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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Magazine > May-19 > WHAT DOES IT DO? VALERIAN

WHAT DOES IT DO? VALERIAN

Improves sleep, reduces period pain and may soothe anxiety? Sounds like one powerful herb…
Words: Laura Potter. Photographs: Shutterstock. *Product not available in Ireland

What is it?

A perennial herb native to Europe and parts of Asia, valerian has a distinctive pong that makes some people wince, others smile. The healing properties are mostly derived from the root, but preparations can also be made using its stems. It’s also used in teas, tinctures and capsules. Use of valerian dates back to ancient Greece, where it was lauded by Hippocrates, the ‘father of medicine’, and it’s been a trusted treatment for insomnia since the second century AD. In the 16th century, it was used to treat nervousness, headaches and palpitations; during the Second World War, Brits used it to relieve stress caused by air raids.

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About Healthy Magazine

Have you thought about your sleep recently? It’s one of the key pillars of our wellbeing, which is why we’ve delved into all things bedtime this issue. Inside, you’ll find simple, science-backed fixes to all your sleep worries, from insomnia to snoring, plus our body clock training plan and moves to help you snooze. We investigate whether fat really deserves its bad rep, uncover the intricacies of the placebo effect, and explore 2019’s biggest wellness trend: blue health. Plus, our food section champions light Easter bakes, three beauty experts dish on their bedtime routines, and Jess Ennis-Hill talks family and fitness since retiring. Find all this and more in the brand new issue of Healthy!