flower
Thursday, 09 August 2012

HOME REMEDY: Valerian

Written by Sof McVeigh
Since planting valerian in my medicinal garden in March, I now see it everywhere in the lanes in Devon – and, as it likes damp ground, it's been loving this summer.

It is a tall plant, with reddish pink flowers that come out in late spring and last through till late July. But it's not these pretty flowers that concern us here, it's the 'home remedy' benefit of its root. Valerian root is a calmative – you'll see it in herbal sleeping remedies. It also helps with a large range of nervous problems, headaches, distress and can also soothe intestinal colic – and it was used in the First World War for shell shock.

Strangely, the smell of the root also attracts cats and rats, which I noticed first hand, as out of all the new plants in my garden this was the only one that something was trying to dig at to get to the roots. Hopefully the neighbour's cat rather than a pesky rat!

You can dry the valerian root and crush a teaspoon of it, leaving it to soak in cold water for 24 hours and then drink it. But please don't use this in large doses, or for long periods of time.

Sof McVeigh: www.thehomemadecompany.com



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