(Valerian officinalis)


Where is it found?

            Valerian is native to Europe and Western Asia.  It is also found in Canada and the Southern United States (, 2003).

What does it look like?

            Valerian “spreads horizontally…the stem is hollow…the leaves are opposite (7-10 pairs of toothed leaflets), the flowers…are white or pale pink…and it has 3 stamens.  The tiny fruits have a crown of feathery fluff” (, 2003).

What are the medical uses?

            Valerian has been used as a tranquilizing agent.  Valerian is also used for nervous tension, insomnia and headache.  Valerian has also been used to decrease muscle spasms and to lower blood pressure (, 2003).

What chemicals are in it?

            Valerian contains the diuretics Caffeic-acid, chlorogenic-acid, and kaempferol.  It also contains the antihypertensive chemical Quercetin.  Other chemicals include the alkaloids Valerine, Valerianine, Chatinine, Tannins, and Resins.  It also contains Valeric acid, isovaleric acid, 1-pinene, 1-comphene, 1-borneol, and terpineol (, 2003), (Dr. Duke, 2003).