Valerian root: smell.

Newsgroups: alt.folklore.herbs
Subject: Valerian Root Smells Bad!
From: (Alan Guggenheim)
Date: 23 May 1995 02:30:13 GMT

I just got some Valerian, and boy it smells like a sewer. Is this the normal smell? I had heard that it was good for insomnia. Is it safe and effective?


From: (Chris Hugins)

Yes, it does smell a bit like dog doo doo. Cats love it better than catnip, tho.

It works great for chest congestion problems, and you can sleep.

From: (Torrey Peacock)

> I just got some Valerian, and boy it smells like a sewer.

Yes, it has very strange odor. One person described it as "bubblegum from Jupiter." Very safe and effective herb, though, great for stressed-out nerves and for insomnia. I like the fresh plant liquid extract best myself - still tastes very odd, but better than the dried-root tea. Or, you can "cheat," and take the powdered herb or herbal extract in capsule form.

From: (Moreta)

some people claim it smells like old sox, some a sewer, I use extract and put it in a glass of juice to hide the smell and mask the taste ;>


From: Bob Ginsberg <72027.3405.CompuServe.COM>

Valerian indeed smells like something died. My wife won't go near it. But, it a pretty darn good natural calmative. It could well help with insomnia, but I think a good dose of exercise daily would be better.

From: Stephanie Goble <>

Fresh valerian root stinks. Dried valerian root reeks. The extract of valerian root is positively putrid ... and it is normal.
As for safe and effective, it does cause drowsiness in most people and is unlikely to become addictive.
I have never found an odorless valerian, although some of them have better capsules than others and don't stink do bad.


From: (Eric R Jacobson)

Everyone posting to this thread seems to think valerian root **stinks!**

I disagree. It has a strong smell, yes. Pleasantly medicinal, yes. Perhaps one isn't likely to get hooked on the smell, sure. But *stink* , no.

Indeed i read somewhere that it is used to flavor cookies or cakes in some (European?) culture. Does anyone here know about this? Or have a recipe?



Yes, valerian root smells awful. However,it is a wonderful herb in many respects. I personally use it in conjuction with naproxen sodium to help relieve pain caused by osteoarthritis. I have it in my back, and I tend to tense up with the pain that is not relieved by the naproxen; the valerian root acts as a skeletal muscle relaxant, and it aleviates much of the pain. Yes, it does cause some drowsiness, but after taking it for awhile, you get used to it. I still take two 00 capsules (475 mg each) at bedtime to help me sleep, and it works wonderfully. It is also good for nerves, as I can attest (I also have a two year old and it seems that sometimes when you have children you MUST have some sort of calmative around!). I cannot say enough good things about valerian root. No, I am not a doctor, nor am I a licensed herbalist. I am merely giving a personal testimony on my use of valerian. It has really changed my life--I am no longer in severe pain!

Cheryl L. Grice