"Check your feet! Who stepped in it? Don't move anyone!"
The stink was overwhelming. We all felt as though we were going to hurl immediately. Coming in from exploring the desert in Moab, Utah, the inside of our RV suddenly smelled like vomit, dirty socks and wet moldy sneakers blended together. It was beyond disgusting.
My family and I all screamed and threw our sandals and sneakers out the door. The penetrating stink did not go away.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Lauren D. Ragland
Here is an example of Spring Valley natural valerian root, which is famous for relieving insomnia and promoting a restful sleep experience.
"It's you Mom! It's you! Your stinky valerian - there it is! Look!"
Thirteen-year-old Forrest was indeed correct. The proof was on the floor, a broken capsule of Valeriana officinalis. One of the Creator's biggest jokes on all naturalists (up there with dandelions) lay collapsed on the carpet. It was definitely "official" to this family that the fumes emanating were making us all feel suddenly, intensely ill.
A joke on herbalists? Yes! This is funny part - valerian is a tall stately gorgeous white or purple flowered plant with large brilliant blossoms. It also is the strongest relaxing herb grown on the planet Earth.
Valerian is fondly labeled "nature's own tranquilizer," a "natural sedative" and the "valium of the 19th century," according to "Earl Mindell's New Herb Bible," which was published in 2000. It is famous for relieving insomnia and promoting a restful sleep experience.
Dr. Harold Bloomfield, in "Healing Anxiety with Herbs," explains that the herb is excellent for inducing sleep and alleviating nightmares. It was a very popular sleep sedative in the United States until it was displaced with synthetic drugs after World War II.
It is a respected relaxant worldwide, first in India and China of course, as a cure for insomnia, nervous tension and panic attacks.
"Non-addictive with no side effects" is how Mindell describes valerian. "For centuries, it has been the treatment of choice by herbalists for nervous tension and panic attacks." It is calming, good for muscle cramps and tension and excellent for extreme emotional stress.
For restless sleeping, the suggested dosage is two 450-milligram capsules about half an hour before you plan to go to sleep for the evening. If necessary, follow up later with one more capsule.
For daily calming, try one capsule first thing in the morning, before lunch and before dinner, and see how this works for you. Tincture drops work similarly and for obvious reasons this writer will not recommend the tea!
If you are wondering how come you never heard of this information here is your answer. Valerian is cheap. It is a root and not synthetic. It is a natural herb and not a drug. You can pick up 40 capsules for $3 to $5 at any store, anywhere, any day. Just don't drink the tea!
Valerian, in my opinion, is the most intensely stinky herb that I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I could not make up the grose introduction to this story. Yes, it is definitely embarrassing, but, you read the column!
I have made many new best friends for life after sharing this story of naturally thinking, and you will too. You're welcome!
- Lauren d'Ablemont Ragland is a freelance writer living in the heart of the Monongahela National Forest in Randolph County. This column provides general health and natural healing information and is not specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).