Thursday, September 4, 2014

Time to harvest Valeriana

I need to Harvest my Valeriana roots.. or more commonly known as Valerian Root.. it seems all I really need to do is dig it up preferably with a pitchfork, wash them, chop them up and dry them.

Valeriana officinalis
Other Names
all-heal, amantilla, capon's tail, cat's valerian, fu, garden heliotrope, garden valerian, genicularis, marinella, phu, setwall, St George's Herb, terdina, theriacardia, van, vandal root, wenderot

History and Folklore
The Latin valere from whence the common name of this plant originated means "to be strong or healthy" and it may refer to the healing applications of the plant or it may refer to its strong odor. Indeed the ancient Greeks called this plant "Phu" (like phew!).
~Yes.. the roots really do stink!
It was believed that this plant had the properties of turning anything bad into good.

Cats love the smell of valerian and find it quite intoxicating. It is useful stuffed inside cat toys.
~ I did not know this!

Healing Attributes
Valerian has a sedative action useful against insomnia, anxiety, and stress. It is also used to treat gastrointestinal pain and irritable bowel.
However, valerian is reported to be a mutagen so it is not recommended for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive.
Magical Use
Valerian root is associated with the planet Jupiter and the element of water. It is also useful in Samhain and Yule celebration rituals.
Valerian root is useful in spells related to ending guilt and negative self talk and developing self acceptance. It is also useful in animal magic, especially cat magic and evoking animal spirits. Also, for turning bad situations around to one's advantage and finding the positive in a seemingly negative situation.
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