The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!

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Insomnia

Definition

Habitual sleeplessness, repeated night after night, is called insomnia.
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Causes

It may be a result of muscle aches, indigestion, asthma, pain, drugs, hypoglycemia or stress. Lack of calcium and magnesium might cause waking after a few hours and not getting back to sleep. Systemic disorders involving the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, digestive system, endocrine system, brain, as well as poor nutritional habits, may affect sleep. Caffeine products make sleeping difficult.

Some specific disorders interfere with sleep: sleep apnea is an absence of breathing several times a night (usually adults, but can affect children), physical abnormalities of the chest, neck, back, or the base of the brain, obesity, endocrinological problems, hypothyroidism, acromegaly (a rare growth disorder), and the use of alcohol.

Narcolepsy sufferers are drowsy and overcome with sleep during the day.

Brain infection, head trauma, and even brain tumor can trigger this disorder (usually doesn’t occur until after fifteen years of age).

The most common causes are overeating, indigestion, eating late at night, stress, tension, worry, fear. Also, cold feet, poor circulation, overtiredness, nervousness, and poor ventilation in the bedroom. Constant loss of sleep, whatever the cause is always injurious to health.
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Nutrients

Calcium lactate, 1,000 mg, taken after meals and at bedtime.
or
Calcium chelate, 1,500-2,000 mg daily in divided doses.

Magnesium, 1,000 mg.

Vitamin B complex, taken as directed on the label.
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Herbs
  • Anise
  • Balm, lemon
  • Catnip
  • Chamomile, Roman
  • Cohosh, black
  • Dill
  • Figwort
  • Ginseng, Siberian
  • Hawthorn berries
  • Hops, cone
  • Jasmine, yellow
  • Lady’s slipper
  • Lavender, flower
  • Lemon balm, leaves
  • Lettuce, wild
  • Motherwort
  • Mugwort
  • Mullein
  • Nerve root
  • Nutmeg
  • Oats
  • Orange, flower
  • Passionflower
  • Peppermint
  • Poppy, California, seed
  • St. John’s wort
  • Senna
  • Skullcap
  • Skunk cabbage root
  • Valerian root
  • Vervain

Use 1 tsp. of any one of the above, steep in a cup of boiling water and drink hot. They induce sleep, but they also tone up the stomach and nerves, with no bad after effects.
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Recommendations

Foods high in tryptophan promote sleep. At bedtime eat turkey, bananas, grapefruit, figs, dates, yogurt, tuna, and whole grain cracker or nut butter.

Avoid close to bedtime: caffeine, alcohol, sugar, tobacco, cheese, chocolate, sauerkraut, wine, bacon, ham, sausage, eggplant, potatoes, spinach, and tomatoes. These foods contain tryamine, which increases the release of norepinephrine, a brain chemical stimulant.

Try a warm bath, a hot cup of tea, using the herbs mentioned.

One recommended tea for sleeplessness or a state of anxiety:

  • St. John’s wort, aerial parts (30 parts)
  • Lemon balm leaves (20 parts)
  • Hop cones (10 parts)
  • Lavender flowers (5 parts)
  • Orange flowers (5 parts)

Preparation:
Pour 8 oz. of boiling water over 2 heaping tbsp. of the blend, let steep, covered, for ten minutes, then strain.

Application:
Three times a day, slowly sip one cup of very warm tea. This course of action should last 4 weeks.
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Suggestions

Try this formula for sleep: Equal parts of Skullcap, Nerve root, Hops, Catnip, and Black Cohosh.
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Bibliography

LiveStrong.com: Acai Berry and Insomnia

LiveStrong.com: Does Milk Thistle Improve Sleep?

Buy It! Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

Buy It! The Healing Plants, by Mannfried Pahlow, Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. 250 Wireless Blvd., Hauppauge, NY 11788, 1992

Buy It! Secrets of the Chinese Herbalists, by Richard Lucas, Parker Publishing Company, Inc., West Nyack, NY, 1987.

Buy It! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

Buy It! Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible, by Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., Simon & Schuster/Fireside, Rockefeller Center 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020

Buy It! The Old Herb Doctor, by Joseph E. Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1984, sixth printing 1994.

Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements, by James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C., Avery Publishing Group, Inc., Garden City Park, NY

Buy It!The Magic of Herbs, by David Conway, published by Jonathan Cape, Thirty Bedford Square, London, England. (Out of print)

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

Buy It! The Nature Doctor: A Manual of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel; Keats Publishing, Inc., 27 Pine Street (Box 876) New Canaan, CT. 06840-0876. Copyright Verlag A. Vogel, Teufen (AR) Switzerland 1952, 1991

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Sleep Disorders

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