Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Blog Has Moved

Link to the same post in the new blog: Herbal Remedy for Insomnia

Herbal Remedy for Insomnia

By Gerrard_Mackenzie

Herbal Remedy for InsomniaInsomnia is a disorder characterized by persistent difficulty to fall asleep, frequent waking episodes or early awakening. The problem gets worse if it remains untreated or has been going on for a long period of time. A person then experience gradual functional impairment during his waking hours.

In the course of treatment of this disease, medications are available to help patients fall asleep and maintain a good quality of sleep. The problem is, insomniacs tend to rely on sleeping pills and sedatives just to get a good rest. This is what we call psychological dependence. Other classes of medicines can be given but some causes physical dependence which causes withdrawal symptoms once the drug is stopped.

Due to these adverse effects, it is always better to seek out a natural insomnia remedy, knowing other options - those which are safer and those with less side effects, and increased awareness on substances that have relaxing or calming effect, as well as those which have stimulating effect, can be beneficial.

Herbs such as chamomile, valerian root, lavender, hops and passionflower as some of the herbs with known calming effect, thus help insomniacs get quality sleep.

Traditionally herbalist would recommend mild herbal sedative teas specifically chamomile to promote sleep. It has long been indicated for mild sleep disorders and is said to be appropriate particularly for the very young and elderly. Usual preparations are taken in the form of a tea. It is recommended to drink 1 cup, 2-3 times daily. Chamomile oil can also be incorporated in bath water. Around 5-6 drops can be added to soothe overwrought nerves, or for people who are into massages, it can also be an excellent massage oil.

Similarly, Lavender (oil extract) is another common herb used as a natural insomnia remedy when bathing and during massages. Lavender has been known to help induce sleep, decrease tension and pain, among its long list of benefits

Valerian Root is another is common herb used for insomnia. In Latin, Valerian means, "to be strong or healthy." Historically used as a sedative, and also indicated for sleep and anxiety disorders. Recent studies show that it is effective in reducing sleep latency and the frequency of night awakenings. The action of its constituents is thought to affect the GABA neurotransmitter receptor system. Preparations of Valerian root extract can be taken in the form of teas, while there are also capsule forms which are sold in the US as nutritional supplements. It can be recommended as a remedy for mild to moderate cases of insomnia.

Sometimes used in combination with Valerian, Hops is another herb which has a long history of use for sleeplessness, anxiety, and restlessness. Hops can be cooked in the same way as asparagus is cooked by means of boiling. Thus, it can be incorporated with meals. Apparently, some commercial food products use hops as flavoring (yeast, candy, ice creams and puddings, gelatins, baked goods, and chewing gums.) Surprisingly there were also attempts to incorporate it in beers and stuffed in pillows.

Lastly, some can also try the passionflower. Experts say that if the type of insomnia that a person has is related to worry, over-fatigue or nervous exhaustion, then this can be beneficial. There are studies to support that it can be used to cure minor sleep problems. In UK, it is sold in 40 different sedative preparations. However, it is usually taken in as tea, around 2-3 cups can be consumed per day, one of which is must be consumed before bedtime.

Being familiar with the relaxing substances will be useless if some stimulants are still a part of your diet. People with insomnia should be cautious in taking in substances that can stimulate their system. As much as possible, they should stay away from caffeine containing foods, which are not limited to just coffee and tea and they should seek out a natural insomnia remedy. Other foods like cola, chocolate, and chocolate drinks also contains a considerable amount of caffeine. Other stimulants include ephedra, ginseng, and kola.




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