Valerian Benefits

Latin Name

Valeriana officinalis

Also Known As

Garden valerian, garden heliotrope


Native to Europe and parts of Asia

Parts Used

Root of the plant

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

Valerian is a natural sedative and relaxant, it calms the nervous system and is perhaps one of the most useful relaxing nervines available to us. It is nature's tranquiliser and can promote sleep and relieve pain.

It is good for:
Nervous tension,
Intestinal colic,
Period pains,
Rheumatic pain,
Tonic for the heart,
Reduces high blood pressure.

Typical Use

Suggested Dosage
Valerian Herbal tincture-
2-4mls up to 3 times per day. or before bed.
or as recommended by a herbal practitioner.

Valerian cut herb-
1-2 teasp of cut herb root
to be drank when needed.
or as recommended by a herbal practitioner

Folklore and History

Valerian has been used as a medicinal herb since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome. Hippocrates described its properties, and Galen later prescribed it as a remedy for insomnia. The Native Americans used it in healing wounds and ulcers, as well as a cough remedy.


Known pharmacologically active compounds detected in valerian extract are:
Alkaloids: actinidine, catinine, valerianine, and valerine
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) - neurotransmitter connected to the sedative effects of the plant
Valeric acid
Valepotriates, acevaltrate, isovaltrate and valtrate
Volatile oil containing active sesquiterpenes (acetoxivalerenic acid, valerenic acid)
Flavanones such as hesperidin, 6-methylapigenin and linarin


Not recommended during pregnancy or breast feeding. Can make some people feel nervous, anxious and experience palpitations. If it has been taken for a long time it can cause withdrawal symptoms if stopped abruptly. Not recommended for those taking barbituates or benzodiazepine medication.