The rhizome and roots of Valeriana officinalis Linne (nat. ord. Valerianeae).

Habitat

Europe and Northern Asia; naturalized in England; cultivated.

Characters

Rhizome from 2 to 4 cm. long, and 1 to 2 cm. thick, upright, subglobular or obconical, truncate at both ends, brown or yellowish-brown, internally whitish or pale brownish, with a narrow circle of white wood under the thin bark. Roots numerous, slender, brittle, brown with a thick bark, and slender, ligneous cord. Odor peculiar, becoming stronger and unpleasant on keeping; taste camphoraceous and somewhat bitter. Resembling Valerian. - Serpentaria, Arnica, Green Hellebore; but Valerian is known by its odor.

Composition

The chief constituents are - (1) A volatile oil, 1/2 to 2 per cent, consisting of Borneol, C10H18O, and Pinene, a terpene (see p. 516). (2) Valerianic Acid, C5H10O2. It is colorless, oily, with the odor of Valerian, and strongly acid, with a burning taste.

Solubility

In 30 parts of water; readily in Alcohol and Ether. The amount of it in Valerian increases by keeping, while that of the oil decreases. It can be derived from Amylic Alcohol, C5H120 (Valeryl Aldehyde). (3) Formic, Acetic and Malic Acids. (4) Tannic acid. (5) Resin.

Dose, 10 to 30 gr.; .60 to 2.00 gm.

Preparations

1. Extractum Valerianae Fluidum. - Fluid Extract of Valerian. By maceration and percolation with Alcohol and Water, and evaporation.

Dose, 10 to 30 m.; .60 to 2.00 c.c.

2. Tinctura Valerianae. - Tincture of Valerian. Valerian, 200; by maceration and percolation with Alcohol and Water to 1000.

Dose, 1/2 to 2 fl. dr.; 2. to 8. c.c.

3. Tinctura Valerianae Ammoniata. - Ammoniated Tincture of Valerian. Valerian, 200; by maceration and percolation with Aromatic Spirit of Ammonia to 1000.

Dose, 1/2 to 2 fl. dr.; 2. to 8. c.c.

Ammonii Valerianas. Ammonium Valerianate

Nh4c5h9o2 =118.78.

Source

By saturating Valerianic Acid with Gaseous Ammonia, obtained from a mixture of Ammonium Chloride and Lime, and crystallization.

Characters

Colorless, or white, quadrangular plates, emitting the odor of Valerianic Acid, of a sharp and sweetish taste, and deliquescent in moist air.

Solubility

Very soluble in Water and in Alcohol; also soluble in Ether.

Dose, 2 to 8 gr.; .12 to .50 gm.

Ferri Valerianas. Ferric Valerianate

Source

By precipitating a diluted solution of Ferric Sulphate, with a solution of Sodium Valerianate and washing the precipitate.

Characters

A dark, brick-red, amorphous powder of somewhat varying chemical composition, having the odor of Valerianic Acid, and a mildly styptic taste; permanent in dry air.

Solubility

Insoluble in cold water, but readily soluble in Alcohol.

Dose, 1 to 3 gr.; .06 to .20 gm.

Sodii Valerianas. Sodium Valerianate

(Not official) - Sodium Valerianate. NaC5 H9O2=123.77.

Source

Make Valerianic Acid by distilling a mixture of Amylic Alcohol, Sulphuric Acid, and Potassium Bichromate. Saturate the distillate which contains Valerianic Acid, with Caustic Soda, and evaporate.

Characters

White masses of a powerful Valerian-like odor.

Solubility

Easily in both Alcohol and Ether.

Dose, 1 to 5 gr.; .06 to .30 gm.