Sleep Disorders, Sleep Remedies & Insomnia Relief


Herbs To Help Insomnia


Kava is the name given by Pacific islanders to both Piper methysticum, a shrub belonging to the pepper family Piperaceae, and also the beverage made from it.

Piper methysticum can be found growing in abundance primarily in western Polynesia, especially in Samoa and Tonga, and most of Melanesia, including Fiji. It can also be found in Pohnpei Island, in Micronesia.

Kava can be purchased at health food stores as a standardized extract and as a convenient method of anxiety relief as it is quick acting and extremely potent.

Some vendors have packaged high-powered Kava mixtures in convenient mini spray bottles. These are handy to keep in a knapsack or purse and are highly effective for providing a quick burst of relaxation. Just one or two quick sprays under the tongue can do wonders for tension and jitters.

If you plan on purchasing raw root, it is a good idea to purchase whole, top grade lateral root.

According to Michael Tierra L.Ac., O.M.D., Founder of the American Herbalists Guild -- "Because of its relative safety, the effective daily dose of kava is wide ranging from 70 mg to 200 mg of kavalactones, which are recognized as the major biochemical anti-anxiety constituents. To promote a deep restful sleep one should take a dose of from 150 mg to 200 mg. approximately 20 or 30 minutes before retiring."

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is an herbaceous perennial in the mint family. It occurs naturally in southern Europe and northern Africa where it grows in roadsides, landfills and disturbed lands from sea level into the mountains.

It can be grown in any well-drained soil; it is particularly tolerant of poor, sandy soils and can withstand the full force of the sun.

Lemon Balm has effective sedative action and is typically made into a pleasant, lemony-tasting tea.

Try making a tea with 2 teaspoons of dried lemon balm per cup of boiling water. Steep the tea for 10 minutes, strain, and drink right before going to bed.

Passion Flower

Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) is a flowering plant that is indigenous to an area from the southeast U.S. to Argentina and Brazil.

It gets its name from the fact that it reminded the early pilgrims of the suffering (or passion) of Christ.

Passion flower is sometimes referred to as Apricot Vine, Passion Vine, Granadilla, Maracoc and Maypops. It has been used historically as a tranquilizer and tobacco substitute (among other things).

In addition to having a profound effect on the central nervous system, passion flower also acts as an anti-spasmodic on the smooth muscles of the body, including the entirety of the digestion system, which accounts for its ability to ease and promote digestion.

It is considered by some to be the herb of choice for treating intransigent insomnia. Passion flower does not have any ill side effects and when used for insomnia results in a restful, relaxing sleep with no grogginess the next morning.

It is non-addictive and can be used in both children and the elderly without complication.

When used for its medicinal purposes, the entire plant can be used. It is typically collected after some of the berries have matured, then dried whole.

To brew an effective passion flower tea: pour a cup of boiling water onto a teaspoonful of the dried herb and let infuse for l5 minutes. Drink a cup half an hour before going to bed.

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