We can probably all agree that not being able to sleep is the worst. And unfortunately prescription sleep aids often have high risk for addiction and plague us with grogginess the next day!
Herbs can really come in handy when addressing insomnia. In fact, there are many herbs that work as sleep aids, some stronger than others!
We’ve been receiving lots of enquiries regarding natural aids for insomnia, so we wanted to put together a comprehensive list of our favourites. These herbs address insomnia in their own unique ways, so play around and find out what works best for you. The good news is, none of these herbs have a high-risk for dependency and are relatively safe to use!
Valerian root has anti-spasmodic, anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), hypnotic, and sedative properties, making it a highly effective tool for insomnia. It acts as a muscle relaxant and mild tranquilizer, resulting in a feeling of ‘floating in the air’. According to scientific research, extracts of the root appear to affect the GABA neurotransmitter receptor in mammalian nervous systems; this receptor system is the same system affected by sedative benzodiazepine drugs. Valerian can therefore likely be used as a safer alternative to benzodiazepines, assisting with treatment of stress, tension, anxiety, and insomnia.
Passionflower is a sedative and nervine herb, making it an amazing tool to use for a sound, restful sleep. Most users report waking up with a smile on their face in the mornings after a deep passionflower slumber. According to our founder Ray Thorpe, “It is a pity that doctors do not recommend Passionflower for insomnia and nervous conditions before hooking their patients on to addictive chemical sedatives…Better to have a habit of sound sleep than a habit for prescribed sleeping drugs!”
California poppy has a reputation of being a milder, non-addictive alternative to other poppies, and can be used for insomnia. When used as a tea before bed, California Poppy promotes a long, restful sleep. Sometimes it can be so effective that we recommend being in bed before taking our ‘Mellow Yellow’ tincture – the drowsiness can set in very quickly!
Mulungu has a long tradition of use in Brazil and Peru as a natural sedative for nervous disorders such as insomnia, anxiety, stress and depression. It has become one of our most popular herbs for sleep problems, and many people find it very effective. Mulungu is a strong sedating herb – it calms and sedates the nervous system to encourage deep sleep and healthy sleeping patterns. It’s also beneficial for mental disturbances such as depression, anxiety and stress, hysteria, panic, trauma and shock.
Wild Lettuce is a valuable remedy for insomnia and restlessness. As an antispasmodic and nervine, this relaxing herb can be beneficial for people needing help to get to sleep, calm restlessness or anxiety, and even as an aid when overcoming tobacco and cannabis habits.
Terpenes, also known as terpenoids, are a large class of organic compounds produced by plants. Today, terpenes and terpenoids are being investigated for their stand alone therapeutic effects, in particular their anti inflammatory, analgesic (pain relieving) and mood enhancing qualities. That said, they have not been listed in Australia as a thereaputic goods yet, so we do not imply any therapeutic benefits with that statement. The Unwind blend may be particularly helpful for inducing restful states.
We have all of these herbs available individually, and also blended together in our Sleepy Time Tea Blend. Happy snoozing!