The Complementary Medical Association

Delivering excellence in complementary medicine since 1993

Valerian – Herbal Remedy

Valerian Herbal Therapy
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Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

Valerian has a long history of use as a sedative; officinalis denotes that it has been used medicinally for many years. Valerian is one of Germany’s most important and useful medicinal herb crops.

Other names: Capon’s tail.

Description and the places it grows in

Native to Europe and Asia, and now seen in north America. The plant is a perennial with flowers that are pinkish white, blooming in mid-summer. 

Parts used

Root and rhizomes.


Sedative, stomachic, antispasmodic, carminative.

Insomnia (in adults): Valerian is a nervine relaxant, making sleep more restful rather than the sleep being longer. 

Muscle cramps, colic, and period pains: It is very effective against pain caused by spasm.

Sedative: For nervous exhaustion; use for 6 weeks at a time and take 3 weeks off. 


Valtrates, didrovaltrates, monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes.


In large doses, valerian can bring on headaches, muscle spasms, and palpitations. Use for 6 weeks at a time and take 3 weeks off. 

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