When you think of herbs to plant for your medicine chest, Cathy Isom has a few tips about you how to grow and use the powerful Valerian plant. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
When you plant your herb garden, don’t neglect valerian. It’s one of the most powerful herbal sedatives available. Additionally, unlike doctor-subscribed sleeping aids, valerian is safe and non-habit forming.
Along with being useful to your herbal medicine chest, this spreading perennial is a garden staple. Valerian pairs well with low, mounded herbs like thyme and oregano. It also loves to share space with echinacea, catnip, and dill.
Remember when you’re choosing companion plants that valerian can grow up to 5 feet tall. Plant it behind smaller plants so that it doesn’t cut off the sunlight. Up against a wall or fence, with the lower plants in front is ideal.
You want a permanent stand of valerian, so wait a couple years after planting to allow your valerian to establish itself. The plant needs time to spread before you can sustainably harvest the roots. If you’re harvesting for headache relief, harvest the whole plant. Most growers, however, choose to use just valerian root in their herbal remedies.
I’m Cathy Isom…