Some of the Herbs that can help you Sleep better

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Millions of people across the world have a tough time falling asleep. 14% of the global population suffers from sleeping problems. According to the reports published by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicines, every year the United States experience the GDP loss of $16 billion per year due to employees’ poor efficiency and productivity. It has been found that most of these workers suffer from mild to severe insomnia. In 2008, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that approximately 28 % of American citizens suffer from apnea. Sleeplessness can occur due to many factors, such as emotional stress, responsibilities, and work related tensions. Or it could be certain medications or chronic medical conditions that can contribute to sleeplessness. Consumption of alcohol, junk foods, caffeine or nicotine or usage of computers, cell phones or TV before bed-time can make it arduous to fall asleep. There are medications to treat sleeping disorder and natural herbs that can help one relax and indulge in a refreshing sleep. Herbs are natural but one should take them after talking to a medical expert, as otherwise they can have adverse effects on health. 

 

 

 

How can the herb Valerian help in treating sleeping disorders?

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is one of the most commonly used herbs for treating insomnia and sleep disorders. Valerian contains multiple active compounds such as alkaloids (shyanthine, chatinine, actinidine, valerine, and valerianine), isovaleramide, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), isovaleric acid, iridoids (isovaltrate and valtrate), valerenic acid and flavanones(6-methylapigenin, hesperidin, and linarin). Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) acts like a sedative on the brain and central nervous system. Even though, Valerian is considered safe, it must be used with caution. Regular dosage of 600 mg or less is considered safe. Over consumption of valerian (more than 900 mg) may cause daytime drowsiness and have an adverse effect on the power of concentration. Every person encompasses a totally different sensitivity and can experiment with what proportion of valerian tincture works for them. Pregnant and nursing females and kids beneath the age of three and should avoid this herb.

 

 

 

What is the role of the herb Chamomile to alleviate sleeping difficulties?

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is a common herb used to stimulate sleep, treat anxiety and mental stress. According to National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Chamomile is rich in wide variety of active ingredients such as terpene bisabolol, chamazulene, farnesene, flavonoids (quercetin, apigenin, patuletin and luteolin) and coumarin. Terpene bisabolol is responsible for inducing sleep. People allergic to chrysanthemums, ragweed, marigolds, and daisies must avoid Chamomile. Common reaction symptoms include skin irritations, rashes, shortness of breath, throat swelling, and chest pain. These symptoms must be addressed with prompt medical attention.

 

 

 

What are the benefits of the herb Kava Kava?

Kava Kava (Piper methysticum) is an intoxicating pepper, native to the Pacific. Both leaves and roots are used in traditional medicine for inducing sleep. The extract, made from pulverized root, has relaxing and soporific effect. However, Kava does not cause a hangover. Kava is impregnated with at least 15 active psychoactive ingredients including kavalactones (a type of lactone compound). The kavalactones stimulate Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) activity but do not alter levels of serotonin and dopamine in the central nervous system. Additionally, desmethoxyyangonin (a category of kavalactone) increases dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens. This is responsible for causing euphoric mood amongst the users. Although this herb aids in managing insomnia, there are issues concerning “liver injury”. It is still unclear whether the herb kava itself causes liver injury or it solely occurs when kava is mixed with different medication or herbs. 

 

 

 

What herbal tea is good for insomnia or light sleeping?

  • Motherwort Tea (Leonurus cardiaca) has been used by ancient Greek and Roman healers to treat stress and depression. Ancient Chinese believed that this herb may extend human lifespan. Motherwort tea is found to be effective in treating sleep disturbances and insomnia. It contains the alkaloid leonurine, which is a mild sedative, vasodilator, nervine, cardiac tonic, and an emmenagogue. Motherwort tea has a very sharp bitter taste. For making Motherwort Tea, add 1-2 teaspoons of dried Motherwort herb with one cup of boiling water. Steep 10 minutes. An individual can safely drink up to two cups per day. One can also add sugar, honey, and lemon to improve flavor. Children under age 2 should not consume Motherwort Tea.
  • Catnip Tea (Nepeta cataria) is a powerful sedative and natural digestive aid. The herb contains potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamins A, B, and C, manganese, phosphorus, iron, selenium, and sodium. The Catnip Tea’s calming properties help to relieve anxiety, stress, insomnia and migraines. Being a natural antacid, Catnip Tea also helps with diarrhea, colic, stomach cramps, and flatulence. To prepare Catnip Tea, add a cup of hot (not boiling) water to 1-2 tsp of dried catnip leaves and flowers. Wait for 10-15 minutes. To sweeten the herbal concoction and mitigate the slightly-woodsy taste, you may add honey and lemon.
  • Passion flower Tea (Passiflora incarnata) is native to the tropical regions of South America. It was widely used by the Aztecs for its tranquilizing, and anti-anxiety properties. Active constituents namely harmaline and harmine are responsible for the sedative effects of this herb. Aromatic and flavorful Passion flower tea can be easily made by adding 1 tsp of dried herbs to 1 cup of boiling water. Steep the mixture for approximately 10 minutes. 

 

 

 

What are Dream Pillows?

Dream pillows are also called comfort pillows. Characteristically, these pillows are filled with relaxing aromatic herbs like lavender, hops, rosemary and passionflower which helps to calm frayed nerves and induce sound sleep like a baby. These days, you can easily make a dream pillow for yourself or others.

Materials needed:

  • Two pieces of silk or satin fabric (each measuring 6" by 11"),
  • Unspun cotton balls
  • 1 Needle
  • 1 Reel of Thread
  • Mesh Bag
  • Aromatic dried herbs of your choice
  • A string
  1. Sew three sides of the fabric together. 
  2. Take the mesh bag and fill it with dried aromatic herbs and flowers of your choice. You can also add few drops of Orris Root Essential Oil. It is considered as perfect fixative in dream pillows.
  3. Tightly close the bag with a string.
  4. Glide the herb-filled mesh bag inside the pillow.
  5. Slide unspun cotton balls around the bag. Avoid over-stuffing because the herbs need space to release their magical aroma.
  6. You can make your pillow washable and refillable by sewing some Velcro on the open end of the pillow. Lie on your hand-made dream pillow and let the soothing scents carry you off to dreamland.

 

To read on herbs that can help with different ailments, click below:


Herbs that can help with Blood pressure

Herbs to treat Menopause symptoms

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