- any plant of the genus Valeriana, as the common valerian V. officinalis, having small, fragrant flowers of white, lavender, or pink and a root that is used medicinally.
- a drug consisting of or made from the root, formerly used as a nerve sedative and antispasmodic.
Origin of valerian
- Publius Licinius Valerianus, died a.d. c260, Roman emperor 253–60.
Examples from the Web for valerian
Historical Examples of valerian
The beds were not made, and a strong odor of valerian and camphor flooded the air.Melomaniacs
This particular preparation of valerian is nepenthe for the nerves.The Bishop's Secret
Get her some valerian and some coffee, and come and remove her clothing.Remember the Alamo
Amelia E. Barr
The lieutenants of Valerian were grateful to the father, whom they esteemed.
Let them remember their own moderation, towards the unhappy Valerian.
- Also called: allheal any of various Eurasian valerianaceous plants of the genus Valeriana, esp V. officinalis, having small white or pinkish flowers and a medicinal root
- a sedative drug made from the dried roots of V. officinalis
Word Origin for valerian
- Latin name Publius Licinius Valerianus. died 260 ad, Roman emperor (253–260): renewed persecution of the Christians; defeated by the Persians
late 14c., from Old French valeriane, apparently from feminine singular of Latin adjective Valerianus, from the personal name Valerius (see Valerie); but Weekley writes, "some of the German and Scand. forms of the name point rather to connection with the saga-hero Wieland."