Monday, November 22, 2021

Valerian: Herb of the week


Valerian, aka Valeriana officinalis is a medical herb that has been associated with helping with sleeping disorders and anxiety since the times of ancient Greece.

WebMD has a decent, research-based overview regarding Valerian. At the risk of editorializing, it is difficult to fund modern, peer-reviewed research on herbs that grow like weeds and cannot be patented.

This herb is so potent that even the fragrance has been documented as calming and helping with sleep. 

Unlike many medicinal herbs, Valerian can be a rampant grower. There are few herbs that can compete hammer-and-tongs with nettles but valerian is one of them.

Plants are widely available and can be found at many nurseries including locally at Umbel Nursery in Parma, Michigan.


  1. It’s also a lovely and quite large perennial to add to a wild area of a yard. The flower heads are about 5’ up in the air. We let it grow at least three years before harvesting the roots for tincture/tea.
    On the research of herbs—Herbal Antivirals and Herbal Antibiotics— have very good references on research done outside the US. It is very difficult to fund research if there is a competing system/synthetic drug. It is easier to fund and conduct in placed where the medical system is minimal and home treatment is of primary concern. Therefore most of the decent studies on herbal efficacy come from universities in Africa and Asia.

  2. You are so right Joe and Colibri. I have become more and more interested in this as I have aged, particularly post-retirement. I wish I had paid more attention when I was young, but as I try to interest young family and friends and neighbors in it they are not interested so I guess I was the same. It's a lot easier to go to the Big Box Store and buy what you see on TV. I wish I knew of a way to promote natural healing among the young as I really believe that we are going to need it. ---ken

  3. Another interesting thing about natural versus man-made chemical treatments is the animal or human being treated whether for parasites, sleep disorders , or whatever the ailment the remedies found in nature tend to do the job long term without waning effects but the chemical versions start to lose their benefits almost immediately and then even totally over a few years . I noticed that after worming my herd with chemical wormers the girls started having eruptions of lice , fleas , and such parasites as well as the declining effect of the wormer . The natural wormer of which the main ingredient is Black Walnut hulls still works well after ten years of preventative treatment .


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