It is a very popular herb which is accepted not only by the traditional but also by the official medicine.It is mostly known for its ability to calm the nervous system. The extract from valerian is a basic component of many modern medications for the treatment of insomnia and neurosis.
The Latin name of the plant is Valeriana offisinalis L. Other names used for this plant include garden valerian, garden heliotrope and all-heal. It grows in the mountains and in the mountainous areas of South and Central Europe. It is a herbaceous plant which is up to 2 meters high. The valerian which is growing wild is not enough to satisfy the constantly increasing market demand, so the herb is cultivated. It grows in the fertile black soil close to groundwater.
The roots of the plant from which is extracted essential oil with a complex structure is extracted - Valerian-borneol, isovaleric acid, borneol, limonene, esters of formic, acetic and butyric acid, valerian and holitin alkaloids, tannins, sugars, and others are used for medical purposes. Studies found that the therapeutic action of valerian is due to a combination of all ingredients in the essential oil, not only of one or more of them.
In the past the valerian was used for treatment of epilepsy, for healing ulcers and wounds.
Today the valerian is used on its own in the form of tablets or tincture (alcoholic extract) as a quick means of fighting nervous exhaustion, insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks. It is often an ingredient of medicines which calm the central nervous system in cases of neurosis of the cardiovascular system, neurotic headache, hyperthyroidism and some problems of the gastrointestinal tract.
When applied topically the valerian soothes skin irritations, itching, neurodermatitis, fotodermatiti, insect bites.