Valerian common, or Valeriana officinalis, let's call it what we prefer but it remains the most famous flowering plant of the Valerianaceae family, rich in flavonoids and alkaloids. There are in general more than 150 species of this genus and they depopulate in the wooded regions of Europe, a little also in North America and in the tropical South American regions.
In its ideal habitat it reaches up to 150 cm, has leaves assembled in groups of 10-20, with whole or toothed lamina and a beautiful deep green color. The flowers smell but very lightly, they are small and appear in groups, gathered in the inflorescence called corymb, light pink, which appears in April and lasts until June.
Valerian as a name it comes from the Latin to be valid (rigorous, healthy), quite another origin has the popular name of this plant - cat grass - which seems to be irresistible to cats, as if it were a "drug". For us humans, it is "simply" an excellent aid for sleep disorders and anxiety states. Or for the irritable bowel, bearing the fact that the root has an unpleasant and penetrating odor.
Valeriana Officinalis: property
All sorts of Valerian, from the most common to the least, they contain essential oils, some alkaloids including valerine, and flavonoids including hesperidin. To have most of the interesting properties is the root "stinker": sedative and calming, hypno-inducing properties. In short, it makes us go to sleep earlier whether we are sleepless or in an impromptu moment of anxiety.
Having among its components also terpenes and flavonoids, the Valerian it also has a spasmolytic action and becomes valuable in case of cramps and irritable bowel syndrome. Sleep more, heal from stomach ache, less intestinal pain: to feel these properties I would make the most of it but the instructions on the dosage must be followed because this quiet herb could otherwise play tricks especially on insomniacs.
The overdose it can have a paradoxical, exciting effect. Nothing dangerous, on the other hand man has been using Valerian since time immemorial, tincture is used in phytotherapy, sometimes combined with that of other sedative herbs such as lemon balm or hops.
Valerian in pregnancy
Headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision: these are some effects that can have Valerian if misused. For example, it is not appropriate to administer it to pregnant women and children under 6 years old. So even the breastfeeding phase is good to stay Valerian - free. There are no particular interactions identified but common sense and experience indicate not to use it if you are already taking barbiturates: a mix of sedatives that can be too effective.
Valerian for sleeping
"Get some Valerian to sleep ”is a classic. And a classic is drinking the infusion, even several times a day. Mother tincture is also useful, 1 teaspoon one to several times a day, then there are the extracts and pills. Always a duty to contact our doctor before using them even if in theory the Valerian it does not have the classic effects of hypnotics and, upon awakening, we should not find ourselves with a heavy head.
In the kitchen there Valerian it is not used and in any case eating a salad is not proven to be good for sleep, indeed. I say this because there are those who see valerianella (Valerianella locusta) he thinks it's the plant we talked about, so perfect for insomnia. It's not that, we are in the same family, but valerianella is the salad we call "songino", the one that goes on the plate but doesn't make you sleep.
Valerian in drops
Traditional anti-anxiety and sedative herb, the Valerian turns into drops and bids us good night. Nothing could be easier to achieve a complete session of pure restful sleep. Following the dosage, there is nothing to do but choose which dream to dream. With this bottle of Valeriana Aboca 30 ML from 8 euros,night after night, drop after drop, three times a day, before meals, we will return to a healthy sleep and wake up rhythm. Those with serious sleep problems can also try to bet everything on the evening by taking only 40 drops before bedtime and not mixing the Valerian with barbiturates or other sleeping pills and tranquilizers.
Valerian: relaxing herbal tea
If we already have the habit, especially in winter, of drinking an infusion or tea before bed or in the afternoon, the Valerian it can be an excellent cup company. If the root stinks, the herbal tea at all. Seeing is believing with the 20 sachets of Angelica. To be enjoyed in company, alone or ... stroking a sly cat. An activity that I find particularly relaxing. I would like a Chartreux cat but I console myself with my red European cat which is a champion of sleep.
Valerian for cats
But cats too - apart from mine - might need some help to relax and I'd do cats. Nature wants them to be sleepyheads when they want, and we can help them out with it Valerian if we see them stressed. Beaphar Cat No Stress Spot On it is a product for animals generally recommended for unusual anxiety states or in case of travel, severe storms or fireworks.
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