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Commonly known as valerian, is a perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the Valerianaceae family.

Physical Description:

Leaves: Valerian has compound, pinnate leaves with toothed leaflets. The leaves are arranged opposite each other along the stems.

Stems: The stems are erect, hollow, and furrowed.

Roots: The plant is most well-known for its thick, fleshy, and aromatic rhizomes or roots.


Herbal Medicine: Valerian has a long history of use in traditional herbal medicine. The root is the most commonly used part and is known for its potential sedative and calming effects. It has been used to alleviate insomnia, anxiety, and stress.

Aromatic Qualities: The roots of valerian emit a distinct and somewhat unpleasant odor, often described as similar to that of dirty socks.

Growing Conditions:

Soil: Valerian prefers rich, well-drained soil.

Watering: It requires regular watering, especially during dry periods.

Sunlight: Valerian can tolerate partial shade, but it generally prefers full sun.

Hardiness: It is hardy and can be grown as a perennial.


The roots are typically harvested in the fall of the plant's second year. They can be dried for later use in herbal preparations.


While valerian is generally considered safe for most people when used as directed, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before using it for medicinal purposes, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking other medications.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

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