Valerian Root Uses and Benefits

Valerian Root Uses and Benefits

Valerian root is in the Caprifoliaeae (Honeysuckle) family. There are many species of valerian, most medicinal, commonly used as an herbal sleep aid. Roots is the most commonly used but the leaves may also be used for medicine, though they are less potent than the roots. 


Valerian grows from 1 to 5 feet tall depending on the location and the soil conditions. It was straight round stem that is topped by an umbrella-like flower-head. Its opposite dark green leaves have an pinnate blade with 6 to 11 pairs of terminal leaflets. These leaflets have prickly margins and are hairy underneath. Valerian flowers are in branched batches and each flower is about ⅕ in long. They are tiny white to pink blossoms. The flower has three stamens and a distinctive scent. 

Valerian Root


Medicinal Uses

Insomnia: Many people, including myself, report that they get to sleep faster and can sleep longer without warning when consuming valerian root. They also report that they awaken refreshed without residual drowsiness. It can become habit forming so only use it when needed. 

Anxiety and Panic Attacks: Valerian root has a calming effect that is beneficial to people with panic and anxiety disorders. Known as a nerve tonic, calming and soothing to the nervous system.

Epilepsy:  Has a relaxing effect on the muscles of the body. For regular usage use dosage 100 mg to 1 gram of dried or powdered root. Start with low dosage, depending on the persons size and the severity of the disease and increase it gradually until you find a level that works. Consult with your herbalist or medical consultant to be sure it works with any other medications you could be taking.

Menstraul Cramps:  Because of valerian root’s analgesic properties and it s ability to relax the smooth muscles this herb makes a good treatment for pain and cramping during menstruation.

Quitting Smoking: Valerian root is calming and helps lessen the effects of nicotine withdrawal. It especially helps with the irritability people often experience when quitting. Use in tincture form for this. 


Cut the flowering tops off as they appear. This enables a better development of the root. In the first year, many of the young plants do not flower but produce a luxuriant crop of levas. Harvest enter root system; planting some back for utter harvests. Slice roots into small sections and dry for future use. 

Dried Valerian roots in wooden spoon


Valerian exerts a quieting and soothing influence upon the brain and nervous system. However, in large repeated doses it can cause headaches, heaviness and stupor. It can become addictive, only use when needed. 

Valerian root is one of multiple herbs used in our Insomnia Tincture and Insomnia Tea. Releasing a sweet potent flavor to the blend. ORDER HERE

Glycerin vs Alcohol Herbal Tinctures Why We Use Both

Glycerin vs Alcohol Herbal Tinctures Why We Use Both

Glycerin vs Alcohol
Herbal tinctures are a liquid extract from one to serval herbs. Following the extractive process, the tincture is then separated from the spent herb and is filtered, creating your herbal remedy. There are a few ways of creating this using different bases liquids. Some being vinegar, glycerin, vodka or brandy. We are here to today to talk a bit about why Ancient Medicine Cabinet makes their ‘liquid gold’.

We use vegetable glycerin derived from palm fruit….yes fruit…why they called it vegetable glycerin? No one knows…. Glycerin is very sweet so kids tend to enjoy it. Some even call it ‘gummy bear juice’. This makes it easier for to take and enjoy. It also safe if a child happens to get the bottle and drink an entire bottle, yes I’m talking from experience. Palm fruit glycerin actually aids in replenishing your mucus membranes in your gut. This tincture is also easily digested as it gets absorbed in the small intestine, not making it to the large intestine for the fermentation process. Tinctures made with glycerin has up to a 2 year shelf life when stored in a cool dark area. These are a great option for families with many young children or those who cannot handle the taste of alcohol base tinctures.

Alcohol-based tinctures are safe for use by children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding women, since the amount of alcohol ingested per dose is the equivalent of eating a very ripe banana. You actually get more alcohol from mouth wash than you would consuming a alcohol-based tincture. Crazy, right? Alcohol has been used as a base in herbal tinctures for centuries, and remain popular today for it fast acting properties, potency and ability to preserve a 10 year shelf life! Given that only a very small amount of alcohol is consumed when we use a herbal tincture, it s a very safe and effective way of deliver our favorite herbal remedies.  They are extremely fast acting because alcohol can enter our bloodstream quickly. Our tongue and cheeks contain capillaries which quickly absorb the alcohol. This means that when we place some drops under the tongue were not actually digesting the extract, rather, its entering our bloodstream almost immediately to deliver the tinctures potent properties. This allow only a very small dose is required to reap the benefits.

This should give you a base understanding of why we choose to use both glycerin and alcohol based tinctures. Please leave any question in the comments below and we will do our best to answer you promptly!

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Herbs To Support Digestive System

Herbs To Support Digestive System

German Chamomile 

Anti inflammatory, anti histamine, antisepamodic, anti ulcer, bitter, carminative, digestive anxiolytics nerving, sedative, vulnerary, diaporetic anti-microbial 

Used in this system as: A soothing, cooling, anti-spasmodic healing herb with an affinity for conditiona of the digestive system that are trigged or worsened by stress. It has been used for digestive upsets, infections of the digestive system, IBS, wind and colic, indigestion and heartburn, nausea and vomiting and for ulcerations. Also helps headaches, calming nervous system, helps respiratory infectionss. 

Dose: Two teaspoons of the dried herb per cup of boiled water for an infusion, to be taken up to 3 times a day. 1-4 ml of a 1:5 tincture up to three times a day. 


Analgesic, antacid, antiemetic, anti inflammatory, anti ulcer, astringent, carminative, stomachic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, anti rheumatic, urinary antiseptic, diuretic and calming. 

Used in this system as: a balancing antacid which I’ll normalcies acid picturing in the stomach. It calms and soothes the digestive tract, easing nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. A gentle remedy for children’s digestive issues. It has been shown to promote the healing of ulcers and other damage to the digestive mucus. Addressing joint conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism where it can ease pain and swelling and promotes the healing of connective tissue. It can be used in minor urinalysis tract infections to soothe, heal, disinfect and flush out the bladder. It’s an appreciable pain killer for many courses of pain including musculoskeletal pain, uterine pain and headache. Some consider it calming to the nervous system and therefor can be used in the same way as German Chamomile. 

Dose: one to two tsp of the dried herb per cup of boiling water for an infusion, taken up to three times a day. 2-4 ml of the 1:5 tincture taken up to 3 times a day. 


Dandelion Root 

Gentle laxative, digestive, cholagogue, hepatic, bitter tonic, depurative, antirheumatic anti inflammatory 

Used in this system as: 

A gentle laxative for short term and especially chronic constipation, which works by stimulation the production and flow of bile. it is a bitter and therefor primes the digestive system, promoting the release of digestive secretions and aiding a weak digestive process. It may help nausea and vomiting of pregnancy and when caused by poor fat digestion or overindulgence. It helps the liver, therefore supports elimination and detoxification.  Helping the body deal with hormones following pregnancy. Used as a bitter tonic on skin condition including acne and boils. To help conditions such as rheumatism by supporting the eliintory organs of the body and by reducing inflammation. 

Dose: 2-3 tsp of dried root per cup, boiled to make a decoration and taken up to 3 times a day. Up to 5ml of a 1:5 tincture taken up to three times a day. 


Yellow or Curly Dock

Laxative, diuretic, astringent, bitter, cholagogue, hepatic, alternative, depurative, tonic

Used in this system as: a stimulation laxative for short term and chronic constipation, with a more balanced action than other potent anthraquinone laxative herbs. Such is its balanced action it can even be used to manage diarrhea. It’s bitters can stimulate sluggish digestion and its hepatic actions mean herbatlists use it to support the liver when it is struggling or diseased. Conditions where the body benefits from an increased removal of toxins via the eliminators organs- hence tits use in headache, skin conditions and arthritis and rheumatism. Herbalists may use it in cases of anemia, not just for its iron content but because its bitterness promotes goof digestion and absorption, thus helping the body obtain and use dietary iron. 

Dose: 1-2 tsp of the dried root per cup of water to be boiled for a decoration which may be taken up to 3 times a day. 1-2 ml of the 1:5 tincture taken up to 3 times a day. 



Astringent, digestive, cholagogue, hepatic, carminative, antispasmodic, diaporetic, emmenagogue, vulnerary and calming

Used in this system as: an aromatic bitter remedy that soothes the gut and relives pain, wind and spasms, whilst also promoting optimal digestion through its bitterness. A tonic for the digestive system, helping it to recover from inflammation or infection. A superb remedy for childhood diarrhea and stomach bugs, whilst in adulthood it can be very useful for IBS and nervous indigestion and stress-related digestive issues. Sapaoci coughs in the respiratory system and spasmodic pain and cramping in the genitourinary system. 

Dose: 1-2 tsp of the dried herb per cup of boiled water to make an infusion which up to 3 times a day. 1-4 ml of the 1:5 ml tincture up to 3 times a day. 



Antiemetic,antispasmodic, digestive, carminatie, anti imflammatory, diaphoretic, decongestant, antimicrobial, circulatory stimulant, analgesic, nerving. 

Used in this system as: a superb agent for easing spasm in conditions like IBS and other spasmodic continents of the gut. it eases pain and bloating in conditions like indigestion, heartburn, colic, flatulence and constipation. It helps ease nausea and vomiting from various sources. It helps protect, soothe and encourage the repair of the digestive system thanks to its tannins and the anti-inflammatory actions. It’s nerving actions make it applicable for digestive issues with a link to tension, stress or anxiety. Also used for colds, flu and multitude of other viral infections where it help to manage fevers, ease pain and alleviate congestion, nausea and vomiting. The diluted essential oil of the plant is also used by herbalists and makes a useful application for headaches, musculoskeletal and uterine issues were there is tension, spasm and pain. it penetrating aromatic nature helps to focus the mind and clear “brain fog” when people are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, thus improves focus.

Dose: 1 tsp of the dried herb per cup of boiled water to make an infusion, whic cab be taken up 3 times a day. 1-2 ml of the 1:5 tincture up to 3 times a day. 



Carminative, digestive, galactagogue, antispasmodic

Used in this system as: a very useful aromatic carminative to ease wind, pain, spam and colic in infants, children and adults alike. Often the first herb a herbalist will turn to in such cases as its so effective. The digestive benefits can be passed on to a breastfeeding infant through a mothers milk – so she can drink an infusion to treat her baby. 

Also used for encouraging the flow of milk in breastfeeding mothers. It can soothe and moisten a rly, spasmodic cough. Some herbalists find that it has a similar effect on the nervous system to German chamomile, helping to calm and soothe fretful infants and children and encouraging sleep. 

Dose:  1-2 tsp of the dried seed, crushed, per cup of boiled water to make an infusion, taken up to 3 times a day. 2-4 ml of 1:5 tincture taken up to 3 times a day. 



Anti emetic, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, diaphoretic, circulatory stimulant, anti inflammatory, analgesic, expectorant, immune system tonic, antimicrobial, emmenagogue

Used in this system as: a warming, aromatic digestive which calms the system, easing pain, nausea, vomiting, groping, wind and bloating. It can, therefore, be used in cases of diarrhea, IBS, during and after upset stomach and stomach bugs. It promotes appetite and encourages normal digestion. It is one of our best known herbal anti emetics, showing itself beneficial in nausea and vomiting use to motion sickness, morning sickness and post operative nausea and vomiting too. Also used for stimulating the circulatory system, helping those with poor circulation and issues such as chilblains and Raynaud’s. It’s a wonderful warming aromatic for using during coughs and colds, helping the body to bring up music, while easing spasm (this is why we use it in our Cough and Congestion Tincture). Very good for managing a fever when you cant move past the “chilled phase (why we use it in our Fever, Cold and Flu Tincture). It’s impressive antimicrobial nature makes it applicable across a variety of infection. Its an effective anti-inflammatory and can be used for inflammation across the body, including in the joints. It can help promote men’s traction when this is delayed or scanty and its warming, analgesic nature makes it useful both internally and externally for period pains. 

Dose: 1-2 tsp of fresh ginger, or one of dried per cup of boiled water to make and infusion , taken up to 3 times a day. 1-3 ml of a 1:5 tincture taken up to 3 times a day. 



Astringent, amtseptic, anti-inflammatory 

Used in this system as: a powerful astringent for diarrhea, used with a very light touch and for serve cases of diarrhea only. Here it can be very effective. Also used for soothing inflammation in cases of tonsillitis, pharyngitis and laryngitis and mouth or gum infections. 

Dose: 1 tsp of the dried bark boiled in one cup of water and this can be gargles, or, for diarrhea, this can be drunk a few mouthfuls at a time, taking no more than three capfuls worth a day. 1 ml of the 1:5 tincture up to three times a day 


Milk Thistle 

Hepatoprtective, hepatic, anti-imflammatory, cholagogue, bitter tonic, digestive, astringent, demulcent, galactogogue, diuretic, diaphoretic 

Used in this system as: an extraordinary agent for protection the liver from disease, the damaging effects of alcohol and drugs, toxins and poisoning, working by making liver cells more resilient. It than stimulates the repair of hepatocytes. It’s also used in gallbladder issues. Traditionally it has been used as a liver tonic, helping to support the digestive system as a whole. It’s an excellent herb to use when someone has difficulties digesting fats. Also used for encouraging milk production and flow in breastfeeding mothers. Thanks to the livers rol in detoxification, this herb is employed for skin conditions where a “toxic” element was traditionally implicated eg ance, boils and psoriasis. It’s a good anti-inflammatory and can be used for inflammation across the body. Its used by some herbalists to mange candida because they consider it a beneficial agent for the gut flora. 

Dose: this is one of the herbs where its wise to use a standardized extract to ensure good therapeutic dose of the liver-active active sensitive to. A dose of 600 mg per day of an extract standardized to 80 per cent silymarin can be used therapeutically to address the sort of issued mentioned above. For long term, liver protections action, a dose of 175 mg is suggested. If you wish to use the dried seed instead you’re required around 15 grams of the seed per day to achieve the therapeutic dose of silymarin  

Making Tinctures

Making tinctures is an amazing thing to do. Creating your own medicinal remedies right in your kitchen. The sweet smell of the herbs drying, looking though that clear glass container unto the soaking herbs, knowing that each and every plant is created to have a purpose in your body. Aiding and supplying things your body needs. A course of cells transformation through your blood stream into each organ. Its truly astonishing what we are given and what we can do with it. I wont dig too deep into all the chemical compounds and the other nerdy detail (maybe in another post). But really look outside! All those ‘weeds’ they can all be used for different things!! Dandelion for example, they grow EVERYWHERE, here in the midwest. Go outside, get the roots to the flower, clean off the dirt, throw into a glass container with some 80 proof alcohol. BAM! You got yourself a liver cleanse tincture. Its seriously THAT easy. The amount of goodness that comes out of this earth is incredible, all you need to do is look for it. God has provided all of this for us! We need only to go out and get it.

We will make this quick and simple
I persoanlly perfer alcohol tinctures. They last over 5 years, you get more medicinal properties exacted and you can notice it react faster with your body.

For a Alcohol Tincture,

1 quart mason jar – with air tight lid
2 cups herbs – you can mix a blend up or use one kind
3 cups 80 proof Alcohol (I prefer vodka, some prefer brandy)

Clean out your mason jar and dry it out. Add the herbs and fill the jar with your alcohol base. I generally add it so there is an 2-3 inch of liquid above the herbs. But it also depends on what type of herbs your using, some soak up more than others. You will be shaking up the herbs once a day for two weeks. When you do this watch the liquid level if you see there herbs soaked up most of your liquid (should be within the first day or two) add more. Yes there is a way to do this but its also an art. Make it fun and make sure your herbs are well covered with the alcohol so you don’t get any mold growth.
After two weeks of shaking you can strain and start taking! mmm.. delicious..

For a Vegetable Glycerin Tincture.

1 quart mason jar – with air tight lid
2 cups herbs – you can mix a blend up or use one kind
2 cups vegetable glycerin
3/4 cup distilled water

I always go a little heavy on the liquid here because this isn’t something you can just add a little more, well you could, but its messy and you got to figure out the right 3/1 ratio with the vegetable glycerin and water. On that note, using vegetable glycerin you need to dilute it with water because its very very thick. This also helps the herbs soak. So clean out your jar, dry it off. STOP! Its different here…Add the glycerin, add the water and MIX WELL! Than go head and add your herbs and shake or stir. Soaking time would be 4-6 weeks for a good potent tincture, shaking every day, for at least 2 weeks.

Its fairly simple and generally speaking hard to mess up. Even though I have in the past… Its an art, the more you do it the easier it is pull it all together. The best part about doing it yourself is you can make 3- 1 cup single herb tinctures test out each one, see how YOUR body reacts to it and than create a blend just for you.

Hope you enjoyed this little post! Until next time!
Mariah McDowell