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Valerian


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Valerian



Growing Information:

Valerian

DAYS TO GERMINATION: 7-21 days

SOWING TIME: Spring or Fall

SEEDING METHOD: Transplant

SUNLIGHT PREFERENCE: Sun/Part Shade

PLANT HEIGHT: 48-78"

PLANT SPACING: 12-18"

HARDINESS ZONES: Zones 3-9

Habitat and Description


Growing Valerian
CULTURAL REQUIREMENTS

If you plant to grow Valerian from seeds outdoors then sow at the start of spring and lightly cover the seeds. The spacing that you sow at depends on the species of Valeriana, sow small ones from 6" to 12" apart, and larger species from 18" to 24" apart. Ideally Valerian should grow in a sunny or partially shaded part of the garden that has a moist rich soil; pH should be from 5.5 to 7.

If first growing Valerian indoors then start about three months in advance. The germination time of Valerian is about three weeks when done at a germination temperature of 68-70F. Transplant the young Valerian seedlings into the garden following the last frost.



Valerian


The benefits of Valerian

Valerian is well known for its sedative qualities and its ability to relax the central nervous system and the smooth muscle groups. It has been used as a sleeping aid for hundreds of years especially when there is excitation or difficulty in falling to sleep due to nervousness. Over 120 chemical components are found in valerian and although a very complex herb, it has not been found to have any negative side effects with moderate use.

It is calming without exerting too sedative an effect and is practically non-addictive. It is a valuable treatment for insomnia, the sedative effect due to the valepotriates and the isovaleric acid.

At least two double-blind studies have demonstrated that valerian extract can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes people to fall asleep without changing the normal stages of sleep.

Documented research has noted a mild hypnotic action in both normal sleepers and insomniacs, indicated by a beneficial effect on sleep latency, wake-time after sleep, frequency of waking, nocturnal motor activity, inner restlessness and tension and quality of sleep. Sleepiness and dream recall the morning after were unaffected. The valepotriates have a regulatory effect on the autonomic nervous system; research suggests that they have a calming effect on agitated people but are also a stimulant in cases of fatigue.

Valerian is used in Europe as an antispasmodic, particularly for abdominal cramps due to nervousness and for uterine cramps and menstrual agitation. It helps relieve dysmenorrhoea and it can be of benefit in migraine and rheumatic pain. It may also be applied locally as a treatment for cramps and other muscle tensions.

Valerian is also used as a mild tranquilizer for people experiencing emotional stress, much as anti-anxiety drugs are prescribed and has been prescribed for exhaustion. Valerian has occasionally been tried as part of a program to take a patient off antidepressants or benzodiazepines, and is sometimes used as a muscle relaxant to treat pain.





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