Herbs for Sleep

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The following lesser-known herbs have been found to help with sleep problems.


Piper methysticum is shrub belonging to the pepper family and can be found growing in the Polynesian Islands. It can also be found in Pohnpei Island, in Micronesia.

It has been given the name Kava by the Pacific Islanders.

Kava is available at health food stores as a standardized extract. It is a fast acting, extremely potent, convenient method of anxiety relief.

Kava mixtures can be found in mini spray bottles. These are handy and highly effective for providing almost instant relaxation. One or two sprays under the tongue can do wonders for tension.

To promote deep restful sleep you should take from 150 mg to 200 mg. about 20 to 30 minutes before bedtime.

Passion Flower

Passionflower is a flowering plant native to an area from the southeast U.S. to Argentina and Brazil. the name comes from the fact that it reminded the early settlers of the suffering (or passion) of Christ. Passionflower is also called Apricot Vine, Passion Vine, and Maypops. Historically it has been used as a tranquilizer and tobacco substitute.

Passionflower has a calming effect on the central nervous system. It also acts as an antispasmodic on the smooth muscles of the body which accounts for its ability to promote and ease digestion.

Many people consider passionflower to be the herb of choice for treating intransigent insomnia. There are no side effects and when used for insomnia provides a restful, relaxing sleep with no grogginess the following morning. Passionflower is not addictive. It can be used by children and the elderly with no complications.

To make passion flower tea: pour a cup of boiling water onto a teaspoonful of the dried herb and let steep for l5 minutes. Drink a cup half an hour before going to bed.

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm is an herbaceous perennial in the mint family. It is native to southern Europe and northern Africa where it grows in roadsides, landfills and disturbed lands from sea level into the mountains.

Lemon Balm can be grown in any well-drained soil; it is quite tolerant of poor soil and can take the full force of the sun.

Lemon Balm is typically made into a pleasant, lemony-tasting tea.

Try making tea with 2 teaspoons of dried lemon balm per cup of boiling water. Steep the tea for 10 minutes, strain, and drink right before going to bed.

California poppy

California poppy contains the compound protopine. Protopine has been described to be similar in effect to a mild version of morphine.

While a cousin the Opium poppy, contains narcotic morphine, California poppy does not so it doesn’t have any of the addictive properties of its narcotic relative.

Because of the fact that there have been very few clinical studies on the effects of the California poppy, dosage guidelines have not been established.


Hops is a strobile (fruit) that is a member of the cannabis family native to Europe, Asia, and North America.

Hops are the main ingredient in the flavoring of beer and are widely grown in the Pacific Northwest of the US.

Hops are typically used along with one of the other flowers and herbs mentioned above.

It is commonly used with chamomile, lavender or valerian, but also works alone as a relaxing natural sedative.

Dried hops strobiles can be made into a tea. Hops are also available as a tincture, in capsules and tablets.

A herbal sachet can be made using hops as an ingredient. To make one, use the same steps as used to construct the Lavender sachet, but filled with the following:

* 1/4 cup hops strobiles
* 1/8 cup chamomile flowers
* 1/8 cup lavender flowers
* lavender essential oil

Mix the hops, chamomile and lavender flowers and add a few drops of lavender oil. Sew it up and place under your pillow for a night of soothing aromas.

Generally, no side effects are reported from the use of hops. Some people have experienced a rare allergic reaction or skin rash from the pollen crystals in the fruits.


Honey is said to have sleep-inducing properties. It can be mixed with herbal teas or warm milk.

Milk and Honey Sleep Remedy


* 1 glass warm milk
* 1 drop vanilla extract
* 1 teaspoon honey

Use this just before going to bed. Mix, then drink while it is still warm.


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