Product: Valerian Root
Latin Name: Valeriana officinalis
Plant Family: Valerianaceae
Other Names: Garden Valerian, Garden Helitrope, Cat’s Valerian, Phu, Great Wild Valerian, Heal-All, Setwall, Setewale, Capon's Tail, St. George’s Herb, Bloody Butcher, English Valerian, Vandal Root, Herbe aux Chats, Baldrian, Amantilla & Valeriana.
Description: Valerian is an herbaceous, perennial plant native to Europe and northern Asia. It reaches a height of 1-1.5 metres, it is primarily the rhizomous roots that are used. The roots are slender, tuberous, and brownish in colour with fine yellowy rootlets. The leaves are opposite, stalk-less, and comprised of 5-15 lanceolate leaflets with serrated edges. The small 5-petaled flowers are borne in terminal clusters and are pale pink to white in colour and sweetly scented.
Brief History: Disocorides in the 1st century named the plant Phu, alledgedly on account of the aroma it gave off, whilst Galen in the 2nd century A.D. recommended the use of valerian for insomnia and its aromatic properties, and throughout the medieval era in Europe valerian is documented as being used as a spice, perfume and medicine. Culpeper also thought highly of valerian saying that ‘it is of special value against the plague, the decoction thereof being drunk and the root smelled.' Valerian has long been associated with cats, and in the early-18th century William Cullen, a Scottish physician and chemist, made so bold as to say that cats should be employed to judge the quality of valerian root sold by the apothecaries of the day.
SUGGESTED USEThe root is added to sleep blends and taken as a tea. As well as attracting cats, valerian attracts rats; it can be used as a humane and organic bait, if rats are a problem. The root or an infusion of the root can also be used as a compost activator and as a liquid feed in the garden.
Shelf life of two years provided that goods are stored in an airtight container in ambient conditions.
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