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Valeriana officinalis

Aromatic Note: Base note


One of about 200 species in the genus.

Use of this attractive plant dates back to at least Hippocrates in the 4th century BC and appears in many Anglo-Saxon herbal texts.

Since the Middle Ages its been used as a cure-all and in WWI was used to treat shell-shock.

Today, Valerian root is recognized as a safe, effective sedative that doesn’t react with alcohol or cause dependency.

Valerian attracts cats and is used in baits to trap wild cats and rodents.


Family: Valerianaceae

Synonyms: common valerian, garden heliotrope

Origin: Western Europe

Parts Used: dried rhizomes (roots)

Aroma Description: very strong, green-balsamic, musky, woody, slightly camphoraceous and sour aroma

Cosmetic Uses: perfumery, aromatherapy

Culinary Uses: used in herbal teas, extracts are used to flavor ice cream, bakery products, condiments, soft drinks, liqueurs, beers, tobacco, etc.

Medicinal Attributes: bitter, sedative, warming herb that is sued to calm the nerves, relax spasms, improve digestion, relieve pain, treat insomnia, and lower blood pressure. May cause drowsiness.

*Warning: Do not use if currently on sedative drugs or antidepressants.

Essential Oil: Yes, a steam distilled essential oil and a solvent extracted absolute are both made. There is also a lesser-quality “Indian Valerian” absolute made from the species Valeriana Wallichii.

Mixes Well With: cedarwood, lavender, musk seeds, oakmoss, patchouli, pine needles, rosemary, vetiver, tobacco, etc.

Medical Disclaimer: Information on this web site is for entertainment purposes only. This information is NOT intended as medical advice, or for use as diagnosis or treatment of a health problem, or as a substitute for consulting a licensed medical professional.


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