Hi, I am Valerian,
I belong to the family Caprifoliaceae. My genus is Valeriana. My latin name is Valeriana officinalis.
I am an ancestral herb for many people. Don in researching his Nordic ancestors found that they often used me. As did the Greeks, Romans and Brits. He takes comfort knowing that his Viking ancestors also enjoyed my soothing qualities.
I am easily grown but you may need to protect me from cats as they love me as much as Catnip.
You can remove my beautiful flowers throughout the summer to decorate your home as that will be encouraging more of my root growth.
Most herbalists use my root, many preferring the fresh root for tincturing. Don harvests ½ of my roots one year and then the other half the next year. Dividing them with his shovel. When we are loved and appreciated by Don we do not mind being used. He often talks to us and tells us that he will be harvesting us for medicine. He also says thanks and gives an offering when he harvests us.
Many people suffer from insomnia. I am great for many sleep disorders and I have been tested many times on my effectiveness and I am happy to say that I passed, phew. I help many people to fall asleep, while others I help to stay asleep. I encourage a deeper and more restful sleep. I seldom cause morning grogginess and I am safe to use.
I have also been used successfully for anxiety. A big concern these days, even among teenagers.
Combined with my friend Johnny’s flowers (St Johnswort) we help with the blues. We make great garden companions with my wispy white flowers and Johnny’s bright yellow flowers.
I am a popular herb and readily available in many retail outlets and online. Don encourages his friends to try me earlier in the day the first time they use me as in the occasion case I cause wakefulness.