Botanical (scientific) name: Valeriana officinalis
Other names: All-Heal, Amantilla Setewale, Setwall, Capon’s Tail
Plant family: the Valerian family - Valerianaceae
Where & how it grows: Valerian loves the damp and grows throughout the temperate (i.e. not polar or tropical) world though it is native to Asia & Europe
Parts used in Herbal Medicine: Roots
Valerian has traditionally been used for treating muscle cramp and anxiety. It has also been used for high blood pressure and is very well known for helping with insomnia. It was so valued as a medicine in the Middle Ages (5th – 15th Centuries CE) that it used to be called AllHeal. In 1592 Fabius Calumna wrote a book about how he cured himself of epilepsy with Valerian.
Valerian was also traditionally used to relieve the symptoms of palpitations, tremors and even asthma.