Origin: Nepal. Steam distilled.
Valerian essential oil is the worst smelling oil we have ever had on our premises. If it didn’t work wonders as a sleep aid, we wouldn’t carry it! Valerian is highly sedative and is very useful for insomniacs. It is also used to reduce anxiety.
According to several websites, the ancient Greeks and Romans are said to have used valerian for digestive disorders, menstrual cramps, flatulence, nausea, urinary tract problems and epilepsy. Ironically, there is only one early mention of valerian root’s sleep-inducing properties, by the physician Galen in 2 AD. By the late sixteenth century, growing numbers of Europeans were reaching for valerian root tinctures to help ease anxiety, insomnia, and nervous digestive disturbances. As late as the nineteenth century, valerian root was also the chosen treatment for hysteria and vapors, two “female nervous conditions.”
In 1620, the English colonists brought valerian root to North America, along with their most precious belongings. Valerian root eventually became part of the Eclectic physicians’ repertoire for nervous system conditions and muscle or bronchial spasms. Valerian root was an official remedy in the US Pharmacopoeia from 1820 until 1936, and valerian root was featured in the National Formulary from 1888 to 1946. During the First World War, valerian root was an important treatment for “shell shock” in soldiers and civilians. Until the rise of synthetic sedative drugs in the 1940’s, valerian root was included in standard medical text books in England and the United States. Today valerian root is an approved over-the-counter medicine in Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland, and Italy. Valerian root is also recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a mild hypotensive (blood pressure lowering) herb.
Several scientific studies have been conducted on the benefits of Valerian essential oil:
- Aqueous extract of valerian root (Valeriana officinalis L.) improves sleep quality in man.
- Link to other scientific studies on Valerian essential oil