Valerian, or Valeriana, L. a genus of plants, comprehending 22 species; 4 being indigenous, and of Which the following are the most remarkable:
2. The officinalis, or Great Wild Valerian, is perennial; grows in hedges, woods, and marshes; where it flowers in the month of June. The leaves of this vegetable are eaten by cows, but are not relished by sheep : its roots are very grateful to cats, and particularly to rats ; on which account they are frequently employed by rat-catchers, for enticing those vermin. And, though the roots of this plant have a strong, disagreeable smell, and a bitterish, sub-acrid taste, yet they are successfully given in hysterical cases, either in the form of an infusion, or in powder ; and have also occasionally proved beneficial in obstinate epilepsies. - BergiUs recommends them as diuretic, sudorific, and vermifuge. - Dr. Withering remarks, that they are an excellent medicine in cases of habitual cos-tiveness, having afforded relief, where stronger purgatives were ineffectual. The dose varies from 1 to 2 drams, in the form of an infusion ; or from 1 scruple to a dram of the powder to adults.