This article is shared with permission from our friends at frugallysustainable.com.
If you've ever experienced sleepless nights…you understand the extreme frustration that insomnia creates.
The plague of sleeplessness has crossed time and cultures — and throughout it all, there have been several all-natural remedies created based on herbs known to help induce a restorative sleep.
So in classic fashion, with my knowledge of the adaptogenic and sedative class of herbs, I undertook the challenge of creating herbal sleep-aids that would rival any of the prescription strength sleep-aids available.
In my experience, there have been three extremely powerful natural remedies that have transformed the way I — and my family – sleep. And those have been:
- Herbal Bedtime Tea
- Valerian and Hops Tincture
- Herbal Pain Relief and Sleep Capsules
With the growing number of people in the United States without health insurance — coupled with the rising cost of prescription medicine — all to often those who suffer from insomnia are forced to pay extremely high costs for sleep-aids.
Moreover, the harmful side effects and addictive potential of prescription sleep-aids presents a whole other set of issues.
How Sedative Herbs Work
According to Philip Fritchey, in his book Practical Herbalism: Ordinary Plants with Extraordinary Powers, the class of "sedative herbs" falls under the herbal action of Nervines.
And he has this to say of Nervines:
"Nervines are herbs that support the health of the nervous system.
They are used to relieve pain and regulate the nerve response."
He also mentions that "the nervous system is the primary communication pathway in the body. [And that] virtually every disorder has some root in this system. Stress, anxiety, fatigue, poor nutrition, and disordered lifestyles take a toll on the integrity of the system."
Likewise, we also know that the adaptogenic class of herbs helps by increasing resistance and resilience to stress and they enable the body to avoid reaching functional collapse.
When combined, sedative and adaptogenic herbs work together to:
- help you fall asleep faster.
- improve the overall quality of your sleep.
- provide a safer and more affordable alternative to risky prescription pills.
- relieve stress, reduce anxiety, calm the mind, and eliminate toxins that may be disrupting your body's natural sleep cycle.
- help you wake up feeling refreshed and energized instead of tired and groggy.
Since taking sleep remedies in liquid form can sometimes pose an inconvenience, the recipe below is one for a capsule, which you can easily carry with you wherever you go and take at any point during the day.
A Recipe for All Natural Pain and Sleeping Pills
–The Capsule Machine (optional)
-"00″ gelatin or vegetable capsules
*Purchase organically-grown or wild-crafted herbs whenever possible. Starwest Botanicals has a beautiful selection of Bulk Herbs and Natural Products for Healthy, Natural Living.
- 2 parts valerian root, powdered
- 2 parts skullcap, powdered
- 1 part lemon balm, powdered
- 1 part oatstraw, powdered
- 1 part passion flower, powdered
- 1/2 part rhodiola root, powdered
- 1/4 part hop flowers, powdered
*Parts are to be measured by volume not weight.
1. In a non-reactive bowl, mix all of the herbal powders together until well combined.
2. With the use of The Capsule Machine, fill as many capsules as you think your family will use within a 6-12 month period. Note: Don't have a Capsule Machine? It's okay…simply scoop the powder into each piece of the capsule and pack it tight prior to recapping the ends.
3. Store the capsules in a small glass mason jar and place the lid on tight. Keep in a cool, dark, dry place. These capsules should stay fresh for 6-12 months.
To use for acute pain: Take 1-2 caps every 2 hrs., but no more than 8 caps daily.
To use for chronic pain: Take 2-3 caps 2-3 times daily, but no more than 6 caps daily.
To use for sleep: Take 2-4 caps 30 minutes prior to bedtime. (I discovered that 3 capsules sent me to sleep pretty quickly.)
Where Can I Get This Stuff?
–The Starwest Botanicals will have everything you'll need.
–The Bulk Herb Store also carries many of these ingredients if you'd like to price check.