Valerian was named for the physician Valerius, one of the first to use the plant medicinally. Around the eleventh century, Anglo-Saxon leeches recommend its use in battling menstrual cramps. It was called Amantilla during the middle ages, and there is a recipe which recommends the use of a tea made from “the juice of Amantilla id est Valeriana,” to bring about peace between warring factions. Chaucer refers to the plant as Setwall.
Traditionally, valerian was used more often for medicine than magic, but there are still some uses for it in spellwork.
Valerian may smell raunchy, but it’s also known as a plant of love and protection. Hang it in your home to protect against natural disasters, such as lightning strikes or fire. If you’re a woman, pin a sprig to your shirt to attract men your way. Quarrels can be resolved in a home by placing valerian leaves around the perimeter of the house.
If you are fighting with a family member, try putting a sprig of valerian in each corner of your home. Putting it over each door will prevent strife and discontent from entering — but be warned – some people find that the smell of valerian reminds them of cat urine.
Other Names: All-heal, Heliotrope, St. George’s herb, Amantilla, Setwall
Deity Connection: Aphrodite, Venus
Planetary Connection: Venus
If you’re a gardener, valerian tends to attract earthworms, which are great for your soil. This has to do with the levels of phosphorus produced by the plant’s roots, so if you need wormy dirt, plant some valerian.