Medicinal valerian is a plant that everyone knows about and that is often used to calm the nervous system, but this is far from the only property it possesses.

Valerian medicinal (Valeriana officinalis) is a perennial herbaceous plant of the Valerian family (Valerianaceae) with a short vertical rhizome from which numerous roots depart. The stem is straight, ribbed, hollow inside, up to 1.5 m high. The leaves are oblong, odd-pinnate, with 3-11 linear-lanceolate leaves, large-toothed. The flowers are pale pink, small, fragrant, collected in branched thyroid inflorescences. Fruits are small, flat, brown seeds with a fringe. Blooms from June to August; fruits ripen in August – September.

Chemical composition of valerian

Rhizomes with valerian roots contain: essential oil (0.5-2%), free isovaleric acid, borneol, borneol esters with acids (butyric, formic, acetic and others), terpenoids (camphene, limonene, myrtenol, pinene), alkaloid actinidin , valeride glycoside, tannins, sugars, valepotriates.

Useful properties of valerian

Rhizomes with valerian roots are used for chronic functional disorders of the central nervous system; with nervous excitement, neuroses of the cardiovascular system, hysteria, acute disorders due to mental trauma, with migraine, insomnia, angina, heart pain, epilepsy (in combination with other medicinal products), with stage I hypertension, extrasystole, paroxysmal tachycardia, acute myocarditis, with climacteric disorders; also with stomach neuroses, disorders of the secretory function of the glandular apparatus of the gastrointestinal tract, spasm of the esophagus, diseases of the liver and biliary tract in complex therapy.

In dermatology, valerian preparations are used for atopic dermatitis, true and microbial eczema, erythroderma, skin itching, psoriasis, and urticaria. Rhizomes and roots of valerian are part of collections, teas, and biologically active supplements.

When stored, the seeds deteriorate quickly, and they should be used in the year of collection: that is, collected in the summer, sown the following spring.

Care with medicinal valerian

If old seeds got to you, they will not have a mass descent. Even two-year-old seeds make sense to sow more densely. Care during the summer is usual. This is watering when the soil dries out (valerian is drought-resistant, but to get good rhizomes you need constant moisture), this is fertilizing 2-3 times per season with a solution of mineral fertilizers, loosening between the rows until the bushes close. Only in the second year of the plant’s life, where it is grown to obtain a root, during the flowering phase, the peduncles are removed (creaming). Creaming is not performed on the seeds.

Collection of medicinal valerian

The peduncles are cut twice at a height of 15 cm from the soil surface. Root digging begins in September – October. The roots of valerian dug up and dusted from the soil are washed, the above-ground part is removed, the thick rhizomes are cut in a cross shape, dried for 1-2 days and dried at a temperature of 40-45 °C.

The dry root yield is from 150 to 300 g/m2. Seeds begin to be collected when the general color background of the area becomes yellowish-green. This happens approximately on the 15-17th day after mass flowering. The seeds are cut, tied into small bundles, placed under a canopy with good ventilation and threshed on the 5th-7th day. Seed yield up to 10 g / m2. The shelf life of the dry root is three years.

How to make a valerian drink

It is necessary to take valerian root and grind it so that it turns out about two teaspoons. Next, the crushed root should be poured with a glass of clean, cool water and left to infuse. It is necessary to periodically stir, the drink will be completely ready in 12 hours. The daily norm will be about two or three cups.

Also take two teaspoons of finely chopped valerian root and pour half a liter of boiling water. The dish must be tightly closed and left to infuse for ten minutes. The drink should be prepared every time so that it does not disappear. You can mix valerian roots with lemon balm leaves. Pour two spoons of the herbal mixture with a glass of boiling water and insist for 15 minutes.