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Nutrient - Valerian

(Valeriana officinalis)

By Nutri People

Valerian is a traditional medicinal herb, used for the temporary relief of sleep disturbances due to symptoms of mild anxiety. It promotes a good night’s sleep, naturally.  Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a hardy perennial plant native to Europe and northern Asia. One erect stem, usually of 20-150cm, develops distinctive-looking, flowering heads of white or pale pink from June to September. 

Valerian has a very long history of use throughout Europe and Asia and was well known to all the great physicians. Hippocrates, Dioscorides and Galen called it “phu”, perhaps because of its pungent smell. Weiss used it for nervous states with excitement, nervous insomnia and nervous palpitations. Nicholas Culpeper (1652) and John Gerard (1597 and 1633) mentioned it in a similar vein in their famous works. In the Middle Ages, it was seen as a “heal-all” and, strangely, was used as a perfume, with some of the roots being placed among linen and clothes to freshen them. Its scent has also been used for powdered wigs and church candles.

These days, however, valerian’s scent is seen as somewhat more malodorous, although it still holds a strange fascination for cats, causing some kind of ecstatic state when consumed!

Valerian is now well accepted as a sleep aid, which appears to manage the frequency of waking, and people report feeling fully refreshed and relaxed the next morning.

It seems that the most effective results are seen within two to four weeks, when used continuously.

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