Here is a list of natural herbs that our team at iSleepBetter.com has tested and deemed effective in relieving daytime sleepiness and troubles falling asleep.
Passion flower, or Passiflora, derives its name from the passion of Jesus. Christian missionaries, in the 15th century, symbolized the appearance and structure of the flower with the last days of Christ. Also known as Passion Vine and Apricot Vine, it can be found growing all over the world with the exception of Antarctica andAfrica.
The flower has a wide range of beneficial properties including:
- It is popularly used as a treatment for insomnia.
- It aids food digestion by suppressing muscle spasms.
- Its effects on the central nervous system can help alleviate generalized anxiety disorders. In trials it has been shown to be as effective as Oxazepam.
- The leaves and roots of several of the species contain harmala alkaloids and beta-carboline which contain anti-depressant properties
- It can be used as a tranquilizer
When used as a treatment for insomnia, it encourages a deep and relaxing sleep without the side effects that are associated with prescription drugs. The fact that it is non-addictive and can be used by children means it is the herb of choice for many insomnia sufferers.
To prepare some passion flower tea:
- Pick some flowers after the berries have matured
- Leave until it completely dries out and then crush
- Put a teaspoon full of the dried passion flower into a cup and pour on some boiling water
- Allow it brew for about 15 minutes.
If the taste is not to your liking, try mixing the passion flower with some other calming herbs.
Lemon Balm is a member of the mint family of herbs. It is perennial which means that it lasts for more than two years. The leaves have a scent similar to mint but with a gentle lemon tinge.
Also known as Melissa Officinalis, it can be used to make a delicious lemon flavored herbal tea. As well as tasting delicious, lemon balm has the following benefits:
- Its sedative properties can reduce stress and help with problems sleeping
- Research has shown improvements in mood and mental ability
- When mixed with some other herbs to create Ob-X, It can reduce weight gain. Weight reduction is great way to improve ones sleep
- It has antiviral and antibacterial properties
To make some lemon balm tea, infuse 2 teaspoons of dried lemon balm in boiling water for 10 minutes.
Kava is a plant, belonging to the pepper family that can be found growing, amongst other places, inFiji, Polynesia,Melanesia,TongaandSamoa.
After ingesting, Kava produces a feeling of relaxation and wellbeing that lasts for around two and a half hours, though the effects can last for a whole day. It can be purchased in health food shops as a powdered root extract or in the form of a spray which is applied under the tongue for the quick relief of anxiety.
To encourage a good night’s sleep, it is recommended to start with a dose of 150mg around 25 minutes before bedtime. If this is not effective enough, gradually increase the dosage up to a maximum of 200mg.
Kava can also be purchased as a pre-prepared soft drink also known as a Kava Cola or anti-energy drink. The following describes how to prepare your own Kava beverage:
- Add one tablespoon of Kava root powder, per cup, to a blender
- Leave to soak for 30 minutes.
- Blend for several minutes
- Use a cheesecloth or similar to strain the mixture into another container
- Throw away the remaining pulp that is left in the cheesecloth
- To improve the flavour, add sugar, cocoa, lemongrass and coconut milk
Honey has been used for centuries as an aid to sleeping. Additionally, it can help hay fever sufferers get to sleep at night during the high pollen count evenings of the summer.
Honey is often added when drinking an herbal tea or can simply be mixed with some soothing warm milk.
Here’s how to make your own insomnia-busting honey drink:
Add 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 drop of vanilla extract to a cup of warm milk. Prepare shortly before going to bed, drink, and enjoy a deep relaxing night’s sleep!
Hops, the main ingredient of beer, are found throughout Europe, theUSA,ChinaandNew Zealand. Although primarily used as flavouring in beer, they are also used widely in the field of herbal medicine because of their relaxing sedative properties.
Because the non-brewed flavour of hops is not to everyone’s taste, they are commonly combined with a mixture of other herbs such as valerian and chamomile when making tea.
Hops can also be used as an effective ingredient for an herbal sachet:
- Mix together 4 tablespoons of dried hops stobiles with 2 tablespoons of lavender flower and 2 tablespoons of chamomile flower
- Place the herbs into a muslin bag and add 2 or 3 drops of lavender essential oil
- Tie or sew the muslin bag to prevent any of the herbs spilling out
When finished, place the sachet near your bed or under your pillow and enjoy the soothing aromas as you place your head on the pillow for the night!
Hops are generally safe to use though there are rare cases of people suffering an allergic reaction to the pollen in the hops. If you ever sneeze whilst drinking beer then this may be a sign that you are allergic to the hops’ pollen.
The California poppy, a cousin of the opium poppy, has been used for centuries by Native Americans as a mild sedative and sleep encourager. Although related to the opium poppy, it does not contain the strong and addictive narcotic morphine and the effects of its protopine compound are far milder.
The seeds of the poppy can be used in cooking or smoked to benefit from the sedative effect.
Research into the effects of the poppy is still very much in the early days so it is advised that you seek expert guidance before usage.
To conclude this article, iSleepBetter.com insists that before adopting any type of treatment, it is always good to consult with a specialist first. Leave your impressions and comments in our forum section.
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Category: Natural Sleep Aids