Whether in phytotherapy, aromatherapy or even homeopathy, some plants have virtues on sleep. They are sometimes known since the Antiquity to be natural sleeping pills. Whatever their mode of administration, herbal tea, essential oil, food supplement or pellet, these plants appear unquestionably among the remedies to help us fall asleep.
Here is a selection of 11 plants that will help you to fall asleep naturally!
Phytotherapy” is the use of plants to treat oneself. It is a so-called alternative medicine, in other words it is a natural approach to medicine. Indeed, the term “phytotherapy” comes from the Greek “phytos” which means plant and “therapeuo” which means to heal. This practice includes the use of plants and natural active ingredients for therapeutic purposes. It is one of the oldest forms of treatment.
What are the virtues of plants in sleep?
The plants which will be used to fight against insomnia are plants with sedative, anxiolytic or even hypnotic properties. They fight against nervousness, irritability, difficulty in falling asleep or restless sleep …
Depending on the sleep disorders found, the choice of plant will be adapted. They will be used alone or associated with other plants or other natural components. These plants are most often proposed in the form of medicines or extracts in capsules, tablets or as such in infusions.
1. CBD Hemp
CBD or cannabidiol is a molecule extracted from the hemp flower. Cannabis flower is often perceived as a drug, yet this is not the case. Indeed, it is neither a psychoactive nor a narcotic like THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol. On the contrary, CBD oil can very well treat some everyday ailments, this is particularly the case of some insomnia.
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Chamomile is one of the most famous plants for its virtues on sleep. Indeed, since a long time it is known that the use of chamomile is an excellent way to relax and prepare to fall asleep. Generally consumed in the form of a tea, it is one of the main hot drinks to take before going to bed. It is a plant with sedative properties. In other words it has calming properties. Chamomile has proven to be effective in calming nervous agitation that interferes with sleep. It is even used for the withdrawal of benzodiazepines, one of the most widespread components of sleeping pills. It owes its calming effects to the presence of apigenin, an anti-inflammatory compound.
3. The Linden
The lime tree is also known to act on sleep. This plant is widely used in infusion. It is its flowers and its bracts (leaf accompanying the flower) which have the active principles, the farnesol. This plant has soothing and sedative virtues. Like certain sleeping pills, it acts on the brain by fixing itself on the same receptors.
The active ingredients of hawthorn are flavonoids and antioxidants contained in the flowers and leaves. Antispasmodic, calming, the hawthorn improves the cardiac rhythm disorders. It is particularly recommended for its sedative action, in the event of or of anguish. The hawthorn is the reflex relaxation to draw in case of nocturnal agitations or anxiety post sleep. This plant is also consumed in infusion.
Vervain would have virtues to fight stress and anxiety because of its sedative and antineuralgic properties. It is therefore often recommended to alleviate sleep problems. This plant is used in infusion before going to bed.
The effectiveness of valerian has been tested in a clinical study. This plant would allow to calm the stress and the anxiety thanks to its sedative and relaxing properties. It is thus ideal for the nervous or agitated people.
Let us recall that anxiety is one of the factors responsible for the difficulties of falling asleep.
Valerian also participates in the improvement of the quality of sleep by decreasing the time of falling asleep. This plant is used in infusion.
7. Eschscholtzia OR CALIFORNIAN POPPY
The eschscholtzia has an analgesic action which favors sleep. Indeed, its flowers produce a light sedative effect.
This plant is less known because it originates from the United States but it also grows very well in France, in regions with a mild climate.
It can be taken as an herbal tea but its taste is very bitter. One will thus prefer to consume it in liquid extract.
8. Orange Blossom
Orange blossom is best known for its pleasant fragrance. However, the orange flower also has calming and soothing virtues for a tranquilizing and antidepressant effect.
This plant promotes sleep thanks to linalool. This active ingredient is also present in lavender flower, linden and mint but in smaller proportions. Orange blossom is consumed at a rate of one tablespoon diluted in a glass of water or in herbal tea.
Passionflower is used to calm stress and anxiety which hinder sleep. It is a light sedative recommended for anxious people.
Note that this plant was used by the American Indians for these same virtues. Passion flower is drunk in the form of infusion.
10. The Hops
This plant has sedative and relaxing virtues that are conducive to sleep. We will use more precisely the dried flowers of hop. This natural sleep aid is used in traditional Chinese medicine.
The association hop-valerian makes it possible to improve the quality of the sleep by limiting the time of falling asleep and by avoiding the night awakenings. This plant is drunk in infusion.
Lavender acts directly on the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. It is therefore a plant with relaxing virtues. Its active principles would allow calming and sedative effects, ideal for sleeping well. Lavender is drunk as an infusion of its dried flowers.
12. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm has soothing and relaxing properties. This plant is thus sought after by insomniacs. These virtues of sleep-inducing would be multiplied if one associates it with the Valerian. These two plants would allow calming, sedative and hypnotic effects. These plants are consumed in infusion.
In summary, many plants have beneficial effects on sleep by reducing anxiety, which is a real obstacle to falling asleep, and even have sedative properties. Nevertheless, plants can be beneficial for our health, but let’s not forget that natural remedies also contain the most common poisons!
Therefore, do not improvise yourself as a naturopath and refer to health professionals even when it comes to natural products.
Plants have useful active principles on sleep and can be a recourse to chemical substances, however do not hesitate to associate them with other good practices to sleep well.
Angela is a senior editor at Dreniq News. She has written for many famous news agencies.