Valeriana carnosa Sm.

  • Soledad Molares
  • Ana H. LadioEmail author
Part of the Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of the World book series (MAPW, volume 5)


Valeriana carnosa Sm. stands out as one of the key elements of the indigenous pharmacopoeia used in the extreme south of the American Continent. Its rhizomes and roots have been used since ancestral times in hepatic, respiratory, circulatory, urinary, digestive and anti-inflammatory remedies. They have also been used as painkillers, sedatives and for the treatment of cultural syndromes particular to Latin-American medicine such as the “susto” and the “evil eye”. The breadth of its reputed uses has led to its being known as “the plant that cures the seven illnesses”.

The crude drug is prepared from the roots and rhizomes, principally as a decoction. Several studies indicate that the principal active ingredients are valepotriates, lignans, flavonoids, tannins, phenolic acids and essential oils. Research carried out on V. carnosa reveals the presence of active ingredients similar to those of V. officinalis, a species found in many pharmacopoeias which is used as a sedative and sleep inducer. However, little conclusive evidence of efficacy can be provided for the remaining local uses. The key problem of various studies has been their emphasis on very few compounds, rather than traditional preparations. Much more research is required to evaluate the actual efficacy of preparations.


Valeriana carnosa Valerianaceae Subterranean organs Mapuche pharmacopoeia Ñamkulawen 


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CIEMEP (Centro de Investigación Esquel de Montaña y Estepa Patagónica)Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco-CONICETEsquelArgentina
  2. 2.Laboratorio Ecotono, INIBIOMA (Instituto de Investigaciones en Biodiversidad y Medio Ambiente)Universidad Nacional del Comahue-CONICETSan Carlos de BarilocheArgentina

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