nav-left cat-right

Botanicals for Stress & Sleep

Botanicals for Stress & Sleep

A wide variety of  botanicals are used to help support a healthy sleep cycle and relieve occasional insomnia (difficulty falling or staying asleep).

These botanicals are considered to be nonhabit-forming and do not leave a sense of grogginess upon awakening.

Drinking a hot cup of tea with “relaxing” herbs is a common and enjoyable way of delivering their benefits.

Many of the active ingredients are also extracted and concentrated and taken as a dietary supplement, capsule gel or tincture.

I use these herbal nutrition supplements to help my clients support their body’s response to stress and sustain restorative sleep. They are a combination of different herbs that work synergistically together.

HPA Adapt
HPA Adapt is an herbal formula with Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, Eleuthero, Holy Basil and Maca that supports a healthy stress hormone balance via the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA Axis).

Cortisol Manager
Cortisol Manager combines cortisol-modulating botanicals (blend of herbal extracts from Ashwagandha, Magnolia and Epimedium) and stress-reducing ingredients.

Suggested Protocol:
HPA Adapt in the morning and Cortisol Manager before bedtime.

Another unique supplement, AnxioCalm, derived from Echinacea augustifolia root extract, has been clinically studied to help relieve occasional anxiety, nervousness, every day stress and occasional restless sleep.

AnxioCalm contains phytonutrients from Echinacea shown to support brain chemistry and receptors associated with feelings of calm and relaxation. It also supports a healthy endocannabioid system.

AnxioCalm is fast acting, (usually within 1 hour), and is safe for children 4 and older as well as adults. It’s non-addictive and does not cause drowsiness.

Read more about AnxioCalm.

Here is more specific information on some botanicals that are used to reduce stress and/or promote restful healthy sleep:

Ashwagandha – is used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine as a tonic. Long known for its ability to help the body deal with stress. Helps reduce elevated cortisol (produced in the adrenal cortex in response to stress) levels at bedtime. Can help with insomnia especially if sleep difficulties are related to stress and being too exhausted to sleep.

Chamomile – used as a bedtime tea for centuries for its mild relaxing properties.

Eleuthero – also known as Siberian ginseng, is an adaptogen which supports your adrenals and your body’s ability to adapt to stress.

Holy Basil – also known as tulsi and enjoyed as a tea, is traditionally used in Indian culture. This adaptogen (anti-stress agent) also supports general health.

Hops – a popular sleep aid, as well as a preservative in beer. Used to treat anxiety insomnia and restlessness; for more than 1000 years used as an ingredient in beer.

Lavender – lavender oil is used in relaxing bath oils and by aromatherapists. When taken as a supplement it can promote relaxation, calm nervousness and reduce irritability. It is used to address insomnia and help bring on sleep.

Lemon balm – commonly used as a sedative and stomach soother.

Magnolia – magnolia bark and its constituents have been show to moderate cortisol production.

Maca – an adaptogenic plant that’s indigenous to the Andes. It contributes to well-being and healthy mood.

Passionflower – a popular herbal sedative, the fresh or dried Passionflower herb has been used for centuries to treat nervous tension, anxiety, exhaustion from overwork, and insomnia. It is a mild sedative and gentle sleep inducer.

Rhodiola – is a plant that grows in the the Arctic areas of Europe and Asia. Rhodiola is used traditionally for mood and energy support.

Rooibos – used in South Africa as a tea for many years to calm the digestive tract and reduce nervous tension. Rooibos has become a very popular herbal tea more recently in the United States.

Valerian Root – has been a sleep aid for more than 1000 years. It provides a calmative effect and promotes relaxation.  It is not considered habit-forming and does not produce a “hangover” effect.


Nonbotanicals for Sleep Support

The hormone Melatonin is also a dietary supplement used for insomnia. Because melatonin is not a botanical but a hormone that is normally produced in the body, it is not listed above.

Melatonin regulates daily biorhythms including the wake and sleep cycle which tend to be disturbed when people travel across different time zones.

Two amino acids, L-Theanine (found in green tea) and GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) are also used to support sleep. GABA is an amino acid that serves as the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. The supplement 200 Mg of Zen combines L-Theanine and GABA and is helpful for stress and sleep support.

Magnesium is a relaxing mineral; many clients take it at bedtime for the added benefit of supporting ease at falling asleep.

Other products that support sleep include Prothrivers Wellness Sleep, a combination of herbs, magnesium, L-theanine and melatonin.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email