DIY Homemade Valerian Tea

For an herb whose medicinal properties scientists still fiercely debate over, valerian has seen a mind-blowing number of applications. Galen, the ancient Roman pharmacist, surgeon and philosopher, named it “phu” after its pungent smell, prescribing it as a cure for insomnia.

This perennial herb protected bridegrooms from the evil eye of elves during the Middle Ages and came to be used as popular European perfume extract in the 17th century.

Native Americans turned to valerian as a substitute for flour; Germans used it as a coffee substitute; and the British used it as base for soup.

During World War I, soldiers and civilians used it to relieve stress and anxiety.

Valerian Tea

Having trouble with insomnia, anxiety or migraines?

Taking some valerian tea every other day can help to get you back in top form.

The tea’s pungent smell might not be for everyone, but its curative effects are more than enough reason to take the time and effort to brew it. Here’s one way to brew valerian tea:

What you will need:

  • 1 teaspoon of dried valerian root
  • Stainless steel or ceramic kettle
  • 8oz of hot water and tap water
  • A tea pot
  • A strainer
  • Milk (optional)
  • Raw honey (optional)
  • Sweetener (optional)


  • Fill the tea pot with hot tap water in order to prepare the container.
  • Pour about 6-8oz of filtered water into the kettle and boil until bubbles form and burst rapidly.
  • Drain the tea pot of tap water, add valerian root then pour in the boiled kettle water. Cover the tea pot with a lid.
  • Let it steep for around 10-15 minutes. The steep time is so long because valerian roots are hardy, unlike more delicate flowers and shrubs, and it takes time for its medicinal properties to infuse with the water.
  • Uncover and place a strainer over a cup. Pour the tea down in order to separate the leaves from the liquid.
  • Let it cool for a while before serving.
  • Add milk, honey or sweetener to your heart’s content.


One way to facilitate the release of medicinal components into your tea is to use an infusion device such as a heat seal tea bag or a tea ball.

Fill your infusion device with valerian root then steep in boiled water. This arguably produces better results than loose leaf steeping. While handling the roots, beware that they can give off an unpleasant smell when dry.

As ornamentation for the garden of your new cottage home, valerian with its bright cherry-vanilla flowers attracts equally colorful butterflies.

As a protector of medieval Swedish bridegrooms against the evil eye of elves, it has no equal. If you find yourself suddenly impecunious and can no longer afford coffee or flour, then valerian is an ideal substitute.

And as a medicinal herb that makes your nights easier, valerian is a true friend. Grow valerian in your herb garden.

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