This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Nardus Celtica diofcoridis C. B. Spica celtica & faliunca quibufdam. Valeriana celtica Tourn. & Linn. Celtic nard: a small species of valerian, with uncut, oblong, obtuse, some-what oval leaves. It is a native of the Alps, from whence the shops have been generally supplied with the dried roots, consisting of a number of blackish fibres, with the lower parts of the stalks adhering; which last are covered with thin yellow scales, the remains of the withered leaves.
This root has been recommended as a sto-machic, carminative, and diuretic: at present, it is scarcely otherwise made use of, in this country, than as an ingredient in mithridate and theriaca, though its sensible qualities promise some considerable medicinal powers. It has a moderately strong smell, of which it is extremely retentive (a), and a warm bitterish fubacrid taste, somewhat resembling those of common wild valerian: an extract made from it by rectified spirit has a strong penetrating taste, and retains in good measure the particular flavour, as well as the bitterness and pungency of the root.
(a) Linnaeus observes that this plant, in a dry herbal, has retained its fragrance above a century. Amaenitat. Academic. vol. iii. p. 71.