Valeriana officinalis, a plant of medicinal interest

Valeriana officinalis is also known as cat grass. It is a species native to Europe and Asia. Being after chamomile, one of the most popular. It belongs to the Valerianacea family and is considered a medicinal plant.

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Characteristics of Valeriana officinalis

It is a perennial species, so after winter you can enjoy its presence in the garden again. It is of medicinal interest, since its roots, plants and flowers are used for multiple benefits. It has a slender bearing and can reach a height of one meter, and can be grown in conjunction with other aromatics such as lavender, rosemary and lavender.

The stem is erect, hollow, robust, glabrous or pubescent and ribbed. The leaves are opposite pinnate. The lower ones are sessile, while the upper ones are shorter petiolate. The white or pink flowers, which are grouped in flattened inflorescences. The fruit is achene measuring 4 mm with feathery vilano.

How to grow Valeriana officinalis

It is an easy plant to care for, as long as the climatic conditions are correct. It grows very well in loose, aerated, cool and humid soils, being a shady and humid forest floor. It is not able to withstand drought, but if frost.

The flowers are aromatic, but if you want to get the most out of them, it is convenient to cut them to give more strength to root growth.

When autumn arrives it is time to mow down the vegetative part of the plant and dig up part of the rhizome for drying. The temperature cannot exceed 35˚C during drying. The smell can be quite strong, so it can be very unpleasant.

It spreads by dividing plants and seeds. For this it is recommended to crumble the earth to facilitate rooting. Before transplanting into the final land, it is convenient to prepare the orchard with location work, tilling the land, fertilizing, etc.

Irrigation is periodic. At least two to three times a month.

The diseases and pests that can attack the plant are Septoria, powdery mildew, aphids and wild rodents. So we would have to be attentive to it.


The infusion of valerian can be consumed fresh or dry and depending on the form there is more or less amount to use. To make the infusion, the water should not be boiled and it should rest for at least minutes.

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