Valerian officinalis - valeriana officinalis l.
The Valerian Family - Valerianaceae
Botanical characteristic. Perennial herbaceous plant. It grows in meadows, forest glades, among shrubs.
The rhizome is short, thick, hollow inside, with cord-like long roots. The stem is straight, grooved, hollow, branched in the upper part. Leaves are unpaired, opposite whole or coarse toothed with 5-11 pairs of leaflets, lower ones are petiolate, upper ones are sessile. The flowers are small, pale pink, fragrant, collected in a thyroid panicle. The fruit is an ovoid achene, with a crest. It blooms from May to August, the fruits ripen in July - September.
Spread. Distributed over most of Russia, except for the Far North. Grows in wet meadows, on the banks of ponds. It is widely cultivated as a valuable medicinal plant.
Used parts of the plant. Medicinal raw materials are roots and rhizomes, less often the aerial part of the plant. The roots are harvested in autumn or early spring, dried in dryers at a temperature not exceeding 35 ° C. Keep tightly sealed, keeping away from cats. The aboveground part is assembled in the usual way.
Chemical composition. All parts contain carbohydrates and related compounds (glucose, sucrose, valeroside), organic acids, esters of isovalerianic and valerianic acids, essential oils, iridoids, alkaloids, higher aliphatic hydrocarbons, phenolcarboxylic acids and their derivatives, flavonoids, vitamins, phytoncides.
All valerian preparations have antibacterial properties.
Application. Galenic drugs are used as a sedative, hypotensive, choleretic, antispasmodic, coronary-expanding agent. They are used for nervous agitation, neurosis, spasms of the gastrointestinal tract, insomnia, epilepsy, neurasthenia, angina pectoris, hypertension, liver and biliary tract diseases; are part of calming, carminative and gastric charges, Zelenin drops, preparations: corvalol, valocordin, validol, valosedan, valedrin, valocormide, cardiovalen.
In medical practice, valerian is used in case of chronic functional disorders of the central nervous system, hysteria, convulsions, and coronary circulation disorders, for the treatment and prevention of angina pectoris, heart defects, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract associated with impaired secretory function and endocrine gland disorders, with hyperfunction thyroid gland, diabetes insipidus, menopause disorders, vitamin deficiencies; positive effect on sexual activity; used externally in the treatment of lichen planus, in cosmetics, to reduce sweating.
In folk medicine of many countries, valerian preparations are used as a sedative, for headaches, dizziness, chorea, to improve vision, as detoxification, for paralysis, rectal wounds; externally - in the form of baths for epilepsy; to wash their eyes, as well as gargle, wash their hair with headaches.
In an experiment, valerian preparations in small doses stimulate the central nervous system, in large doses they reduce reflex activity; enhance the activity of cranial nerves and spinal reflexes, accelerate blood coagulation. Essential oil exhibits an anticonvulsant effect, dilates the coronary vessels, lowers the tone of smooth muscles, exhibits a sedative effect.
In Tibetan medicine, valerian is used for pulmonary tuberculosis, pneumonia, bronchitis, hemoptysis, neurasthenia, purulent wounds; in Mongolian - as an antipyretic and analgesic; in Korean - with toothache, to strengthen the gums, remove freckles and pigmentation.
Fresh plant juice is effective for face cramps, helps with sunburn and chapping.
Valerian extracts are part of the Olympia drink.
Cooking. Galenic preparations are dosed in drops as prescribed by the doctor. At home, you can prepare a decoction of the roots of the aerial parts of the plant, for which they take 20 g of crushed raw materials, pour 200 ml of boiling water, insist on a bath for 30 minutes, cool for 10 minutes, filter and bring to 200 ml with water. Take 1 tbsp. spoon 2 times a day. Children - a teaspoon 3 times a day.
- To prepare the infusion : pour 1 tablespoon of the roots into a thermos, pour 1 cup boiling water. Take the next day. The dosage is individual. Take one tablespoon of the infusion 3-4 times a day or, with increased excitability, drink the entire infusion for 3 times in 1/3 cup.
- You can take powders from valerian root in a dose of 1-2 g 3-4 times a day on an empty stomach.
In pharmacies, finished preparations of valerian are sold.
- Tincture of valerian: 15-20 drops are used per dose 2 times a day. Children have as many drops as a child.
- Tincture of ether-valerian - 15-30 drops 2-3 times a day.
- Valerian zinc - 1-2 powders or pills 3 times a day.
- Thick valerian extract - 1-3 pills 2-3 times a day.
- Drops of lily of the valley-valerian with adoniside - 15–20 drops 2-3 times a day.
- Soothing tea (1 part valerian roots, 2 parts mint leaves, 2 parts watch and 1 part hops) - 1 tablespoon of the mixture is infused with 2 glasses of boiling water, the infusion is drunk 2-3 times during the day.
- Valerian is also a part of valocordin, Zelenin drops, gastric and carminative teas, etc.
Contraindications The therapeutic effect of valerian is purely individual. Some patients with the systematic use of valerian root have a significant and lasting improvement in well-being and, conversely, there are patients who do not tolerate valerian at all.
In chronic enterocolitis, valerian can cause exacerbation.
For more than one and a half to two months without a break, valerian should not be taken, as there may appear discomfort, headaches, anxiety, disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.