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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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