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12 Organic Teas That Will Kick Insomnia To The Curb
Do you fight insomnia from time to time? Or do you wake up after being asleep for a few hours and find that you cannot go back to sleep? These are common problems that everyone experiences from time to time. Some of us more than others! Some people believe that teas don’t actually help you sleep, but the mere act of making tea and slowly sipping it is what relaxes you. Although this observation might be true to some extent, there is plenty of scientific evidence which shows that the various compounds found in many herbal teas have relaxing agents which do induce sleep. Don’t underestimate the power of sleep to restore and rejuvenate the body. Sleep is absolutely vital to the well-being of both mind and body. Our body and brain do most of their repairs while we are sleeping. When occasional insomnia strikes, turn to one of the following 12 organic teas that are well-known for their abilities to hail the sandman.
1. Magnolia Bark
This remedy isn’t as common in America, but it is used extensively throughout Asia to treat nervousness and anxiety attacks. Magnolia bark was shown in a study, published in Neuropharmacology in 2012, which found that the main active component in magnolia bark, magnolol, was very effective in increasing sleep in studies done with mice.
This is the king of night time teas! The National Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicine states that this plant is good for a variety of health problems and is especially effective against insomnia and anxiety. In fact, the first controlled clinical trial of this herb was for generalized anxiety disorder, for which it proved to be very effective. Available everywhere, look for a tea that states it is organic or grow some of these pretty little white flowered herbs yourself. Dry the leaves and flowers for your own brand of insomnia relieving tea that you know to be 100 percent organic.
If chamomile is the king, then valerian is the queen of night time tea. Valerian has well-documented sedative compounds that have been used for centuries to relive feelings of anxiety and insomnia. Valerian root is actually used in many different types of prescription medications to calm people including in sleeping aides. Made from the root of the valerian flower, this tea works great when used in combination with other calming teas such as lavender or lemon balm.
This herb has been used for centuries for both insomnia and nervousness or anxiety. Passionflower increases the production of GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) in the brain, which lowers the activity of some brain cells, thus inducing a calm state of mind. You will often find this herb mixed with other herbs in night time tea blends.
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Although valerian and chamomile get most of the attention when it comes to sleepy time tea, you will often find lavender added to these teas. Lavender is known to have anti-stress and mild relaxing compounds that work well when used in combination with other herbal teas.
Catnip certainly excites cats and makes them do funny things, but for humans, this herb has the opposite effect. Catnip (nepeta cataria) also has anti-anxiety compounds that soothes and eases both mind and body. Often, this is all it takes to fall deeply asleep. Catnip also has a surprisingly sweet taste and it mixes well with other herbal teas if you wish to make your own blend.
7. Lemon Balm
With its mildly sweet lemon scent and flavor, lemon balm is so mild that you can even give it to young children. It might be too mild for those who cannot stay asleep, so mix lemon balm with another herbal tea such as chamomile, lavender, or catnip.
Ladies, if you suffer from insomnia, hops herbal tea might be just the ticket! Hops have been used for centuries to help with feelings of stress, anxiety, and worries that keep you awake at night. Hops (humulus lupulus) seem to be made for women as it is soothing, nurturing, gentle, and goes well with just about any other herb you might want to add to it, such as lemon balm. Gentlemen, you should avoid this one as the hops contain estrogen and it can cause man-boobs.
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9. Kava Kava
Although this herb does have super calming abilities that make it perfect for night time use, it can interact with other drugs. If you are taking any prescription drugs or if you are under a doctor’s care for any health reason or if you are pregnant, do not take kava kava without speaking to your doctor first.
10. St. John’s Wort
Although this is herb is most commonly used to prevent depression, it has also been found to be very effective when it comes to calming feelings of anxiety. If you suffer from insomnia because of worry or any feelings of stress, then this herb can work well for you. This is another herb that can have dangerous drug interactions, so please speak with your doctor before using this herb.
Peppermint tea calms the digestive system and calms your internal organs as well. This calming feeling might be enough to allow you drift off into la-la land. You might find peppermint tea a good choice if you are being kept awake by tummy trouble or indigestion.
12. Make Your Own Blend
Making your own sleepy time blend can be fun and rewarding. Make your own little jar with a pretty label and mix one or two of the herbs you find most helpful into the jar. You can try lemon balm and passionflower or chamomile with valerian. Or try the following blend: Mix two parts of chamomile with 1 part rose petals and 1 part catnip. You can add a pinch of valerian root or peppermint but this is optional. When you are ready to make your tea, put one heaping teaspoon in 12 ounces of boiling water and allow to steep for 6 minutes. Be sure to breathe in the steam while you wait for your tea to cool! Strain and enjoy! See you in dreamland!