Who has never had, at least once in their lifetime, difficulties in getting to sleep? This could happen for one night, for one week, for months or even years…any one of us will surely have faced this problem: insomnia.
This is often simply a passing malaise, for example, due to at a particular time of stress, but in some cases it can be a real health problem. That is when sleep is compromised for several consecutive nights and the problem persists over time, causing deleterious consequences on lifestyle. In these cases you can experience fatigue, daytime drowsiness, constant state of distress, difficulty in concentration. When we are in such a situation it is natural to consult a doctor or look for solutions to the problem. If you want to avoid the use of drugs or synthetic products, you can rely on medicinal plants, characterized by good effectiveness in combating the problem of insomnia, high tolerability and relatively safe in use. Let me introduce you to a few:
Chamomile, as it is well known to all, is one of the most used plants in case of mild sleep disorders. It is very useful in case the difficulty in getting to sleep is due to digestion problems. In fact, it possesses calming, protective action of mucous and carminative, that is, it favors the expulsion of intestinal gases.
Lemon balm has relaxing and soothing action. As chamomile, it possesses soothing properties at the level of the gastrointestinal tract, especially in anxious subjects.
Valerian has the ability to significantly reduce sleep time, inducing a physiological sleep. It basically has no side effects at the suggested doses but its use is contraindicated in children under three years.
Another medicinal plant known for its relaxing properties is passiflora. This plant promotes night rest and relaxation, inducing a muscle-relaxing activity at the level of the gastro-intestinal and genito-urinary tract. It is often used in association with Valerian and Lemon balm.
Escholzia, like valerian, promotes the reduction of sleep time and improves the quality of sleep. It also has a relaxing effect on the gastrointestinal musculature and, like passiflora, it can be associated with valerian and lemon balm.
Griffonia, although less well known, is an excellent medicinal plant to use in case you suffer from insomnia. Its relaxing activity stems from the presence of the active ingredient 5HTP (5-hydroxytriptophan), an amino acid precursor to melatonin and serotonin, neurotransmitters that, in our body, regulate the circadian rhythm. Griffonia therefore, unlike the plants examined so far, does not act by producing a muscle relaxation, but regulates the mood tone, reduces the states of agitation and difficulty sleeping. It is also used to control the sense of hunger.
In addition to being the main ingredient in brewing, hops also boasts sedative and calming properties. It is particularly suitable in cases where sleep disorders are associated with tensive states and restlessness. It is also often used in association with valerian and lemon balm. In addition to sedative and calming properties the hops have stomachic and aperitif action, so it can be useful in case of digestion difficulties.
Hawthorn, a medicinal plant used mainly in case of cardiovascular disorders, which can regulate blood pressure, also has relaxing effects. In fact, it can be used if you are going through a period of stress that causes palpitations or pressure changes.
The listed medicinal plants are basically harmless and have no side effects, if taken in small doses. In any case we must make a proper, conscientious use of them, without abusing them, especially in the case of griffonia, hawthorn and hops. If you use the medicinal plants described above correctly, they can be a valuable help in improving the quality of sleep and regularizing its rhythm. It is important, however, to associate the use of these remedies with a lifestyle as regular as possible. For example, getting up in the morning and lying down in the evening at about the same time every day helps to maintain a regular circadian rhythm, stimulating the production of the hormones associated with it in the correct times and quantities.