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Monterey Bay Spice Company

Bulk Herbs & Spices

Valerian
shopping: all 4 varieties
Valeriana officinalis & Valeriana wallichii

valerian

plant overview
the “phu” plant

North America and Europe that is popular as a garden ornamental and hanging plant. Although the scent of the fine, lacey foliage is pleasing to humans, the root of the plant is unmistakably similar to sweaty gym shoes, an attribute that earned the nickname “phu” from the early Greek botanist, Dioscorides. Cats, on the other hand, cannot resist valerian root, and seem to become intoxicated in its presence much like they do when catnip is nearby. Because the compounds in the herb have a much less stimulating effect in people, valerian root is most often taken as tea, liquid extract or in capsule form shortly before retiring for the night.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.
Valerian
01.
A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on valerian

description
Valerian officinalis, is an herbaceous perennial of the Valerianaceae family.

The plant typically reaches heights of 3-5 feet, and sometimes as high as 6 feet, though less frequently. Valerian's distinctive attributes include a clump of deeply lobed basal foliage from which rise tall, slender, sparsely-leaved stems. In the summer months of June and July these stems are topped by highly fragrant blossoms. These salverform flowers, present in white to pale pink and are in branched panicles (cymes to 2-4" wide).

Leaves are odd-pinnate, with each leaf having 7-10 pairs of toothed, lance-shaped leaflets. The entire plant is redolent: leaves are aromatic when bruised; and roots also have a strong scent. Both valerian root and valerian leaves are a cat attractant similar to catnip.

common names & nomenclature
Genus name comes from the Latin valere, meaning "to be strong and healthy", though other accounts say its moniker was derived from the personal name Valerius.

Also known as:
valerian, garden valerian, garden heliotrope, all-heal


02.
Where in the World
habitat and range for valerian

Valerian officinalis is native to Europe and parts of Asia and has been introduced into North America.

03.
Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting valerian

climate
Valerian typically grows in damp locations, but also can be found in drier areas. It often is established along roads or in fields in full to part sun.

soil
The valerian plant grows in average, medium to wet, well-drained soils. The plant prefers rich loams.

growing
Propagate Valerian officianlis by seed or division in the spring. The plant spreads easily via rhizomes and often freely self-seeds. As the plant can be invasive—deadhead spent flowers to prevent self-seeding.

harvesting
Valerian roots are harvested in the fall of their second year and cut to dry, may be ground into a powder as well.

preserving
Store dried valerian root pieces and powdered valerian root in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
you should always consult with your doctor
before making any changes to your diet!!
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