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Valerian Dreams

Common Valerian

I’ve been drinking a cup of valerian root tea on occasion when I think I might have trouble sleeping.

Man. Anyone who is skeptical of natural remedies should try this. The stuff works. Most of the time, anyway. The first three times I took it, I felt a strong sedative effect, and had no problem going to sleep early. Last night it wasn’t so effective, perhaps because I didn’t let it steep as long, but when I finally got to bed at my usual time, I slept soundly.

As an interesting side effect, I’ve enjoyed some unusually vivid dreams. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I’ve remembered my dreams more vividly. A few weeks ago I dreamed that Antonie Batiste and Big Chief Lambreaux (characters on HBO’s Treme) were making a sculpture out of tomato paste. This morning I was a soap inspector living in a giant tree.

But last week I remembered way more. I was looking through some old stuff and had my memory jogged about a defunct social network service I had used years ago. It was a minor flash in the pan, similar to Twitter, but before Twitter. It was called Rsslssnss or something equally ridiculous and unpronounceable. I looked it up on Wikipedia and was intrigued to learn the inventor was residing in New Orleans. He was just a teen at the time but now would be a young adult. For reasons I can no longer discern, I tracked down his address and went to pay him a visit.

He wasn’t home, but somehow I gained access to the house (which seemed more California-style than anything around here) and soon found myself perched in front of his iMac looking through his files. He came up behind me and tapped my shoulder and didn’t seem mad at my blatant violation of his privacy. We talked for a while and when it was time to go I discovered my shoes were missing. He loaned me a mismatched pair of shaggy Day-Glo slippers. One was green, the other orange with heel. I thanked him and went on my way.

That’s it. Certainly not the strangest or most profound dream I’ve ever had, but my memory of it was very vivid. Some quick net searching indicates I’m not the only one who’s noticed this effect from valerian root.

Xy will want me to note that the root stinks to high heaven. It smells like toejam. It’s so nasty that I have to keep the tea bags, which are already in a foil packet, sealed inside a plastic bag. Of course I could just buy some sort of encapsulated formulation but where’s the fun in that?

Common Valerian / Willie Angus / BY-NC 2.0

Published inDreamsDrugz


  1. I’ve been using valerian on an off for years now. I haven’t had the need to take it lately, but it also works as an anti-anxiety medicine. The best part is that capsules are available at Wally world! Great post, Bart.

  2. I drink Kava tea for sleepy relaxation, but no vivid dream memories. Typo: You wrote “just a kind” instead of “just a kid.” This sentence makes me laugh out loud: “This morning I was a soap inspector living in a giant tree.” I would love for that to be my Facebook status, if only it were true for me.

  3. Peris Peris

    Wow, those dreams don’t sound much different than many of your waking moments you’ve described!

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