It taste bad but works: ValerianSean Russell
Since I first started in Chinese herbs, before using any Western herbs, I never really gathered much information from sources many other people do: friends, media, publications. I was surprised to find how many people where familiar with Valerian. It appears that many people are familiar with Valerian because many people have problems going to sleep and staying asleep. Valerian is, to me and most people, a very nasty tasting and not so good smelling herb. For most people Valerian in a tsp tincture or a couple large pills will put them to bed in 20 minutes and keep them asleep. Valerian also does a great job of sedating pain, so I use this herb allot in my First Aid dealings as well. Now let me get on my usual soapbox. Valerian is a heating herb and has warm properties. This means that if you are suffering from heat conditions, Valerian can actually cause insomnia! Not to confuse you with all the Chinese Medicine terms, but its just another example of remembering to use synergy and combine herbs appropriately. Preferably herbs would be prepared for every person individually, but this is just not possible. I try to balance things as best as possible while still making formulas as potent as possible. What I do with my Valerian is also combine it with Skullcap. Skullcap is quite similar to Valerian and is what you would give to heat conditions. This help balance the formula for a wider variety of people. I also add Mu Li for its anchoring effects on the person, this also adds calcium and magnesium to the formula. My formula is called SYRENITY available at Dimmakherbs.com if you would like to try it.
Also remember herbal formulas aren’t using chemical actions on you, so you are able to control the effects. For instance Valerian can be used for anxiety, calming, ADD, cramps, and emotional problems taken is smaller doses. It is quite difficult to take a small amount of prescription sleep medication to calm anxiety, however herbs are quite the opposite. Take a single pill or 10-30 drops of tincture as needed.