While native to Europe and Asia, the perennial valerian plant also grows well in most areas of the United State. Used since the second century, valerian became popular in the 1600s as a remedy for anxiety, insomnia and restlessness. Today valerian can be grown in the home garden for either the beauty of the plant or as an alternative medicinal remedy for the same problems. The USDA considers valerian as "generally recognized as safe." Use valerian as a tincture or tea.
Make a Tincture
Cut the valerian root into 1-inch pieces or grate the root into slivers.
Place the chopped root onto a square of cheesecloth and tie the corners to secure the root in a cheesecloth ball.
Place the ball in a 1-quart jar.
Fill the jar with vodka and place the lid on the jar. Use the least-expensive brand of vodka for making a valerian tincture.
Place the jar in a dark corner of your pantry or in a cabinet. Allow the jar to sit for at least 60 days.
Strain the tincture though a layer of cheesecloth and store the liquid in small bottles away from sunlight.
Make a Tea
Slice or grate approximately 1 tbsp. of dried valerian root.
Place the valerian root into a tea ball and place the ball into a tea or coffee cup.
Pour boiling water over the tea ball and allow the tea to seep for 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove the tea ball from the cup and drink the valerian tea.