Valerian: useful properties and contraindications, how to collect, dry, photo

Garden plants

Valerian (lat.Valeriana officinalis), or valerian medicinal, or cat herb - a species of the genus Valerian of the Honeysuckle family. The homeland of the plant is the Mediterranean. It is distributed in the subtropical and temperate zones. Valerian grows among thickets of bushes, in swampy and low-lying meadows, swamps, glades and forest edges. Valerian medicinal and its healing properties have been known for a long time: Avicenna, Pliny and Dioscorides believed that this plant was able to strengthen and calm the brain and control a person's thoughts.
In the Middle Ages, valerian was used as an aromatic and sedative agent. The plant got into the pharmacopoeias of European countries only in the 18th century, at the same time the industrial cultivation of medicinal valerian began.
There are different opinions about the origin of the name of this plant. Some, for example, argue that Valerian was so named after the Roman emperor, others - that in honor of the physician Pliny Valerian. Translated from Latin, "valerian" means "to be healthy."

Planting and caring for valerian

  • Bloom: from the second season, it lasts almost all summer - from May to August.
  • Landing: sowing seeds in open ground - in early spring, planting valerian stolons in the ground - in October.
  • Lighting: bright sunlight.
  • The soil: well drained, moderately dry.
  • Watering: crops are watered quite often, and at first you need to pour water through a fine sieve so as not to wash the seeds out of the soil. As soon as shoots appear, you can water less often.
  • Top dressing: at the stage of development in seedlings of the first pair of leaves, and then at the stage of formation of the fifth leaf, a solution of bird droppings is introduced into the soil.
  • Reproduction: seeds, dividing a tuber or rhizome.
  • Pests: sandy slugs, winter moths, meadow moths, valerian aphids and beet bugs.
  • Diseases: root rot, rust, powdery mildew, fusarium.
  • Properties: long known medicinal plant with healing properties.

Read more about growing valerian below.

Botanical description

Valerian is a herbaceous perennial, reaching a height of 120 to 180 cm. Valerian's rhizome is thick and short, with a loose core, sometimes hollow with transverse septa. Stolons and thin adventitious roots up to 12 cm long, smooth and brittle, extend from the rhizome. Valerian rhizome has a strong aroma.

The stem of the plant is fistulous, erect, furrowed and branching in the upper part. The middle and lower leaves are long-petiolate, the upper ones are sessile, pinnately dissected, opposite, alternate or collected in whorls of 3-4 pieces. White, small fragrant bisexual flowers up to 4 mm in diameter are collected in large axillary and apical scutes or panicles. From the second year of life, the flowering of Valerian officinalis lasts almost all summer. Fruits - achenes ripening in late summer or early autumn.

Growing valerian


Valerian grows well both in the sun and in partial shade, and even in the shade. Sowing seeds is best done in early spring, but then the area for valerian needs to be prepared in the fall: dig it up with compost (humus) and full mineral fertilizer to a depth of 25-30 cm, and in spring, as soon as the top layer of soil dries out, the surface is only harrowed with a rake. However, valerian seeds lose their germination very quickly, so experienced gardeners prefer to sow in the summer, immediately after collecting the seeds, after digging up the soil with organic matter at the rate of 5-7 kg of humus or compost for each m² of the plot.

Valerian seeds are sown into shallow grooves without sealing, and sprinkled on top with a layer of humus with sand or sifted peat 1 cm thick. The row spacing is 8-10 cm. Until shoots appear, the soil on the site should be slightly moist all the time.

For those who already have valerian growing, it is more convenient to propagate it with stolons: in the fall, in October, valerian bushes are dug up, the tops are cut on them, and the stolons are separated from the rhizome - underground shoots, which are the planting material. From one bush, you can get from 5 to 8 stolons with buds ready for propagation. Valerian rhizome is useful for medical needs, and stolons are immediately planted in a previously prepared bed at a distance of 15-20 cm from each other. After planting, the site is watered. The survival rate of valerian stolons is very high.

Care rules

At first, the crops are watered carefully, through a strainer, so as not to wash the seeds out of the soil. After the emergence of seedlings, watering is carried out less often. At the stage of development, at the seedlings of two true leaves, the rows are thinned out with a step of 3-4 cm, after which the seedlings are fed with a solution of bird droppings (1:12), and the second feeding is carried out when the valerian develops five leaves.

Valerian, sown in spring, can already give its first harvest in autumn. Every second plant is dug up, and the rest are fed for the winter with Nitroammofoskoy at the rate of 50 g of fertilizer for each m² of the plot. For the winter, the bed with valerian is covered with small branches, and a layer of dry stems or straw 5-6 cm thick is thrown on top of them. If a thaw begins in the middle of winter, make windows in the straw so that the valerian does not wither.

In the second year of life, valerian will bloom, but as soon as the seeds begin to ripen, the peduncles need to be cut off, and the valerian should be fed with a solution of bird droppings. If you need seed, keep cut valerian stalks under a canopy until the seeds are fully ripe. In the fall, valerian rhizomes are dug up.

Collection of valerian and storage at home

How to collect

Rhizomes are harvested in October, when the stems of the plant turn brown and dry. Only correct preparation of valerian fully retains its healing properties. The roots must be dug up, cleaned from the ground, freed from the remains of ground organs, quickly but thoroughly rinsed under running cold water and dried in the fresh air for two days.

How to dry

The valerian roots are then placed in a warm room on a wire mesh and dried for two weeks, turning over from time to time. You can dry the rhizomes in a dryer or oven at 35-40 ºC - this will save you a lot of time. During drying, the rhizomes acquire a brown color and a strong characteristic aroma. From one kilogram of fresh roots, after drying, about 200 g of dry ones are obtained.

For storage of finished raw materials, tight-fitting containers are used, otherwise the essential oil will evaporate. Valerian root has a shelf life of 3 years.

Types of valerian

Valerian officinalis is the most popular, but far from the only species of the genus. However, the rest of the valerian species introduced into the culture are grown as ornamental plants. The most attractive ones are:

Valeriana Altai (Valeriana altaica)

Or (Valeriana turczaninovii = Valeriana heterophylla = Valeriana reverdattoana) - a plant native to Northern Mongolia and Siberia with an elongated rhizome and straight, bare or almost bare stems. The basal leaves of the Altai valerian are whole or with two lateral segments, and the stem leaves are lyre-pinnate-dissected. The inflorescence is capitate, sometimes with additional small heads. The flowers are narrow-funnel-shaped, light pink. The fruits are glabrous, purple in color.

Valeriana petrophila

from the same places as Altai Valerian. She has a shortened rhizome with cord-like lobes and stolons with a bunch of leaves at the ends, ascending or curved stems from 5 to 20 cm long, one third of which cover the vaginal leaves. The lower long-petiolate leaves are rolled into a raised rosette, and the sessile leaves of the upper pair can be whole or with two or three pairs of small lateral segments. Dense racemose, almost capitate inflorescence of pink flowers grows and becomes friable during fruiting.

Valeriana supina

- a plant from the eastern regions of the Alps. It has rounded ovate leaves, collected in a basal rosette. This species forms light green pads with a height of 2 to 7 cm. Valerian blooms in bed with small pink flowers, collected in dense inflorescences up to 3 cm in diameter. This species is used as a ground cover plant in rock gardens. Valerian recumbent forms many underground stolons and is capable of capturing large territories.

Rock Valeriana (Valeriana saxicola)

occurs at an altitude of 1800 to 2500 m above sea level in the mountains of the Caucasus and Turkey. This is a perennial no more than 15 cm high, forming small bushes. The few stem leaves of this species are narrow, basal - oval-oblong, sometimes pointed, up to 2 cm long. Pink flowers form a compact racemose inflorescence.

In addition to those described, in the culture there are such types of valerian as capitate, mountain, lipoliferous and three-winged, but they do not have high decorative qualities.

Valerian properties - harm and benefit

Beneficial features

In what benefits of valerian? First of all, in the substances that are part of its roots. The roots contain essential oil, butyric, formic, malic and acetic acids, terpenoids, actinidine alkaloid, valerid glycoside, resinous and tannins, sugars, free isovaleric acid, saponins, vitamins, macro- and microelements, for example, iron and selenium. The totality of all these substances necessary for the human body and determines medicinal properties of valerianbut the most valuable ingredient is essential oil.

One of the main areas of application of medicinal valerian drugs is nervous disorders, for example, epileptic and hysterical seizures, muscle cramps, insomnia, neurasthenia, migraines and other mental disorders of a chronic nature. Valerian root has a calming effect and reduces the excitability of the nervous system. It is also used as a sedative for spasms of the gastrointestinal tract, hepatic and renal colic, thyroid diseases, hyperthyroidism, neurodermatitis and hypertension.

Valerian dilates blood vessels, lowers blood pressure, relieves spasms of venous vessels. In countries like Germany and England, valerian is the official sleeping pill. For the same purposes, it is consumed by almost half of US residents suffering from sleep disorders.

Valerian stimulates bile secretion, the secretory function of the gastrointestinal tract, regulates the work of the cardiovascular system. Valerian is also effective for weight loss: it reduces appetite, dulls hunger and soothes. In the complex therapy of obesity, they practice replacing a full meal with a glass of valerian infusion.

Valerian is also used in cosmetology: it relieves rashes, redness, hypersensitivity of the skin and improves complexion.

In the pharmacy, you can buy phytosedan valerian preparations, "Dried valerian rhizomes with roots", sedative collection No. 2 and gastric collection No. 3. At home making valerian is also possible. How to cook valerian in the form of a decoction? 1-2 teaspoons of crushed raw materials are poured with a glass of water, boiled for no longer than one minute, removed from heat, covered, insisted for half an hour and filtered. Take with rapid heartbeat, vegetative neuroses, insomnia and vomiting, 1 tablespoon 3-4 times a day after meals.


Hypersensitivity to valerian drugs may be a contraindication to taking valerian medications. It is forbidden to take them for chronic enterocolitis and hypertension. Care should be taken with the dosage of nursing and pregnant women, and since the plant preparations increase blood clotting, their use is undesirable for the elderly and those who have suffered a heart attack or stroke.

Of the side effects of valerian medicinal preparations, some depression, drowsiness and decreased performance can be noted. With prolonged use, constipation and sometimes allergic reactions may appear.


  1. Read the topic on Wikipedia
  2. Features and other plants of the family Honeysuckle
  3. List of all species on The Plant List
  4. More information on World Flora Online
  5. Information about Garden Plants
  6. Information on Perennial Plants
  7. Information about Herbaceous plants
  8. Information about medicinal plants

Categories: Garden Plants Perennials Herbaceous Flowering Medicinal Plants in Honeysuckle

Kalgan (Potentílla) is a herb belonging to the Pink family (see photo). In the literature, you can find such names as Dubrovka, Lapchatka-uzik. Distributed in Europe and throughout Russia. It grows in the temperate zone, in the forest-steppe, steppe zone. Kulgan loves wet places. The most characteristic of them are meadows, ravines, unshaded forests, swamps.

The plant grows to a height of 15 to 45 cm. Its root system is short and stiff, almost horizontal. The stems of the plant are straight, slightly branching at the tops. The leaves themselves are trifoliate, oblong, wedge-shaped, with a characteristic green color.

The inflorescences of Potentilla erect are small, in average they reach 2 cm in diameter. They have 4 petals of yellow shades and 4 sepals (unlike other members of the family, which have 5 petals). The perianth of the plant is subdued, double. Flowering is observed from mid-May to September. In the process, a fruit is formed, which disintegrates when ripe.

Since ancient times, Potentilla has been famous for its medicinal properties.

For the preparation of elixirs, rhizomes are used, which are dug up in early autumn (after flowering) and in spring (before flowering).

Digging is done with a shovel. After removing the root, it is cleaned of growths and soil residues.

Then they are washed under running water, wiped with a rag and left to dry on paper in well-ventilated rooms on the balcony. You can use a dryer for this purpose. The herb is recommended to be picked during flowering intervals. It is better to dry the plant in a quick way, since it retains more valuable components this way.

Chemical composition

Lemongrass has a powerful rhizome and a woody stem that reaches 15 m in length. Older dark brown stems have numerous longitudinal lenticels. The plant has a wrinkled bark. The alternate leaves are characterized by a wedge-shaped base and a pointed tip. They are distinguished by the presence of reddish cuttings.

Small flowers have a white color and a fragrant aroma. They appear from May to June. The dark red sour fruits have a salty flavor. They can be seen by October. Spicy seeds smell like lemon.

The plant is found on the territory:

  • Khabarovsk and Primorsky Territories
  • South Sakhalin
  • Amur region
  • Korean Peninsula
  • Northern China.

  • valley, broad-leaved, mixed forests
  • forest edges and shrubs
  • valleys of rivers and streams.

The nutritional value of Schisandra berries is 416 kcal per 100 g. The carbohydrate content reaches 13 g, and dietary fiber and water - 5 and 4 g, respectively.

Schisandra berries are rich in tocopherol and ascorbic acid. The fruits are also a source of selenium and iodine. Among the components included in the composition are called:

  • tannins
  • glycerides
  • essential oils
  • iron
  • manganese
  • calcium
  • phosphorus.

Beneficial features

The list of benefits of wild garlic is very wide. The plant has been used for many years in cooking, pharmacology and cosmetology. Culture has a complex effect on the body and normalizes important life processes:

  • restores the digestive system
  • normalizes appetite, relieves constipation and regulates metabolism
  • destroys worms
  • has antiviral properties, helps in the fight against colds and SARS
  • able to stabilize hormonal levels in women, especially during menopause
  • lowers blood cholesterol levels
  • restores the work of the cardiovascular system
  • the juice of the plant is used to treat wounds with inflammatory lesions of the skin.

Other beneficial properties of the plant are also known. Means based on it are often used by men who want to restore potency. Due to the increased content of niacin, the plant helps to restore the structure of hair and nails, making them stronger. Fresh herbs are used for dietary nutrition, they are low in calories.

Contraindications to use

While wild garlic is generally healthy, it can sometimes be dangerous. It is forbidden to eat wild garlic for people with diseases of the stomach and intestines. Cholecystitis, pancreatitis, hepatitis and gastritis are direct contraindications for use. The sap of the plant irritates the mucous membrane.

With caution, dishes with wild garlic can be consumed by pregnant women, nursing mothers, as well as people with epilepsy. You can not take strong decoctions and infusions of wild garlic before bedtime. Such funds stimulate the work of the cardiovascular system, can provoke insomnia and headaches.

People with any chronic diseases should consult a doctor before using wild garlic on an ongoing basis. This kind of caution will help you avoid serious health problems.

Application for the manufacture of medicines

The plant is actively used for the manufacture of medicines and dietary supplements. Due to its characteristics, most manufacturers add extract and juice to dosage forms for diseases such as:

  • blood diseases
  • hyperthyroidism
  • atherosclerosis
  • nephrosis
  • obesity
  • kidney and liver diseases
  • infectious diseases

There are drugs for weight loss, which include rosehip juice from different parts of it.

The well-known drug Holosas is made only from rose hips.

Medicines containing this plant should be stored in a dry and dark place, as sunlight destroys vitamins.

How and when to collect lime blossom

Collect the lime blossom with scissors, carefully cutting off the branches with inflorescences. The cut branches are removed in the shade and the inflorescences are cut off along with the light green bracts.

Harvesting should be carried out only in dry weather, after the dew has subsided.

If you do not take into account this moment, then you can lose the collected material, as it will begin to turn brown and lose useful properties. It is best to dry the linden blossom outdoors in a shaded area under a canopy. To pick linden blossom, choose trees that are located at a distance from roads and roadways, otherwise such collection will do more harm than good.

The best harvest time is when it blooms, that is, around the first half of July.

There is something to love and plant on your site this beautiful tree that does not lose its charm throughout the year. In summer, in sunny weather, amber crowns look light and festive against the background of the azure sky. In late autumn, the linden park is already beautiful in a different way: the ground is covered with a carpet of fallen leaves, and against this background, the lead-black rows of trunks stand out sharply. In winter, the linden tree stands solemnly, dressed in a snow robe, and its seeds still hang like nuts, swaying on long legs.

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