Week 2 – Valerian (root)

Valerian (Root) (Valeriana officinalis)

 

Associations: Virgo, Aquarius, Saturn, Mercury, the element of water and the symbolic meaning is readiness.

  • Valerian root is possibly one of the most pungent herbs in use as it contains valeric acid, which is present in human perspiration
  • It is famous for being the plant that Valium was derived from.
  • Some cats love it more than catnip: they are attracted to a chemical in valerian which has an effect on their nervous system. They find valerian irresistible and will roll in the plant if the leaves have been disturbed or bruised, releasing the scent.
  • Rats are attracted to valerian in the same way, so much so, that valerian is used by rat catchers to lure their prey into the rat trap!!
  • Valerian has had a long tradition as a sleep-inducing agent, with the added benefit of producing no hangover feeling the next day and of not being addictive.
  • Composted leaves are rich in minerals.
  • Valerian is an easy to grow plant but requires fertile, weed-free soil. It can grow almost anywhere from damp areas to rocky high ground.
  • Valerian is a perennial herb and is native to North America, Europe and Asia.

 

Planting

It is difficult to germinate valerian from seed but you can divide the roots and successfully plant.

*The herb will self-sow with little attention: the flowers will shoot aerial roots that will create new plants when rooted in soil.

* When growing valerian for the use of its roots and rhizome (the section of the stem just above the surface of the ground), you should remove the flowering stems as soon as they appear. This will encourage the roots of the valerian to grow and thicken.

* Young valerian plants will probably not flower for the first couple of years but they will still produce dense foliage and give a good sized rhizome and root in the autumn.

* Cut flower stalks as soon as they appear to direct more energy to the root.

Outdoors

Sow at the start of spring and lightly cover the seeds.

*The spacing that you sow at depends on the species of Valeriana, sow small ones from 15cm to 30cm apart and larger species from 45cm to 60cm apart.

Ideally valerian should grow in a sunny or partially shaded part of the garden that has a moist rich soil. Keep the herb well-watered.

Propagating valerian: divide in spring or autumn.

Indoors

Start about three months in advance.

The germination time of valerian is about 3 weeks when done at a germination temperature of 20 to 23 degrees centigrade. Transplant the young valerian seedlings into the garden following the last frost.

Harvesting

  • Harvest in the spring or fall.

 

Storing

Wash the roots, and then quickly dry at 120 degrees in the oven until brittle.  Watch this closely so you don’t burn the roots.  When stored in an airtight container, the roots will keep indefinitely.

Parts used: root

Magickal uses

v  Purification

  • Use in spells for purification.

v  Protection

  • Use in protection spells.

v  Prosperity

  • Use in spells for money and riches and creative work.

v  Love

  • A sprig of the plant pinned to a woman’s clothing will cause men to ‘follow her like children’.
  • Use in love spells.
  • Valerian Root is added to love sachets. E.g To attract a man: Blend equal parts of dried lavender, bachelor’s-buttons and clary sage, then add a pinch of valerian and a sassafras leaf. Put it into a sachet and carry it with you wherever you go.

v  Harmony

  • Use in spells for harmony, peace and happiness
  • Sprinkle about to bring peace and end strife

v  Sleep

  • Put in pillows to promote deep rest.

 

Medicinal uses

* Valerian is a stimulating/sedative and volatile herb.

v  Valerian is a digestive and intestinal relaxant, along with chamomile.

v  Epilepsy

v  Improves circulation

v  Reduces mucus from colds

v  Asthma

v  To soothe nerves

v  Weeks of insomnia associated with anxiety, deep rest, fatigue

v  Tranquilizer (unskinned root): good for anxiety, nervousness, stress

v  Pain, menstrual cramps, spasms, headaches

v  Ulcers, wounds, eczema

v  Irritable bowel syndrome

v  High blood pressure

v  Anti-inflammatory: good for back pain

v  Laboratory tests show anti-tumor activity.

CAUTION:

* Do not take large doses or continuously.

* Valerian may cause over-sedation: it can cause drowsiness and prolonged use may disrupt deep sleep which can lead to tiredness, even after a full night’s sleep.

*In some people it may even have the unexpected effect of over-stimulating instead of sedating.

* Valerian root should not be combined with sleep-inducing medicines.

Valerian tea

Volatile herbs such as valerian are easily extracted into water and therefore prepared as teas.

v  Drink to sooth nerves

v  An excellent remedy for insomnia

v  To relieve nervous irritability

v  For tension headaches

v  Menopausal problems

v  To relieve bronchial spasms and smoker’s cough.

  • Anti-anxiety tea:

Add two teaspoons of valerian root to one cup of boiling water. As it steeps, chant:

Nervous anxiety, you are dead.

Roots and water, soothe my head.

Bring to me your calming peace

As I will so mote it be!

  • Headaches Tea

1 2/3 oz dried St John’s Wort

1 oz Valerian

1 oz Linden flowers

1/4 oz Juniper berries

Use 1 tsp of mixture per 1 cup boiling water. Steep 10 minutes & strain.

  • Sleep Tea Recipe

2 tbls. Hops

1 tsp. Lavender

1 tsp. Rosemary

1 tsp. Thyme

1 tsp. Mugwort

1 tsp. Sage

1 Pinch of Valerian Root

Take a teaspoon of the mixture and pour into 1 cup of hot water. Let sit

for 3 minutes then strain. Store the unused portion.

*Suggestion: to cut the pungent taste that some people find unpleasant, blend this herb with other relaxing herbs such as passion flower, limeflower, chamomile, or lemon balm and a good teaspoon or two of honey.

Aromatherapy (Clary sage: Salvia sclarea)

  • Insomnia, nervous indigestion, restlessness, tension states
  • Migraine

è Sedative, mildly hypnotic, depressant of the central nervous system, grounding, soothing, regulator

Gana Moonfire

Sources:

Herbs for back pain

Natural Herbs for Depression

http://www.ehow. com/how_2088648_ treat-depression -herbs.html

http://www.herbal- supplement- resource. com/herbs- for-depression. html

http://healing- mind-and- body.com/ Remedies- Herbs-Depression .html

Leslie Ravenwing

BellaOnline’s Wicca Editor

Making and Using Dreampillows

Herbal Remedies Solutions – Herbal Tea Remedies

Niche Website

Herbal remedies for migraine

ZODIAC HERBS

Herbal Pharmacy

Water Based Preparations by Susun Weed

Old English names for herbs

http://www.magdalin .com/herbs/

Herbs and their Magickal Properties-Very Long & Detailed List

Bewitched | July 6, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Tags: herbs, magickal, properties, roots, wild | Categories: Herbs | URL: http://wp.me/pYkp9-4F

http://www.assatash akur.org/ forum/showthread .php?t=23376

http://www.fortunecity. com/ skyscraper/tcpip/ 1520/aromatherapy. Htm

The Healing Power Of Herbs by May Bethel.

Herbal Remedies for Sleeping Disorders

Herbs for ridding of evil, hexes & curses

http://www.freewebs .com/magicalpath /herbalteaplants .htm

How to Harvest, Dry, and Store Herbs

SOURCE: “Harvesting and Drying Herbs”

by James C Schmidt and Dianne Noland

Symbolic Meanings of Herbs, Flowers and Trees

http://www.umm. edu/altmed/ articles/ herbal-medicine- 000351.htm

http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Herbalism

The 55 Best Herbal Remedies by Michael Castleman, Natural Health

http://www.essential-herb-garden.com/valerian.htm

http://www.plant-biology.com/Valeriana-Valerian.php

http://www.gardensablaze.com/HerbValerian.htm

 

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Malika Allford
    Oct 23, 2012 @ 14:01:31

    Nicely updated!Im very pleased with the post!good work!

    Reply

    • Funky Chicken
      Apr 12, 2014 @ 08:50:46

      Hi thanks so much! Haven’t been active for a couple of years so I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner! Maybe in a few months’ time I’ll be able to update again 🙂

      Reply

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All entered text is ©2010 of the author, unless otherwise stated.

In order to reproduce any material, permission needs to granted by the author, either Morgana Moonfire or Archangel Amitiel.

Dark Moon Circle

As a sister of the DMC, Morgana aka Funky Chicken would like to honour this wonderfully supportive circle of sisters who never hesitate to offer guidance and share their wisdom.
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