Besides the most common western herbs for sleep (described on earlier pages: valerian, chamomile, kava, hops) there are also number of other herbs that are famous for their sedative and relaxing effects.
Lavender is a gentle strengthening tonic for the nervous system. A few drops of lavender oil added to a bath before bedtime are recommended for persons with sleep disorders. Additionally, the oil may be used as a compress or massage oil or simply inhaled to alleviate insomnia.
Herbalists consider passion flower an important herb for insomnia caused by mental worry, overwork, or nervous exhaustion. In England it is an ingredient in forty different commonly-sold sedative preparations. Passion flower is used for minor sleep problems in both children and adults (Bruneton, 1995). It is an excellent sedative with no side effects even when used in large doses (Spaick, 1978).
Wild lettuce is a mild sedative and nervine used for restlessness and insomnia. It may be found in a variety of formulas for the treatment of acute and chronic insomnia. It is used by homeopathics for restlessness and insomnia (Boericke, 1927). Because of its safety of use and calming effects, wild lettuce is a good children’s remedy.
This common yellow-flowered weedy herb from Europe is quickly becoming an important part of modern herbal therapeutics. It has a long history of use dating back to ancient Greek times. Modern scientific studies show that it can help relieve chronic insomnia and mild depression when related to certain brain chemistry imbalances. Because this herb can sensitize the skin to sunlight, if you are taking a full dose, avoid direct skin exposure to bright sunlight.
Linden flower tea has been used for centuries to help reduce anxiety, soothe the nerves, and alleviate stress related ailments such as irregular heartbeats, indigestion, hypertension, and headaches. Linden flowers also have calming and sedative properties that can help prevent insomnia and produce a restful night’s sleep. Linden flowers are also excellent remedy for colds, flu, and respiratory infections. Linden tea has been shown to help lower blood pressure and works as a natural diuretic which can help with edema, water retention, bloating, and swelling. It is also excellent for detoxifying and purifying the liver as it contains choleretic properties. Linden flowers can be found in tea, tincture, extract, capsule, and cream form online or at your local health food store.
Sage grows abundantly in the Mediterranean and South-western United States. It has been used in traditional herbal medicine to reduce night sweating symptoms of menopause. Menopausal women often suffer with night sweating and poor sleep. Sage has cooling and hypnotic effects.
California poppy is a (mild) sedative and sleep-promoting herb which can currently be found in a variety of herbal remedies sold in the United States for promoting sleep, helping one to relax, and easing mild anxiety. Clinical and laboratory work on California poppy has demonstrated the plant’s sedative and anti-anxiety properties; it has been shown to improve both sleep latency and quality.
Wild oats grow like a weed across the North America. It was used traditionally by North American Indians as sedative and and aid to strengthen and sooth nervous exhaustion. Many western herbalists have used wild oats for nervousness and drug addiction. As is pretty well known, oatmeal can make a very nice evening dish inducing and enhancing sleep.
Magnolia bark has shown significant success for anxiety-related sleeplessness. It has been used traditionally in both western and Chinese herbal medicine. Magnolia decreases anxiety and promotes relaxation.