Valerian (plant)

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Valerian (plant)
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Valeriana_officinalis.jpg



Valeriana officinalis
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Dipsacales
Family:Valerianaceae
Genus:Valeriana
Species:officinalis
Binomial name
Valeriana officinalis

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis, Valerianaceae) is a hardy perennial flowering plant, with heads of sweetly scented pink or white flowers. Note that this "sweet" smell is quite overpowering when you put the flower into a vase.

Other names used for this plant include garden valerian (to distinguish it from other Valeriana species), garden heliotrope (but it is not related to Heliotrope, Heliotropum) and all-heal.

Valerian has uses in herbal medicine as a sedative. It has in the past been recommended for epilepsy but that has not been supported by modern research. The main current use of valerian is as a remedy for insomnia. Large doses are known to cause withdrawal symptoms when stopped and those with liver disease are advised not to use valerian. Valerian is the source of valeric acid.

The volatile oils that form the active ingredient are extremely pungent, somewhat reminiscent of well-matured cheese, or indeed of well-matured socks. Valerian tea should not be prepared with boiling water as this may drive off the lighter oils.

An unusual feature of valerian is that pieces of the dried root affect the domestic cat in the same way as catnip.

If valerian root is left in a place where cats have access to it they will roll in it, drool on it, and chew it. Burmese cats at least are also attracted to the dried herb and will deliberately destroy containers to obtain it. However, some cats won't touch valerian root. Rats are also attracted to valerian.

Valium neither contains nor is derived from valerian. [1] (http://www.ibiblio.org/herbmed/faqs/medi-2-1-valeriana.html#valium)

External link

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Valeriana_officinalis1.jpg
Valeriana Officinalis

fr:Valériane officinale it:Valeriana officinalis nl:Valeriaan no:Legevendelrot

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