Valerian root is often referred to as “nature’s Valium.” In fact, this herb has been used since ancient times to promote tranquility and improve sleep.
Valerian has pleasant, sweet smelling flowers and pungently aromatic roots. Despite the strong odor, Valerian root has been used since the times of ancient Greece and in traditional European folk practices. Commonly infused as Valerian tea, the roots can also be mixed into herbal tea blends or tinctured.
Most of us have heard the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, Germany who played his flute and led the rats out of town forever. Many feel the Pied Piper must have been familiar with Valerian and put it in his pockets or rubbed himself with it. Rats love the smell, and it may have been the Valerian, not the music, that enticed the rats to follow him!
Fun Fact: Valerian Root was popular in the world of Harry Potter. Valerian was used as an ingredient in Treacle fudge. Valerian roots were used in Potion-making; they were one of the ingredients of the Draught of Living Death. Rubeus Hagrid also grew Valerian in his garden.