Valerian Root Oil [Valeriana officinalis] – A steam-distilled oil from the roots of Valeriana officinalis [ISO norm 9235 code A2.12] sourced from Europe, mainly comprised of terpenes and oxygenated terpenes such as bornyl acetate, camphene and pinenes, with minor components of sesquiterpenes such as α-Humulene, and oxygenated sesquiterpenes such as Valeranal. This produces a clear, pale-brown oil with a rich, warm, earthy, herbaceous aroma reminiscent of thyme in its acidity.
The chief constituent of valerian is a yellowish-green to brownish-yellow oil present in the dried root, varying in content from 0.5 to 2.0%. This variation in quantity may be determined by location; a dry, stony soil yields a root richer in oil than moist, fertile soil. The volatile oils that form the active ingredient are pungent, somewhat reminiscent of well-matured cheese. Though some people remain partial to the earthy scent, some find it unpleasant, comparing the odour to that of unwashed feet.