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Harvesting, Drying And Using Valerian

Although the valerian is decorative with its pink flowers, one or the other harvests its plant parts in summer and autumn. The reason is the numerous ingredients of this plant. They are known for their healing properties and help with restlessness, sleep problems, and tension, among other things.

The right time to harvest the plant parts

Usually, the leaves of valerian are not harvested. But if you plan to B. to use it for salads, you can collect them before flowering.

Once flowering begins between June and July, it is the right time to harvest the buds. You should only dig up the roots in autumn – between the end of September and mid-October. Remember that you can harvest these in the second year at the earliest! In the first year, the roots are still too small.

In general, it is advisable to harvest in the early hours of the morning. Then the active ingredient content is highest. It is also advantageous to harvest when the moon is waxing and the weather is dry.

How to dry the flowers and roots

Anyone who has harvested large quantities is well advised to dry the roots and flowers. That’s how it’s done:

  • Hang flowers in bunches
  • hang upside down in a dark or shaded and airy place
  • Clean roots and remove root fibers
  • cut into pieces 2 to 3 cm long
  • dry in a dryer/dehydrator at 40 °C

Use the flowers – what for?

Valerian flowers, fresh or dried, can be used for a variety of purposes. There are no limits to your ideas. For example, how about:

  • Fruit salads with valerian flowers
  • a bouquet of flowers
  • a herbal bowl
  • a scented sachet
  • a tea or a cold infusion

Use the roots for tea

The roots contain the highest concentration of active ingredients. Therefore, in commercial cultivation, they are preferred for harvest. For example, you can use them for tea. To do this, it is advisable to grate or very finely chop the dried roots. Leave for 10 minutes and drink.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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