Often when people are experiencing insomnia they are quick to grab an over the counter medication in the hopes of remedying the problem. These medications can have more negative effects than anything else. Therefore, many turn to herbal remedies and attempt to battle their insomnia in a more natural fashion. There are several herbal choices that can be extremely beneficial in treating insomnia. Many of the herbal remedies that are on the market today actually mirror some prescription drugs minus the sometimes complicated and unpleasant side effects. For example, many use St. John Wort for anxiety rather than going on some other drug like Zoloft, Paxil, or Prozac.
The leaves of the catnip plant are known to cause sedation in humans. The only problem with this approach is that there is no designated dose to take, however it is safe for humans to consume. Because of the problem with accurate doses, it is not a good idea for small children to use it and also it should not be used by women who are pregnant. The great thing about catnip is that it can easily be grow at home, as a matter of fact; many people who choose herbal remedies have herb gardens at home. Just like Ritalin has a counter affect similar to a stimulant when those who do not have ADHD take it, the same is true with catnip. In adults, catnip provides a very soothing and calming affect but in cats it acts as a stimulant. So keep kitty away from the herb garden.
Chamomile herb has been used for thousands of years to treat insomnia. Apigenin is a chemical in chamomile that causes the muscles to relax and initiates sleep. In laboratories, chamomile has been proven to produce a mild sedative and anti-anxiety effect in mice. Again, it has not been determined as of yet exactly how much chamomile had to be dosed to be sedative. It is safe for human consumption and can be used by pregnant women as well as those that are breastfeeding. Those who should not use chamomile are people who are allergic to ragweed. Chamomile is available it its original form or in pre packaged tea bags.
Other herbal products are worth looking into such as Hops, Kava, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Oats, Passion Flower, Skullcap, and Valerian. All of these herbs have sedative and relaxing properties. While these herbal supplements are very safe for human consumption and are also very safe, if you are taking any prescription medications you should cross check those before taking anything to ensure that there are no interactions.
When insomnia becomes severe doctors are often left with no choice but to prescribe heavy sedatives that induce sleep and while the patient will likely get sleep many have complained of bizarre dreams while sleeping on these medications and the inability to function normally the next day. This is why many people come to embrace treating their insomnia naturally so they can avoid the day after effects. Herbal remedies do not have any next day complications at all.