The genus name comes from the Latin "valere", which means "to be strong" or "to be healthy", in reference to the plant's medicinal properties.
Valeriana represents health and strength.
Valeriana has been used as a medicinal plant for centuries. It has developed a reputation of powerful herbal plant. The plant has been used to treat anxiety, depression, convulsions, epilepsy, menstrual cramps, tremors, stomach ache, muscle pain and headache.
Valeriana acts like a sedative on the brain and nervous system so it has been used for treating sleep disorders and nervous tension. It relieves stress and helps one to fall asleep easier. It was used during the WWII to relieve stress from the constant bombing.
During the middle ages, Valerian was used in culinary as a spice.
Another historical use for Valerian was in perfumery. It was used for the preparation of perfumes in the 16th century.