Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Valerian is a 4 - 5ft. tall perennial herb with delicate fern-like leaves. The flowers are a pinkish white with a sweet scent that is quite irresistible to butterflies.

The name is derived from the Latin word "Valere", which means well-being.

The plant's root has been ground and used for centuries to reduce stress and help people to sleep.

I did find one fact about Valerian that I did not know.

It was once grown for its strong smelling carrot-shaped root.
Evidently this root smell attracts animals, especially rats, and according to legend was the secret ingredient carried by the Pied Piper of Hamlin.

Hmmmm, that should stop everyone from growing it!

I swear, I have NEVER seen a rat near my Valerian.


  1. Now, I have heard of Valerian, but had never seen it bloom.
    My DIL is a Physician's Ass't and had suggested Valerian herbal pills when I was going through all the stress of my Mom's final illness.
    Don't remember it helping much..
    (but the flowers look pretty)

  2. I haven't heard of Valerian either. I guess if the rats got into it, at least they'd sleep better.

  3. I too haven't seen the actual Valerian plant in person, so thanks!
    My favorite herb that has helped me for over four years (so far) is Milk Thistle. I know that is fairly weedy looking.

  4. I've actually got a bottle of Valerian in my medicine cabinet...was using it when I had trouble sleeping a while back. I had never seen the actual plant, though, so it was neat seeing it finally!!

  5. I read that cats are as attracted to valerian as they are to catnip. Perhaps the cats keep away the rats?

  6. Another thing about Valerian -- it drops seeds and can be very invasive. At least it was when i grew it when we lived in Virginia...in fact after a few years i was desperate to get rid of the stuff. Is it better behaved in zone 5?

  7. Kate, I have not found it to be invasive, although it does reseed readily. I am working in large areas so I like a certain degree of reseeding. Our cold winters probably keep it in line a bit better???????????


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