A good night’s sleep is as important to good health, as a healthy diet and regular exercise. Insomnia can take its toll on people both physically and mentally. People with insomnia generally lead a low overall quality of life, compared to people who sleep well.
Therefore, when given the option of a good alternative, majority of us would rather do away with prescription medication, due to the various negative effects associated with regular popping of sleeping pills. There are plenty of natural herbs that are non-addictive and safe and a gentle alternative to prescription drugs.
Valerian Root: Valerian is well-known for its ability to induce sleep. Traditional Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine recommend valerian as cure for insomnia. Valerian is much in demand all over the world, and holds the eighth rank on the list of most purchased herbs, and is approved for treatment of certain sleep disorders in Germany. Valerian doesn’t cause feelings of grogginess on waking up and doesn’t lead to chemical dependency.
Chamomile: The dried chamomile flower is an ancient medicine used in Greece, Egypt and Rome. It has been used for centuries in tea as mild, relaxing sleep aid. Chamomile is widely popular and has been included as a medicinal substance in the pharmacopoeia of 26 countries.
Passion Flower: This flower extract is a good relaxant and has a mild sedative action. It is believed to work by increasing levels of neurotransmitter, known as GABA which creates relaxing effect by lowering activity of some brain cells. The flavonoids and Chrysin active compounds in the extract mimic the effects of sleeping medication benzodiazepine and produce a calming effect. It promotes sleep and relieves nervous irritability.
Hops Flower: The extract of this herb has been long used as traditional medicine to promote restful sleep. A clinical study with hops revealed that it reduced sleep disturbances when given in combination with valerian, while another study found that hops and valerian combination demonstrated equivalent results of fitness, sleep quality and quality of life, in comparison to benzodiazepine drug.
Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) and Shatavri (Asparagus racemosus): These herbs react to body’s needs, increasing stamina and strength during the day, while also helping to remain calm and focused for better sleep at night.
California Poppy: Is a sedative, sleep promoting herb, helping one to relax and ease mild anxiety, while also promoting sleep. Due to its mild sedative and analgesic properties, it is very safe and improves both sleep latency and quality.
Lavender: Acts as a gentle strengthening tonic for nervous system. Few drops of lavender oil when added to bath water at bedtime, helps alleviate sleep disorders. It can also be used as a compress or massage oil or even simply inhaled to alleviate insomnia.
Wild Lettuce: Is a mild sedative and nervine, used in treating restlessness and insomnia. It can be found in variety of formulas for treatment of chronic and acute insomnia. (by ayurvedictalk.com)