Roots of valerian: medicinal properties and contraindications
Many people know that cats really love the scent of valerian, sensing it, even being at a considerable distance from it. This is explained by the fact that the plant affects the nervous system, causing the animal a state similar to intoxication. The root of valerian is able to affect the human brain, but, of course, not in this way. It is actively used for making pain relievers and soothing agents.
Valerian has been known since ancient times. In Ancient Greece and Rome, extracts of this plant were added to the baths and included in perfume compositions. Already then it began to be used as a remedy for many diseases.
In this article, we will try to understand what the root of valerian is, the medicinal properties and contraindications of this plant.
Description of valerian
This plant has a straight and ribbed stem, the upper part of which is branched. In the first year, only rosette leaves begin to grow, and already in the next year it begins to adorn with leaves that have denticles along their edges. Flowers are collected in paniculate inflorescences and possess a fragrant aroma. The plant blooms from June to August. In July and August, fruits begin to ripen, which are oblong achenes with a pinnate crest. The plant multiplies seeds.
Valerian roots have a curative effect, characterized by a specific odor and a sweetish bitter taste. The plant includes: borneol, essential oil, saponins, sugars, valenotriates, baldrinil, macro and microelements, glycosides, alkaloids, malic and formic acid, valerianborneol ether, trace elements, tannic and resinous substances, mettinol, stearic and palmitic acid, vitamins.
At the very beginning of autumn, the roots of valerian officinalis begin to be excavated, then they are treated from dirt and washed in cold water. After that they are left for a while in the open air, and then moved to the attic for drying. During this period, the roots acquire a rather specific flavor. This is due to bornyl-isovaleric acid contained in the chemical composition of the plant.
To prepare a medicine, roots that have reached the age of two years are used. This is explained by the fact that at this time the plant accumulates the greatest number of useful ingredients with unique healing properties.
In Latin, valerian means "to be healthy."It gives strength to the body namely the miraculous root of valerian. The properties of this plant are truly unique. It is able to exert analgesic, soothing, sedative action, well saves from insomnia. Valerian is a wonderful antidepressant.
The plant contains such organic acids as formic, apple, palmitic, acetic and stearic acids. In addition, valerian contains a large number of macro and microelement vitamins.
Application of valerian root for medicinal purposes
This medicinal plant was used in Ancient Greece. The doctor-philosopher Dioscorides claimed that he is able to control the thoughts of man, and in the opinion of Pliny the Elder, this herb( the root of valerian) clears the mind. They used this plant to get rid of stress and nervous tension and with it treated epilepsy.
The therapeutic root must be taken a long time to achieve a positive result. The fact is that useful substances accumulate gradually, saturating vitamins and elements with all organs and tissues. So for what therapeutic purposes is this plant used?
First of all, the roots of valerian are used as a sedative. This plant normalizes the activity of the cardiovascular system, reduces nervous excitability. It is used for tachycardia and hysterical conditions.
Valerian officinalis is a wonderful remedy for insomnia. It can be taken not only inside, but also inhaling the healing aroma. And the last option is considered more effective. In the same way, the plant is used as a sedative. Breathe follows the tincture or crushed fresh roots. It is necessary to inhale 2-3 times each nostril not deep enough. If you overdo, then after waking up, often there is a headache, so the amount and depth of inspiration should be reduced.
But not only this is characterized by the root of valerian. The healing properties of this plant are also used to improve digestion. It normalizes the activity of the pancreas and stomach, and also helps with liver diseases.
The root of valerian is able to have an antispasmodic effect, relaxing the smooth muscles and relieving pain. He is good at relieving migraines.
This plant most favorably affects the work of the thyroid gland. It is used for spasms of the uterus and for violations during menopause, with pneumonia and asthma.
Everything needs a measure. This rule also applies to the roots of valerian. The negative consequences from their use are usually associated with overdose or too long use. In these cases, the following side effects may occur: stomach cramps, apathy, depression, blocking, headaches, heart failure.
Drivers, workers in the manufacturing sector and people whose work is associated with complex equipment, should consider that the plant can cause dizziness, as well as nausea and vomiting. Many do not tolerate its specific smell.
Overdose can have exactly the opposite effect - it causes feelings of anxiety, worsen sleep and promotes the appearance of stomach pain. Sometimes there may be an allergic reaction, which is manifested by a rash on the skin, its redness and shortness of breath. Side effects can also occur when using valerian with other sedatives.
Valerian roots: contraindications
Not everyone can approach this medicinal plant. It can also have contraindications. These include:
- is elderly due to the risk of stroke;
- liver disease.
Children under three years of age are also advised not to give the root of valerian. Calm the child can and other means, which will advise the pediatrician.
With extreme caution, use valerian root for pregnant and lactating women.
To prepare the tincture of valerian, take 1 tbsp.l.crushed roots, poured into a thermos and poured a glass of boiling water. Insist they should be about 12 hours. It is recommended to take tincture for 1 tbsp.l.3-4 times a day. The course of treatment should not exceed two months.
If during this time, taking the medication did not bring a tangible result, you can use the tincture on an alcohol basis. In this case, the effect is achieved almost instantaneously.
Valerian roots: application in folk medicine
This medication can be taken or used for enema in dysentery, worming, vomiting and abdominal pain. Beforehand, the body is cleansed with a decoction of chamomile, after which a decoction of valerian is administered for 10 minutes.
Use this plant as a preventive against typhoid, scarlet fever, cholera. To do this, 3 tbsp.l.crushed root pour 2 liters of water and bring to a boil, after which they cook for about 1 minute and insist for about an hour. It should be taken in a warm form.
In case of insomnia, rapid heartbeat or vegetoneurosis, a decoction is also prepared. Take the roots of valerian, grind, 2 tsp.pour a glass of boiling water and boil for one minute. Insist 30 minutes and take 1 tbsp.l.immediately before eating.
Well helps as a sedative the next remedy. Take the roots of valerian and hop cones( 1 part each), add mint and three-leaved( 2 parts) and mix. Then 1 tbsp.l.raw materials are poured into the floor with a liter of boiling water, insist half an hour and filter. Take half the glass in the morning and evening.
As practice shows, this plant is consumed not only inside. The therapeutic effect is achieved if you breathe in its odor, and for this you apply not only alcohol tincture, but also powder from the roots of valerian.
This procedure should be done before bedtime. First you should inhale one nostril three times, then another. At night, you can repeat this manipulation. In the morning, the head should not hurt. If all the same she got sick, then you need to inhale not three times, but two.
Valerian inhalations improve sleep, normalize blood pressure, eliminate pain in the heart. You can spend about 4 months. But before this it is still worth consulting with a doctor.
Combination with alcohol
Everyone knows that it is forbidden to combine drug intake and alcohol use. The root of valerian is also no exception. It is known that this plant has a calming effect, but if applied simultaneously with alcohol, the work of the nervous system may be dulled and depression may develop. Valerian reduces blood pressure and increases alcoholic beverages. Therefore, their combination leads to pressure jumps.
At best, the intake of valerian and alcohol leads to a weakening of the effect of the drug, and at worst - the work of many systems may be disrupted, the gastric mucus begins to be intensively produced, and the toxicity of the alcoholic beverage rises several times.
Thus, we learned what constitutes the root of valerian. The healing properties and contraindications of this unique plant have also been considered. But all the same it is not necessary to be engaged in a selftreatment, and it is better to address to the doctor as on this grass at many people there is an individual intolerance.