One of the most important things we can do to cope with stressful times in our lives is to get a good night’s sleep. Deep sleep helps the body heal and allows our body to balance itself to prepare for another day.
Unfortunately, stress often deprives us of restful sleep by making us tense and unable to relax. Herbal Sleep contains three herbs that can help the nervous system to calm down so a person can relax and get to sleep.
Herbal Sleep can also relax muscle tension and may be helpful for some aches and pains, including tension headaches. It can also reduce feelings of nervousness and anxiety. The main ingredients in herbal sleep are valerian root, passion flower and hops.
Here’s what each of these herbs do:
Valerian Root (Valeriana officinalis)
Various species of valerian have been used as sedatives and pain relievers for centuries all over the world. This species has been used since the Roman times in Europe as an aid for insomnia, nervousness, anxiety, panic and muscle tension. It is helpful for just about any condition that involves excess stress and tension. Valerian has been used for asthma, tension in the neck and shoulders, back pain, muscle cramps, menstrual cramps and high blood pressure.
When used as an aid for insomnia, valerian doesn’t cause morning grogginess. However, some people have a “backwards” reaction to valerian and find that it actually energizes them. If this happens to you, Herbal Sleep isn’t the right formula for you.
Passion Flower Aerial Parts (Passiflora incarnata)
Passion flower is native to the Southern United States and Central and South America. Its name comes from its beautiful flowers, which are seen as a symbol of Christ’s crucifixion. Native Americans have long used passion flower for treating a wide variety of nervous system disorders, including insomnia. It helps you relax and go to sleep and leaves you feeling new, fresh and alert in the morning.
Passion flower is a very good herb for those afflicted with excessive “mental chatter,” where their brain just won’t “shut up” and let them go to sleep. It has a calming effect on the mind and can also help those afflicted with excessive worry.
Passion flower has also been used for irritability, anxiety, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, muscle tension and minor pain. It calms the fight or flight response reaction in stress. It is also sedative and antispasmodic. Passion flower may also be helpful for hot flashes, migraines, abdominal pain, and for lingering coughs.
Hops Flowers (Humulus lupulus)
Hops is a member of the hemp family and grows along the coasts of the United States and in Europe. It is best known as a key ingredient in beer, but also has useful applications in herbal medicine.
Hops is one of the stronger sedatives in the herbal kingdom. The mechanism for this is not fully understood, but it does contain compounds like valerianic acid, a known sedative. It is a very good soporific, meaning it helps to induce sleep. It is also antispasmodic, so it relaxes muscle tension.
The aromatic and bitter taste of hops stimulates digestion, making it useful for treating upset stomachs and relaxing intestinal spasms. It is particularly helpful for indigestion caused by stress.
When using Herbal Sleep for insomnia, take 2 capsules about one hour prior to bedtime. If you are really tense you may be able to increase the dose to 3-4 capsules. Herbal Sleep can be combined with 1 capsule of kava kava or 1-2 capsules of Magnesium Complex for enhanced effectiveness.
Herbal Sleep can also be taken during the day in a smaller dose, 1-2 capsules with meals to relax muscle tension, reduce anxiety and otherwise calm the nerves. Pregnant or lactating women should talk with their health care professional before using this product.
Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine by Andrew Chevallier.The Comprehensive Guide to Nature’s Sunshine Products by Tree of Light