valerian

noun

va·​le·​ri·​an və-ˈlir-ē-ən How to pronounce valerian (audio)
1
: any of a genus (Valeriana of the family Valerianaceae, the valerian family) of perennial herbs and shrubs many of which possess medicinal properties
2
: a preparation of the dried rhizome and roots of the garden heliotrope (Valeriana officinalis) used especially formerly as a carminative and sedative

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web My doctor recommended the herbal supplement valerian. Annie Lane, oregonlive, 27 Mar. 2020 Tidy boxwood hedging outlines the spring display and provides a framework for later waves of allium and lilies that bloom companionably among the roses, valerian, yarrow and other summer perennials in the small but striking space. Lorene Edwards Forkner, The Seattle Times, 13 Apr. 2019 Out of the natural or herbal supplements available (including chamomile and lavender), valerian has the most studies supporting its sleep-inducing effects, Dr. Bollu says. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, 30 Jan. 2019 Common over-the-counter sleeping medications have one of four ingredients: melatonin, diphenhydramine, doxylamine, or valerian. Yvette D'entremont, SELF, 28 Nov. 2018 In these studies, the benefits were most pronounced when people used valerian for extended periods of time, as opposed to simply taking it for one night. Sarah Jio, Woman's Day, 11 Nov. 2010 For stress and anxiety: Lavender, cedarwood, lemon, bergamot, orange, and valerian. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, 7 May 2018 In Sleepytime EXTRA, the extra stands for the actual most powerful ingredient, our narcoleptic friend valerian. Alex Beggs, Bon Appetit, 2 Mar. 2017 Ingredients like valerian and chamomile promote healthy sleep, too. Cassie Shortsleeve, Condé Nast Traveler, 19 Oct. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'valerian.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French or Medieval Latin; Anglo-French valeriane, borrowed from Medieval Latin valeriana, of obscure origin

First Known Use

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of valerian was in the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near valerian

Cite this Entry

“Valerian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/valerian. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Medical Definition

valerian

noun

va·​le·​ri·​an və-ˈlir-ē-ən How to pronounce valerian (audio)
1
: any of a genus (Valeriana of the family Valerianaceae, the valerian family) of perennial herbs many of which possess medicinal properties
2
: a preparation of the dried rhizome and roots of the garden heliotrope (Valeriana officinalis) that is used as an herbal remedy and is held to be beneficial in treating nervousness and insomnia

called also valerian root

Biographical Definition

Valerian

biographical name

Va·​le·​ri·​an və-ˈlir-ē-ən How to pronounce Valerian (audio)
died a.d. 260 Publius Licinius Valerianus Roman emperor (253–260)

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