Valerian Valeriana officinalisBack
Valerian is native to Europe and Asia and is a food source to many species of the butterfly. Valerian root has a particularly distinctive smell, often likened to old socks! Interestingly, many cats love the smell of this herb and it was believed to have been used by the Pied Piper of Hamelin to persuade the rats to follow him out of the town. Despite its smell, Valerian was traditionally used to sweeten the smell of clothes and as a base for perfume.
The roots can also be added to compost heaps to speed up the bacterial activity and shorten the time needed to make the compost.