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Valeriana toluccana is a Perennial
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
Some caution is advised with the use of this plant. At least one member of the genus is considered to be poisonous raw[
] and V. officinalis is a powerful nervine and sedative that can become habit-forming.
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil[
Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
]. No further details are given but the seeds of other members of this genus are parched and then eaten.
An essential oil from the leaves and root is used as a flavouring in ice cream, baked goods, condiments etc[
]. The leaves can also be used as a condiment[
The plant is used in moderation as a herbal tea[
The whole plant, but especially the root, is antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, hypnotic, nervine (powerful), sedative, stimulant[
]. Use with caution[
An essential oil is obtained from the roots and the leaves, it is used in perfumery[
The dried root attracts rats and can be used as a bait to lure them away from other areas[
An ingredient of 'QR' herbal compost activator[
]. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost[
]. The plant can also be used to make a very good liquid plant feed[
]. It attracts earthworms[
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed because it requires light for germination[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant out into their permanent positions in the summer if sufficient growth has been made. If the plants are too small to plant out, grow them on in the greenhouse or frame for their first winter and plant them out early in the following summer.
Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.