Introduction of Valerian:common valerian or garden heliotrope.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Valerian, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Valeriana officinalis., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Valerian, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Valerian(common valerian).

Valerian:common valerian English Name: Valerian.
 Latin Name: Valeriana officinalis L. and related Valeriana species, including Valeriana wallichii.
 Common Names: All-heal, Belgian valerian, common valerian, fragrant valerian, garden heliotrope, garden valerian.
 Property and flavor: The flowers are fragrant and the rhizome smells strongly when dried.The odor is not present in the fresh plant.Hydrolysis of components in the root form isovaleric acid, which is responsible for the offensive smell.

 Brief introduction: Valerian is the dried rhizomes and roots of Valeriana officinalis, a tall perennial that grows in temperate regions of North America, Europe, and Asia. Clusters of tiny white or reddish flowers bloom in summer. The herb emits an unpleasant odor as it dries. There are about 250 Valeriana species, but V.officinalis is the species most frequently cultivated for medicinal use.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Valerian as the dried rhizomes and roots of the species (1).Valeriana officinalis. It is a plant species of the Valeriana genus, the Valerianaceae family (Valerianoideae, the valerian subfamily of the family Caprifoliaceae). The dried rhizomes and roots are used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Valeriana officinalis.

 Valeriana officinalis:growing plant Botanical description: Valeriana officinalis grows up to 50~100 cm high and has a short, cylindrical rhizome with finger-length, bushy round roots. The stem is upright and unbranched, tall, slender, sparsely leaved, and generally pubescent, especially at the nodes and hollow. The leaves are odd-pinnate with 8 to 18 lanceolate, indented-dentate leaflets, and a terminal one. The leaflets are linear with a smooth upper green surface and paler undersurface that is either smooth or slightly hairy. The lower ones are petiolate, and the upper ones are sessile and clasping with a white sheath. The leaves become aromatic when bruised.

 Valeriana officinalis:growing plant The androgynous, bright, pink-to-white flowers are in panicled cymes. The calyx consists of 10 revolute tips. The corolla is funnel-shaped with a 5-sectioned margin. The tube has a bump at the base. There are 3 stamens. The ovary is inferior and has 3 chambers. The fruit is ovate-oblong, yellow, indehiscent, and has a 10-rayed tuft of white hair. Its flowering period is from June to August. Winged seeds are spread by the wind.

 Valeriana officinalis:flowering plant Ecological environment: The plant is found in Europe and the temperate regions of Asia. It is cultivated mainly in Central Europe, England, France, Eastern Europe, and USA (the United States of America).

 Growth characteristics: Valerian officinalis is easily grown in average garden soils in full to part sun. Its preference is full sun, with consistently moist conditions, and soil consisting of fertile loam but can adapt to less ideal circumstances. It can be grown in part shade, however, the stems may flop. The more shade, the more this condition will increase.

 Valeriana officinalis:flowers Characters of herbs: Valerian root is the fresh underground plant parts, or parts carefully dried below 40 °C (Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit) of the species Valeriana officinalis. Cultivation is possible in low-lying, sandy, humus soil that is well supplied with lime and situated in a damp area. The root is harvested in September. The fresh roots are washed, chopped, and carefully dried in circulating air under 40 °C (Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit).

 Pharmacological actions: ①.mild sedative; ②.tranquilizing; ③.calmative effects; ④.anticonvulsant properties; ⑤.antispasmodic actions, etc.

 Valerian is a mild sedative, the herb improves the quality of sleep and shortens the time it takes to fall asleep.

 Valerian has anticonvulsant properties, it reduces blood pressure, animal study found valerian depresses or slow down the central nervous system.

 Valerian has an antispasmodic action in animal studies, the traditional use of valerian preparations in gastroenteropathy is probably attributable to its content of valerenic acid, which exerts a spasmolytic effect.

 Medicinal efficacy: Valerian has been used traditionally as a sedative and calmative. It was used for treating epilepsy and plague in medieval Europe, as a tranquilizer and sedative, today it is recommended for treating anxiety, relaxing the body, promoting sleep, damping nervous tension, and helping to control panic attacks, headaches, and intestinal and menstrual cramps. Its topical formulations have been used to treat pimples and skin sores.

 Administration of Valerian (common valerian): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Valerian (common valerian)
Herbal classic books: Dosage: Valerian is commonly taken in dosages of 2~3 grams, one to three times per day. Three 450 mg root capsules are taken three times a day or before going to bed. A tea is made using 1 teaspoon, about 2~3 grams of the root per cup of water. The tincture or extract is taken in doses of 1/2 to 1 teaspoon, or 3~5 ml. An infusion is prepared with 2~3 grams of herb per cup. A tea is prepared by adding 1 teaspoonful of herb (about 3~5 grams) to 150 ml of hot water and straining after 10 to 15 minutes. For external use, 100 grams of the comminuted herb is mixed with 2 liters of hot water, then it is added to the bath. The total internal daily dose is 15 grams of root powder. For restlessness, 220 mg of extract three times daily. As a sleep aid: 400 mg to 900 mg of extract 30 minutes before bedtime. An infusion of 2~3 grams of herb per cup is taken 2~3 times daily and before bedtime. Tea 2~3 grams of herb per cup 2~3 times daily and before bedtime. Tincture 1/2 to 1 teaspoonful, one to several times per day. Tincture is drunk 15~20 drops in water several times daily. Valerian must be kept from sources of light; tinctures and extracts should be stored at room temperature in tightly closed, non-plastic containers.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: The FDA includes valerian on its list of foods "Generally Recognized As Safe"(GRAS). Valerian causes no significant side effects when used in recommended amounts. Overdose may lead to symptoms of paralysis, weakening of the heartbeat, giddiness, light-headedness, blurred vision, restlessness, nausea, and possibly liver toxicity. One should avoid taking alcohol and barbituates with valerian. Women during pregnancy or nursing should not use valerian.

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