Herbs for Healthy Living

Valerian, Anxiety, Insomnia, Nervous tension, Stress

Also known as:

Valeriana officinalis


  • Sleeping problems
  • Mild anxiety
  • Nervous tension
  • Stress


This is one of the oldest herbs in use in Western herbal practice. It is native to Europe and some parts of Asia and has also been introduced into North America. Valerian grows wild in woods, river banks and damp meadows and is also relatively easy to cultivate. The plant is a perennial and grows to heights of up to 1½ metres. It has leaflets and flowers are small and pale pink. However, it is the root which is used medicinally.

What does it do?:

Valerian root contains a number of plant substances such as volatile oils, valepotriates and valerenic acid. It has been known for a long time as a traditional herbal treatment for mild anxiety and nervousness, as well to help overcome sleep disturbances.

The herb is also known to be, for some reason, attractive to cats, inducing a ‘state of ecstasy’ in the animals, causing them to roll around happily. No explanation for this has been found.

Other information:

Dormeasan from A.Vogel contains extracts of freshly harvested Valerian root and hops.