Valeriana Officinalis. It has a thick, short, grayish root, partly lying above the ground, shooting forth all around small pieces of roots, which have many long green fibres under them in the ground. From the head of these roots spring up many green leaves, which at first are broad and long, without any divisions or denting on the edges; but those that rise up after are more divided on each side, some to the middle rib, being winged, the leaves on the stalk are more divided, but smaller towards the top than below; the stalk grows a yard high, it is sometimes branched at the top. The flowers stand in large tufts like umbels at the tops of the stalks, and are small and white, with a reddish blush. The root is of a whitish colour, composed of a great many fibres. The scent is strong and disagreeable. It is cultivated in gardens, and it also grows wild.

Herbal Remedies and Medicinal Uses of Valerian:

Dioscorides says that garden Valerian has a warming faculty, and that being dried and given to drink, it provokes urine, and relieves strangury. The decoction removes pains of the sides, provokes women's courses.

Pliny says, that the powder of the root given in drink, or the decoction removes all obstructions and pains in the body. The root of Valerian boiled with liquorice, raisins, and aniseed, is good for those who are short-winded, and for those who are troubled with cough, causing easy expectoration of phlegm. The green herb with the root, bruised and applied to the head, takes away pain. The juice is good for the eyes, clearing them from inflammation, and dimness. It is an excellent medicine in nervous disorders.

The root of the Valerian plant is one of the most useful remedies in hysteria and in spasmodic attacks generally. Its action is chiefly upon the nervous system, and is very useful for depression of mind, and for most affections of the nerves, melancholy. It may often be advantageously combined with bark. Dr. Cullen thought highly of it as a remedy for nervous disorders, and he remarks that it should be given in large doses. It is best given in substance, with a little mace, or cinnamon to disguise the flavour. The Ammoniated Tincture is very valuable. It may be bought at the shops. Dose, one to three spoonfuls thrice a day in water.

Important Disclaimer:   The information contained on this web site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. Any information presented is not a substitute for professional medical advice and should not take the place of any prescribed medication. Please do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consultation with your physician.

This page and the rest of the encyclopedia of medicinal herbs was reproduced from old herbals written in the 1700 and 1800s. They are of historical interest to show the traditional uses of various herbs based on folk medicine and ancient wisdom. However the traditional uses for these herbs have not been confirmed by medical science and in some cases may actually be dangerous. Do not use the these herbs for any use, medicinal or otherwise, without first consulting a qualified doctor.

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