The herb Tagara (known as Indian Valerian or Valeriana wallichi) is a perennial herb, found in plenty in Western Himalayas in India, and Pakistan and Afghanisthan. It is considered an important medicinal herb in Ayurveda, and is mentioned in all scriptures of Ayurveda.
Tagara is bitter, sweet, pungent and astringent in taste, and alleviates the vata, pitta and kapha doshas. The root and rhizome of the herb is used for medicinal purposes. The herb is considered to be beneficial for eyes, central nervous system, is an anti-toxin and antiepileptic, alleviates diseases of head, and is useful in hysteria. It is an analgesic, antiepileptic, and reduces blood pressure. Apart from this, the herb shows laxative, analgesic, hepato-stimulant, antispasmodic, cardio-stimulant, and CNS depressant properties, and is a sedative, appetizer and nervine tonic.
Tagara is a particularly useful herb for those suffering from insomnia, as it helps the patient to fall asleep quickly and allows them to wake up without feeling stupefied. The extract of the herb reduces brain and spinal cord irritability and is considered a good remedy for those suffering from restlessness, and stress-related anxiety, without impairing the ability to concentrate, providing a feeling of calmness.
Two teaspoons of fresh chopped root could be soaked for 8 to 10 hours in a cup of cold water. Two to three drops of peppermint water could be added, if required to disguise flavour, and could be used as a sedating brew for insomnia and anxiety.
However, it should be noted that, although the herb can be administered safely and continuously over a prolonged period, an overdose could lead to giddiness, vomiting, cold limbs, hiccup, giddiness and bradycardia. No significant side effects have been reported, except for headache or gastrointestinal complaints in rare cases.