Valerian Essential Oil (Valeriana officinalis)


Valerian may also be referred to as garden heliotrope, common valerian or all-heal. It is typically processed using steam distilled as a method for extracting oil from the roots.


Valerian Essential Oil is steam distilled from the roots of Valeriana officinalis. This pretty plant produces pretty pinkish white flowers, but it's the roots that are responsible for the extraordinarily relaxing properties that valerian is known for.

Valerian Essential Oil is primarily used to help aid instances of insomnia, restlessness and nervous tension.

Valerian Oil is abundant in sesquiterpenes and sesquiterpenols. The composition of Valerian Oil can vary dramatically based on country of origin and growing conditions.

The aroma of Valerian Oil can be pungent and unpleasant, depending on the distillation, origin of the oil and the age of the oil. If you find the aroma to be hard to tolerate, the aroma can be softened dramatically by blending it at low dilution with other essential oils. I find that Valerian Essential Oil tends to blend well aromatically with Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Vetiver, Patchouli and Sweet Orange.

Essential Facts

  • Aroma Description:

    Balsamic Warm Woody

  • Common Name(s): garden heliotrope, common valerian or all-heal
  • Botanical Family: Caprifoliaceae
  • Botanical Genus: Valeriana
  • Major Compounds: Valerianol, Bornyl acetate, Valeranone, Valeranal, Camphene, a-Kessyl acetate, Elemol
  • Perfumery Note: Base
  • Consistency: Thin
  • Strength of Initial Aroma: Strong
  • Color: Yellowish-green to greenish-brown.
  • Indigenous Country: Base
  • Processing Methods: Steam Distilled
  • Part Typically Used: Roots
  • Vegan Vegan

Essential Details

Benefits & Uses

May be benefitial for addressing the following ailments:

Headache Indigestion Insomnia Migraine Nervous Conditions / Tension

Cautions & Safety

Cautions when using Valerian:

Tisserand and Young do not indicate any special precautions when using Valerian Essential Oil. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young,Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 461-462.]

As mentioned by Salvatore Battaglia: "Pizzorno & Murray state that there is some concern that valerian may prolong thiopental and pentobarbital-induced sleep. This indicates the need to avoid concurrent use of valerian and barbituates." [Reference: JE Pizzorno and MT Murry. Textbook of natural medicine, 4th edition. Churchill Livingston, 2013 as cited in Salvatore Battaglia, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy (Australia: The Perfect Potion, 2003), 582.]

Safety Precautions for Valerian:

Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and be sure to first read the recommended dilution ratios for children. Consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children, the elderly, if you have medical issues or are taking medications. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.