Our herb spotlight is back with the pungent, nutrient-rich herb valerian. We've recently taken the initiative to plant all the herbs we use in our products in the same greenhouse (our Temple) as mama ganja. The transplanting will happen next week, and we will certainly share the story of this new endeavor in the coming weeks! Without further ado, valerian has the spotlight!
History of the valerian herb
Valerian is derived from the name “Valeria” and the latin verb “valere,” meaning to be strong and healthy. This herb is well known by farmers for the pungent aroma released when the roots are exposed. This scent is truly recognizable, like that of old gym socks. Rodents are repulsed by it, but cats are obsessed with it. The Pied Piper of Hamelin (or the Rat Catcher), is said to have carried valerian in his pockets to chase the plague-carrying rodents out of the village.
It’s native to Europe and parts of Asia and it is now grown in many regions of the world. Thankfully early European physicians were able to look past the offensive smell to discover that this powerful herb can practically treat any ailment!
As stated above, this herb has been found to treat a number of ailments. Today it’s primarily used as a sleep aid. It has a calming, sedative effect for most people who use it (approximately 80%.) As for the other 20%, it may cause the opposite reaction. The best approach is to try valerian on its own, observe your body's reaction, then try it as a sleep aid.
In addition to promoting healthy sleep, valerian can also be used to:
- Ease menstrual cramps
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve stress management
- Ease anxiety and nervousness
How To Get More Valerian In Your Life
Valerian root is usually extracted and turned into a liquid that can be used in tinctures or capsules. It is important to try valerian on its own prior to taking in a mix of herbs that promotes sleep. ("Sleepy Time" tea for example.) Doing so helps you gauge how your body responds to it. My recommendation: start with tinctures. For a microdose of valerian, try Equanimity, one of our lines of soft gels. Equanimity is made with valerian, skullcap, chamomile, and lemon balm combined with MCT oil and CO2 extracted Gold Country Afgoo. This tincture is designed to promote a healthy, anxiety-free nervous system and great sleep!
We hope this offered some insight as to why we choose the herbs that use in our products. For more information on our soft gels and the herbs that are in them, check out our product catalog.
Peace, love, and herbs,
The Medicine Box Team