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Know your Herbs

Valerian

Valerian or Valeriana officinalis is a well known herb that shows significant anxiolytic and sedative effects. It belongs to the Caprifoliaceae family or honeysuckle family. The plant is known from the times of Rome and Greece. The herb was also described by the Galen and Hippocrates. Valeria is a Latin word which means strong, brave, and to be with strong health.

Other names for Valerian include Set wall, Garden heliotrope, Cut-finger and All-heal.

It is an extremely pungent plant, and possesses an odour of unwashed feet or earthy scent and yellowish green oil is obtained from the roots of Valerian, some people find the valerian odour unpleasant and nauseating.

Valerian is a tall perennial herb mostly grown in South and North America, Asia, China, Britain and Europe. Leaves exist in pairs and are arranged oppositely at joints on the hollow stem.  The stem bears sweet pinkish or white flowers in small bunch.

Valerian owns over 150 natural constituents; most of them are physiologically active. These include isovaltrate, valerosidate, valtrates, Iridoid valepotriates and others, volatile essential oil, valeric acetoxy valerenic acid, bornyl isovalerate, alkaloids, sesquiterpenes and monoterpenes, hydroxypinoresinol and other lignans.

Valerianic acid is the main component that is used to prevent or relieve spasm of smooth muscles.

Valepotriates or the alkaloids in Valerian plant provide calming effects on brain.

Certain pharmacological activities associated with Valerian are hypnotic nervine, nervous system tonic, emmenagogue, antispasmodic, sedative, mild anodyne, anti-inflammatory, smooth muscle relaxant, carminative, anti-bacterial, antiemetic, stimulant and digestive, stomachic and expectorant.

Benefits of Valerian:

  • Improves Sleep: It aids in improving sleep and prevents mild nervous tension and exhaustion.
     
  • Reduces Stress: It provides relief from stress.
     
  • Helps in ADHD: It is helpful in ADHD or Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder associated with kids as valerian relaxes the hyperactive brain.
     
  • Helpful in Menopause: Valerian is a helpful remedy in premature menopause and menopausal symptoms.
     
  • Improves Heart Health: It strengthens the heart, regulates and improves the heart rate.
     
  • Helpful in Restless Leg Syndrome: Valerian improves sleep quality and reduces RLS severity for people whose RLS symptoms keep them awake at night and made them feel sleepy the next day.
     
  • Fights against Cancer: Chlorovaltrates in valerian have shown moderate cytotoxicity against lung, prostate, colon and liver cancer cell lines.
     
  • Works against OCDs: It reduces the tendency to perform compulsive habits and abnormal unwanted thoughts.
     
  • Improves Brain Health: It can overcome dizziness linked with migraine and improves memory as well.
     
  • Reduces Alcohol Addiction: It may cure or prevent alcohol addiction.
     
  • Improves Digestive Health: It also helps with gas and intestinal cramps.
     
  • Improves Respiratory Health: It has been used in flu, cough and pain. It relaxes the entire respiratory pathway. It eases headache and severity of bronchitis.
     
  • Improves Nutrixgold Juice: It helps wound healing and soothe the aching wound and nearby tissues.
     
  • Reduces Restlessness: It can treat restlessness and phobia.
     

Its credibility can be noted in Daily Calm Tea of Preserva Wellness.