Valerian (Valeriana; Ukrainian: valeriana). A perennial grassy herb of the teasel family Valerianaceae. Of its 200 species worldwide there are 13 known in Ukraine; the most widely distributed in the wild is the medicinal (see Medicinal plants) or common valerian (V. officinalis), also known as the garden heliotrope. Its roots and rhizomes contain volatile oils, acids, alkaloids, tannic substances, and sugar. Extracts of valerian are used as tranquilizing agents to control excitement, insomnia, neuroses of the cardiovascular system, spasms, and so on. A relaxant tea is brewed from its roots. Cultivated species in Ukraine include V. nitida, V. rossica, and V. stoionifera.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]