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Herbal Remedies for Insomnia

July 20th, 2010

herbal-insomnia-remedies.jpgIf you visit your doctor and complain about insomnia, he or she may prescribe a sleep aid such as Librium, Xanax or Valium. These prescription sleep aids are called benzodiazepines. They have a sedative and hypnotic effect. Benzodiazepines also have certain side effects. They can, for example, cause physical dependence. The body also develops a tolerance to these drugs, so that after a while you may need to take more to get the same impact. In addition, studies have found that people who stop taking them experience withdrawal symptoms.

Many people are reluctant to use these types of medications because of the risk of dependency and other associated side effects. If you are having trouble sleeping but don’t want to use prescription sleep aids, you might wish to consider using one of the herbal remedies for insomnia. Most of these herbal remedies have been used to treat insomnia for hundreds of years.


Chamomile is a plant from the sunflower family that is indigenous to Europe and Asia. Because the herb acts as a depressant, it is good for soothing the nerves while also supporting relaxation. Chamomile works best if made into a tea and consumed just before going to bed. Chamomile has few known side effects when taken in the recommended quantities, though it can lead to vomiting if too much is ingested. People with ragweed allergies should not use it.


Most people know that hops, a bitter flower from the hemp family, is used to brew beer. The hops plant is a climbing vine which is indigenous to Europe and Asia. Hops flowers have a sedative effect. Hops flowers reduce anxiety, calm the nerves, eliminate muscle tension, and promote restful sleep. Dried hops flowers can be made into a sachet and placed under a pillow. Alternatively some people take hops in the form of a tincture or tea. Hops should not be used by people who are suffering from depression. There is evidence to suggest that hops may increase belly fat, so it should not be used by people who are concerned about their weight.


Lavender is a shrub which is native to mountainous areas in the western Mediterranean. Like tranquilizers, lavender works by depressing the central nervous system. Hence it relieves anxiety and tension. Lavender relaxes the body and promotes a long, deep sleep. It does not cause dependency and has no known side effects. Lavender can be made into a tea. In the form of an essential oil, lavender can be used topically or added to bath water. As with other dried flowers, it can also be made into a sachet to place under a pillow.

Passion Flower

Passion flower is native to warmer regions of North America. It is an old folk remedy which is used to promote sleep, relieve anxiety, and eliminate restlessness. It is also said to have aphrodisiac properties. Passion flower can be consumed in a tea or taken in capsule form. It has no side effects when taken in the recommended dose, but should never be mixed with benzodiazepines.


Valerian grows in Europe, Asia, and North America. The roots and underground stems of the plant are used to reduce anxiety and depression. Valerian also makes it easier to drift off to sleep, as well as improving the quality of rest. It can be made into tea, but is best taken in capsule form because it has an aroma similar to sweaty socks. Valerian can cause mild side effects in some users. These side effects include stomach upsets, headaches, and next-day grogginess. Valerian should not be used for longer than six weeks.

These are just a few of the natural herbs that relieve stress and promote long, restful sleep. These herbs can be very effective, but you should consult your doctor before trying them. As with all medicines that have a sedative effect, you should not attempt to operate heavy machinery after taking any of the herbs mentioned in this article.

This article was supplied by “Whisp” from Constant Content.

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