Herb: Valerian

Latin name: Valeriana capitata

Family: Valerianaceae (Valerian Family)

Medicinal use of Valerian:

The whole plant, but especially the root, is antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, hypnotic, powerfully nervine, sedative and stimulant. Use with caution.

Description of the plant:


60 cm
(2 feet)

Habitat of the herb:

Boggy meadows and moist slopes in Alaska.

Edible parts of Valerian:

Seed - parched. Root - steamed for 24 hours.

Other uses of the herb:

The dried root has been used as an incense.

Propagation of Valerian:

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed because it requires light for germination. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant out into their permanent positions in the summer if sufficient growth has been made. If the plants are too small to plant out, grow them on in the greenhouse or frame for their first winter and plant them out early in the following summer. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.

Cultivation of the herb:

Boggy meadows and moist slopes in Alaska.

Known hazards of Valeriana capitata:

Some caution is advised with the use of this plant. At least one member of the genus is considered to be poisonous raw and V. officinalis is a powerful nervine and sedative that can become habit-forming.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.