Valeriana officinalis

Considered to be one of the strongest herbal sedatives, valerian is an ally for the restless, the ‘wired and frazzled’, and those who struggle to get a good night’s sleep.

Valerian is a plant you will never forget the smell of. The fresh root is warm and earthy and as it dries overtime it develops a strong sweaty-pungency. You have been warned! And just as it surprises the senses it conversely soothes the nervous system and is well-known for inducing deep sleep.

In the garden, valerian is quite a versatile plant, happy to grow in most soil types and able to tolerate some shade. It is a perennial that grows to around 150cm, producing beautiful, strongly-scented flowers in its second year. To harvest the root, it is best to wait until the autumn of the 2nd or the 3rd year. Read on for further details…

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