Herbal teas can be a beautiful way to help those suffering from sleep onset or maintenance insomnia. Insomnia or sleeplessness can be caused by a number of things and can affect how well a patient falls asleep and whether they can maintain deep sleep until morning. It is a condition a that many people suffer with usually due to anxiety and problems being able to "switch off". I have compiled together 6 of my top most recommended herbal teas for sleep :)
An oldie but a goodie, Chamomile can be a beautiful tea to aid in sleeplessness. It is traditionally used in herbalism as mild sedative, a carminative ad an anxiolytic; so it is useful not only for calming the nerves but for calming a restless bloated tummy.
Make sure to to buy trusted herbal brands or obtain teas from your Naturopath/Herbalist as Chamomile teas that you buy at the supermarket tend to have a lot of fillers. Supermarket brand teas can often be adulterated with other herbs or even black tea in order to help fill out bags! So buy your tea from a trusted source!
Passionflower or Passiflora incarnata is a herb often used in herbal medicine for sleep. It acts as a spasmolytic, anxiolytic and mild sedative; so it works by calming the nerves and reducing the spasms of skeletal muscle. So this is a good one for people who have trouble sleeping due to tension.
This is a special herb that is very powerful when used for the right patient. It can aid with sleep onset and maintenance issues and can even help to reduce panic attacks. However it is a bit of fickle herb that either likes you or doesn't like you.
The majority of the population would be able to have this herb and feel the amazing properties it possesses; however there is a small minority of people that manifest the opposite effects when taking it. Taking this herb for them is like having a nice big cup of coffee. They are peppy and full of energy. Not the desired effect when you are trying to get to sleep!
4. Californian Poppy
This is a herb that works specifically on the nerves. In herbal medicine it is often used in small doses to ease nerve-generated pain such as sciatica and neuralgia. It is one of my personal favourites as it works beautifully for patients that suffer with anxiety and emotional stress related insomnia. It can give some much needed relief to those who are troubled and in need of some TLC.
5. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is a lovely gentle herb that is not unlike chamomile. It works much like chamomile in that it is a carminative and an anxiolytic. So it helps those suffering with anxiety as well as digestive bloating and upset. It is one I often recommend to patients when a gentle but uplifting touch is needed, as t is often used for those suffering from mild depression and low mood. I also use it for those patients who cannot stand the taste of chamomile and need an alternative!
6. Lime flowers
Lime flowers or Linden Flowers (Tilia spp.) is an interesting one. Again it is a nice gentle sedative and spasmolytic that can help to relieve insomnia associated with tension but it also has another surprising action. It can be used to support patients that suffer from hypertension. Particularly hypertension influenced by anxiety. It works by not only endorsing parasympathetic dominance but also by acting as an effective peripheral vasodilator. By acting as a dilator it helps to reduce pressure of blood on the inner lumen of the arteries and veins. So this is a great one for patients suffering with insomnia and hypertension.
Jaz is a Naturopath, Pathology Testing Adviser and educator. She practice as a Naturopath in Melbourne, Australia and via skype worldwide. She teaches fellow practitioners on pathology testing and educates pracs and the public on the bridge between Naturopathic care Biomedicine.