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This interesting plant has attractive foliage and flowers, therefore it is no surprise that it is occasionally cultivated in flower gardens; it is also cultivated in medicinal herb gardens. When the pulverized roots of Garden Valerian are consumed, they exert hypnotic, sedative, and anti-spasmodic effects in the human body. It is thought that neurologically active chemicals in the roots affect the GABA neurotransmitter system and possibly other neurotransmitter systems within the brain to produce these effects. Unlike native Valeriana spp. (Valerian species), Garden Valerian has odd-pinnate leaves (or deeply pinnatifid leaves) from top to bottom. The lower leaves of native Valerian species are either undivided or less so.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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