves our sleep without an effect of drowsiness during the day or a risk of habituation !