Valerian (Valeriana officinalis, Caprifoliaceae) is a perennial flowering plant, with heads of sweetly scented pink or white flowers that bloom in the summer. Valerian flower extracts were used as a perfume in the 16th century. Native to Europe and parts of Asia, Valerian has been introduced into North America. The flowers are frequently visited by many fly species, especially hoverflies of the genus Eristalis. It is consumed as food by the larvae of some Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species including the grey pug. Valerian has been used as a medicinal herb since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome. Hippocrates described it’s properties, and Galen later prescribed it as a remedy for insomnia. In medieval Sweden, it was sometimes placed in the wedding clothes of the groom to ward off the “envy” of the elves. In the 16th century, the Anabaptist reformer Pilgram Marpeck prescribed Valerian tea for a sick woman.
Valerian Root essential oil is favored for:
- Sleep – This oil is calming and soothing and may be helpful to those suffering from insomnia.
- Calming – Well known for its calming properties, Valerian Root may help reduce irritability, anger, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia and depression. Brings a feeling of calm and peace.
- Digestion – Used to promote proper digestion, ease nausea, vomiting and gas from the intestines.
- Cognitive – Valerian root has been praised as a brain booster for hundreds of years. It is said that it may stimulate different areas of the brain, increasing circulation, and stimulating pathways that keep our brains active.
- Pre-Menstrual Syndrome – Well known for its calming properties, this oil is used to reduce irritability and fatigue and other symptoms of PMS.