Since I want this blog to be educational I decided to takes some pictures of my plants this week. I will be putting up posts about individual herbs using my pictures-just keep in mind that it has done nothing but rain lately so we haven't weeded or put down any (living) mulch yet.
This is a picture of one of my valerian plants. As you can see it is about to flower-a very exciting time for me because I love the smell of the flowers. The medicinal part is the root. Some of you may have used valerian or at least heard of it. It is mainly used as a sedative but has many other uses. If you are considering using this herb there is one thing you should be prepared for. The smell has been described as mixture of violets and dirty gym socks. The fresher the root, the more violet smell there is, but there is no covering up the bad smell. If you can get past the putrid smell, it really doesn't taste bad. It is totally worth it and you will adjust to it. Not only does it help put you to sleep, it is non-addictive and doesn't leave you feeling hung-over in the morning. It also doesn't have any of those nasty side effects like the pills they advertise on TV (really-sleepwalking, sleepdriving, gambling or sexual addiction?). Valerian is also a pain reliever, stops muscle spasms, and heals the nerves. I use the essential oil in a blend for my Husband, who is a chronic, life-long insomniac. He sprinkles a few drops on a tissue on the nightstand so he can inhale the vapors and it really helps him sleep. The advantage with the essential oil is that you can blend it with other more pleasant smelling oils.
So if you have trouble sleeping, short term or long term this herb can really help. We need sleep to function properly!!!!
If you decide to grow valerian, it is a really beautiful plant and the flowers really smell HEAVENLY......the scent reminds me of ylang ylang essential oil.