Valerian Root essential oil is one of the most powerful smelling essential oils. It has a heavy musky woody scent, that you will either love or hate. Often used as a natural sedative, it is one of the oldest remedies in western herbal medicine to soothe mental stress and sleep problems.
- Latin Name
- Valeriana officinalis
- Steam distillation
- Mainly bornyl acetate and isovalerate, with caryophyllene, pinenes, valeranone, ionone, eugenyl isovalerate, borneol, patchouli alcohol and valerianol.
Native to Europe and parts of Asia, Valerian is a perennial herb that grows up to 1.5 metres high with a hollow stem and purplish white flowers.
Valerian has been held in high esteem since medieval times when it was also known as ‘all heal’ possible due to its affinity with the central nervous system. More recently, in the west, it has been used for a variety of complaints especially where there is nervous tension or restlessness, such as insomnia, migraines, rheumatism and painful period pains.
Due to its powerful woody scent Valerian is not suitable for vaporising and is usually blended with another more fragrant oil.
Valerian root essential oil is a potential skin sensitiser, avoid it in baths or massage if you have sensitive skin. It also has a deeply sedative effect so users are advised not to drive or operate machinery after use.