One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A plant that typically bears clusters of small pink or white flowers. Native to Eurasia, several species have been introduced to North America.
Family Valerianaceae: several species, in particular common valerian (Valeriana officinalis), a valued medicinal herb, and the Mediterranean red valerian (Centranthus ruber), grown for its spurred flowers which attract butterflies
- ‘Plant red valerian and centranthus, with their domes of nectar-rich flowers against walls or in cracks and crevices.’
- ‘The herbs chamomile, valerian, yarrow, nettle, comfrey and dandelion can help make a success of your compost heap.’
- ‘Unless it's the drug-like catnips and valerians, most cats ignore growing things.’
- ‘Down by the pool, sown among the large white rocks that were dug out of the hillside to accommodate it, are white valerians, more grasses, lavenders and sages.’
- ‘A huge number of red and white valerian seedlings have germinated and are waiting to be thinned out, which is a bit of a chore but worth it for their frothy pink and white flowers.’
- 1.1 A drug obtained from the root of common valerian, used as a sedative and antispasmodic.
- ‘In animal and clinical studies, valerian has proven to act as a mild sedative and tranquilizer, thereby aiding sleep, even among chronic pain sufferers.’
- ‘Only one independent group has tested valerian.’
- ‘Take 75 mg of kava-kava or 150 to 300 mg of valerian, both in capsule form.’
- ‘Unlike synthetic sedatives, valerian is not considered addictive.’
- ‘An alternative remedy for insomnia is valerian, a herbal medicine that has some reported positive effects but has not been exhaustively clinically investigated.’
Late Middle English: from Old French valeriane, from medieval Latin valeriana (herba), apparently the feminine of Valerianus ‘of Valerius’ (a personal name).
(died 260), Roman emperor 253–260; Latin name Publius Licinius Valerianius. He renewed the persecution of the Christians that was initiated by Decius.
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