No matter how many diverse and beautiful plant species nature can produce, there will always be those that look similar or mimic each other. This is extremely evident in the case of the valerian plant. True valerian is a plant that has been used in medicine making for centuries, and while its advantages may not be as numerous as clove oil uses for instance, that has no effect on how effective this little plant can be.
The problem with plants, although few consider it a problem, is that they aren’t only used medicinally; many are used as ornamental decorations simply because they are attractive to look at. Such is the case with the red valerian, as it’s known, although it is actually more commonly referred to as Jupiter’s beard. This flower twin has no medicinal properties. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s just for show, both the leaves and the roots can be consumed either fresh or boiled or in a stew. However, when it comes to the potent power of the true valerian herb, the confused counterpart barely holds a candle.
The genuine white valerian plant has many health benefits. It is most well known for both its ability to induce sleep and also for the more recently explored valerian anxiety link. It has been suggested that the valerian extract, when combined with hops, can help divert irritability and anxiousness as well. One of the most profound points that is often made about the valerian plant is its safety, as valerian uses create few side effects, and even larger (but still controlled) dosages seem to pose almost no health risks.
Considering that both the fake valerian and the real both come in the color white, look very similar and grow in analogous areas, it is easy to see how people can assume they are the same valerian plant and can provide the same benefits, however this cannot be further from the truth. True valerian comes in pink or white, not red, and will never be referred to as Jupiter’s beard. One thing that is certain however is that no matter if you have the genuine real deal or the phony; select red, white or pink, you will have a beautiful plant to enhance any garden or landscape. More thoughtful decision making is necessary however if you are trying to decide whether to turn your garden fixture into a salad or a sedative.