Natural Medicine For Sleep and Anxiety

The majority of medical experts advise behavioral therapy and lifestyle modifications as the initial lines of treatment for anxiety and insomnia. In the event that things are ineffective, they might recommend medicine.

Numerous plants and natural products offer relaxing properties that help people fall asleep and feel less anxious. Compared to pharmaceutical sedatives, which can have adverse effects such as sleepiness, vertigo, nausea, and vomiting, they are typically more well tolerated.

1. Chamomile

With good reason, chamomile is among the most widely used natural sleep aids. It has sedative, anti-inflammatory, and mildly relaxing properties. In fact, chamomile tea was discovered to make insomniacs more easily fall asleep in a tiny study.

The flavonoids included in the flower, particularly apigenin, are responsible for its relaxing properties. By binding to the brain's benzodiazepine receptors, they provide the same mild sedative effects as natural drugs. Herbal drinks, lotions, tinctures, and oil extracts all include chamomile.

In a 2019 study, following two and four weeks of treatment, chamomile extract dramatically reduced symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. It did not, however, lessen state anxiety, which is the uneasiness you get when you think about a particular incident. It has also been demonstrated that the blooms can relieve gastrointestinal distress. All people who take specific medications, including cyclosporine, or have allergies to flowers can safely use chamomile on a daily basis. It is best to see your naturopathic doctor before starting any new regimen. The most popular chamomile preparation is tea, which can be brewed with oil extract or dried flowers.

2. Passion Flower

Passion flower, or Passiflora incarnata, is a traditional herbal sedative and anxiolytic with sleep-promoting qualities. It functions by increasing GABA activity in the brain. Anxiety and insomnia can be caused by an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory brain chemicals, which can be lessened by the natural inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA.

When used in moderation, this plant promotes mental clarity without becoming a sedative. Additionally, most people tolerate it rather well and don't get a "hangover" after using it.

Numerous antioxidants are present in it, such as luteolin glycosides, vitexin, isovitexin, kaempferol, apigenin, and quercetin. Alkaloids, fatty acids, sterols, and maltols are also present. Its special combination of phytochemicals calms and soothes the nervous system, muscles, and mind. Moreover, it calms the HPA axis, which controls sex hormones, insulin, and cortisol during a stress response. Since the Aztec era, it has been used to treat a wide range of illnesses, such as stress and sleep problems.

3. Valerian Root

People have traditionally used Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) as a natural sleep aid because of its sedative qualities, which allow users to go into a deeper, more restorative sleep stage. The body heals and rebuilds itself during this deep sleep, sometimes referred to as slow-wave or delta sleep, which leaves one feeling rejuvenated.

The sedative effects of valerian root, specifically valerenic acid, seem to be mediated through the GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) neurotransmitter system. Sleeplessness and anxiety are associated with low GABA levels.

In one study, people using valerian for 14 days reported better sleep quality and less sleep latency. In addition to promoting feelings of serenity, the plant can help women with premenstrual syndrome and ADHD.

However, because there is a chance the herb could have negative consequences, those who are pregnant, using other medications or supplements, or have pre-existing medical concerns should avoid using it. Furthermore, it is not advised for kids younger than three. There are three different forms of Valerian root: capsule, pill, and tincture (concentrated herbal extract). Many people prefer taking the supplement as tea because the herb has an overpowering and disagreeable smell that they find unappealing.

4. Lemon Balm

Because lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) stimulates the GABA receptors in the brain to calm nerves, researchers are finding that it can help reduce anxiety. 1.

It can be found in essential oils, supplement tablets, and teas. When coupled with other relaxing herbs like valerian and California poppy, it might provide a greater calming effect.

Reducing stress and balancing hormones require adequate sleep. Additionally, it lessens the likelihood of panic attacks. Prescription medication side effects make it challenging to address common conditions like anxiety and insomnia. Thankfully, there are minimal to no negative effects, and natural herbal therapies are harmless. Even so, it's a good idea to see your doctor before using herbal supplements, particularly if you take medication, are pregnant or nursing, or have other medical conditions. Certain medications may not work well with certain supplements.

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