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Description. We have likewise two species of this great Wild Valerian; the first has a root divided into several white thick strings, growing more downward, and less spreading than the other, of no great scent when just taken out of the ground, but smelling very strong when dry. The stalks rise to be about a yard high, hollow, and channelled, having several long winged leaves, whose pinnæ are long, sharp-pointed, and serrated about the edges, high veined, and somewhat hairy; the leaves which grow on the stalks are narrower, and less serrated. The flowers are in shape like those of the garden Valerian, of a pale purple colour, and having the like seed. This grows in woods and drier places that the other, which is larger, taller, the root more spread out, the leaves are larger, smoother, of a deeper shining green, with broader pinnæ; the stalks grow taller; the flowers are much alike. This grows in watery places, and near ditches, both flowering in May. The root of this has strong a smell as the other; they are both used promiscuously, though the former seems to come nearest Columna's figure and description in his Phytopinax.

Place. It is found on dry heaths, and in high pastures; there is another variety found very frequent about rivulets, and in marshy places, but this possesses only a small share of virtues belonging to the other.

Virtues. The roots of Valerian have a strong, and, to most people, a disagreeable smell; to the taste they are warm bitter, and a little acrid. There is no doubt but it possesses antispasmodic virtues in a very eminent degree. It is often given the advantage in hysterical cases; and there are instances of its having effecte cures in obstinate epileptic cases. In habitual constiveness it is an excellent medicine, and will frequently loosen the bowels, when other purgatives have proved ineffectual. It is excellent against nervous affections in general, such as inveterate head-achs, trembling, palpitations of the heart, vapours, and hysteria complaints. There is a tincture made from it and kept in the shops, but it is most efficacious in substance, and may be taken from half a drachm to two drachms for a dose three or four times a day.

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