Valerian  

Latin:   Valeriana officinalis

Family:  Valerianaceae

Parts Used:  Roots

Taste/Energetics:  Bitter, warming, drying

Properties:   Anxiolytic, hypnotic, slightly analgesic, stimulating for some, antispasmodic

Actions:  This is one of the most commonly used herbs for anxiety relief and as a hypnotic to improve sleep.  It has a long history of use dating back to the Ancient Greeks.  Valerian is a fairly strong acting herb on the nervous system and for a number of folks it can prove to have an opposite effect and be stimulating, making sleep harder.  Mildly analgesic.  It is best for the cold, sluggish, exhausted and worn out type and should be offered cautiously to those who appeared wired and tired, excitable with heat signs.

Dosage:  This is an herb that most folks take in tincture form as it is a fairly bitter herb to consume as a tea. 2-4 tsp to one pint of hot water decoct for 40 mins.  As tincture 1-3 ml as needed to 3 x/day.

Contraindications:   Avoid with “hot types”.