Herbal or natural sleep aids are a great alternative for prescription drugs. It is a natural treatment for those suffering from insomnia. There are herbs which can be taken alone or in combination with other herbs to get a good and sound sleep without worrying about any side effects. In this article we list some of these useful herbs.
- Valerian or Valeriana officinalis: This herb has been traditionally used as a sleeping aid and is a natural remedy for insomnia. It contains valium and eases anxiety, muscle and nervous tension. The herb can also be used in combination with other herbs with sedative properties. If you take a high dose then the possible side effects include nausea, headaches, dizziness, weakened heartbeat and paralysis. Do not combine this herb with pharmaceutical medicines which promote relaxation or slow response time.
- Chamomile or Matricaria recutita: Chamomile is a safe herb which can be used by both adults and children. You can rink chamomile tea to treat insomnia. It imparts a soothing effect, reduces restlessness and aids sleep. The herb also aids digestion. The active substances in chamomile include a falconoid, apigenin, a volatile oil and some other components. There are no side effects when using this herb and it is not addictive. People who are allergic to ragweed or daisies must avoid this.
- Kava or Piper methysticum: This herb is a popular remedy for insomnia. It induces a feeling of calm and well-being. The herb relaxes the body and enhances dreaming. Long term use of this herb is not recommended as it can damage the liver.
- Passion flower or Passiflora incarnate: The passion flower was used as a sedative by the Aztecs. It has calming and sleep inducing properties. The herb has no side effects and can be used by children and adults. It combats tension and stress, relaxes the body and mind and gives you a restful sleep. The active ingredient in this herb is harmine which, together with related compounds, prevent serotonin breakdown. It can be taken in the form of tea, tincture or capsules. Taking the herb can make the person feel very sleepy.
- Hops or Humulus lupulus: Hops is commonly used to flavor beer. It can act as a sedative as well. The herb induces a feeling of calmness; it can be used as a nervous tonic which relieves pain. The herb can be taken in the form of tincture or you can also drink it by adding it to tea. It should be avoided by people suffering from depression as it has a depressant effect
- California poppy or Eschscholzia californica: This is another widely available herb used to treat insomnia. It promotes sleep by relaxing the body and easing anxiety. It is safe for children and acts as a mild sedative.