There are many herbal sleep remedies used for relaxation and insomnia. They can be taken as a tea, tincture or capsule. A tincture (liquid extract in a dropper bottle) is the recommended method, as you don’t have to get out of bed to brew and drink anything, like you would with a tea. Also, when you hold the liquid extract of a tincture under your tongue, it goes directly into the bloodstream, which gives faster results. A capsule has to go through the digestive process and is slower.
Here is a list of herbs and herbal sleep remedies offered by Herb Lore. They are listed in order of their strength (going from most mild to most powerful):
Rescue Remedy – this is used to help alleviate stress and anxiety, and is calming and centering in nature.
Chamomile – helps alleviate nervous upset, anxiety, restlessness and sleeplessness. It also has pain-relieving properties, and is helpful for colicky and teething babies.
Relax Tincture – this is a combination which includes Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Catnip, Lavender Blossom and Skullcap. It is very relaxing and brings a peaceful, mellow feeling.
Goodnight Combo Lite – this is a combination of Skullcap, Passionflower and Chamomile, as well as White Chestnut Flower Essence. The Skullcap helps get one to sleep, the Passionflower helps keep them asleep, and the Chamomile adds its relaxing and calming effects. The White Chestnut flower essence helps to quiet mental chatter and is helpful for overcoming insomnia. The Chamomile is what makes this product “lite”. The regular Goodnight Combo contains Valerian Root. In rare cases, Valerian Root can stimulate rather than sedate, so we created an alternative for those folks, substituting Chamomile for the Valerian. (If a product such as Nyquil has been stimulating for you rather than sedating, Valerian Root may do the same thing.)
Skullcap – this is one of my favorites for helping one to relax and fall asleep. Skullcap also has muscle relaxing properties and is helpful for headaches (especially tension headaches).
Goodnight Combo – this product is similar to the Goodnight Combo Lite as it has Skullcap, Passionflower and White Chestnut flower essence, but it includes Valerian Root rather than the Chamomile. Valerian Root is one of the more powerful herbs used for relaxation and sleep. This is a potent and very effective herbal sleep remedy, and is one of our customers’ favorite products.
Valerian Root – Valerian Root is one of the most effective herbs used for sleep and relaxation. It is high in calcium and brings a deep, restful sleep. As previously mentioned, Valerian Root can stimulate rather than sedate, but this is quite rare. Valerian Root also helps balance those with ADD and ADHD. For children, we recommend the non-alcohol version.
There are many other herbs and herbal sleep remedies used to promote relaxation and sleep, but these are the ones Herb Lore carries and prefers most. None of them are addictive or habit-forming in any way.
As previously mentioned, we prefer herbs for sleep in a tincture form, as you can keep the bottle right next to your bed. If you find you have need of it, you simply reach over, take 1-2 droppersful (squeezes) or whatever amount works best for you, lay your head back down on the pillow, and before you know it, you will drift off into a restful, peaceful sleep. If you prefer a tea, the droppersful can be put into a cup of hot water and you have instant tea! No need to wait for brewing!
The following are other herbs that are also used as natural, herbal sleep remedies:
Catnip – this herb covers many bases, as it relaxes, calms nerves and helps with upset tummy. It is one of the herbs included in our Relax Tincture.
Passionflower – this herb is used to help keep one asleep, hence its inclusion in our Goodnight tinctures.
Hops – this herb works very well, but is very bitter to the taste. I have to tell you, its probably one of the worst herbs I’ve ever tasted. And because it can cause depression when used over a period of time, we honor it for its ability to bring a wonderful state of relaxation, but choose not to include it in any of our formulas.
Lemon Balm – this herb is of the mint family and has a light, lemony scent and taste. It helps relax and soothe digestive distress. Frequent, every day use by those who are hypo-thyroid should be avoided however. Lemon Balm, due to its antithyrotropic effects, and can block the conversion of thyroxin to T3 by liver cells. Both of these effects have been noted in IN VITRO STUDIES ONLY – no human reports have been made. Most herbalists do not consider this an issue and use it freely. (We do include this herb in our Relax Tincture. Most people who are hypothyroid are usually tired already and have no need for relaxing herbs!)
Lavender – this fragrant blossom is a popular favorite! Just the smell helps soothe and relax. It helps ease headaches and helps with sleep. Use as a tea or tincture or a small pillow stuffed with Lavender. Use it in a relaxing bath or footsoak. The essential oil is commonly used as an anti-microbial during illness and to help bring down fever. (See the Premium Article entitled Immune System Herbs & Solutions – Ear Infections, Eye Infections, Fevers, Coughs, Colds, Flu and even Yeast Infections! for details on how to use it for this!)