We have a large array of medicine available to us today: painkillers, stomach meds, sleep aids, and mood stabilizers.
We spend quite a bit of money on these too. Americans spent $34 billion on over-the-counter medicines in 2016. That’s double what we spent on medicine just a decade ago.
That might be due to all the commercials we’re bombarded with every day for both over-the-counter medicine and prescription medication. It’s our instinct to take chemical medicine over natural.
Medicine can have side effects and interactions with other medicine and prescriptions, so even though it’s what we think of first...maybe we shouldn’t.
Herbs are a natural way to treat illness, conditions, and wounds. Herbs can also improve our health, such as our mood, sleep, and digestion.
We can all a ton of flavor and health benefits by cooking with herbs. But since not all herbs lend themselves to savory dishes, we can take supplements to get their benefits.
Many supplements offer a blend of herbs and other natural ingredients that boost our health.
Instead of taking a sleep aid, Tums for your stomach, and something for your mood, why not try an herbal supplement that can help all three?
It’s scientific name is Passiflora, but it’s also known as the passion flowers or passion vines.
Passion flower is a vine native to the tropics and sub-tropics that promotes restful sleep and relaxation.
A 2010 study in Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology found that passion flower affects gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors and other neurotransmitters in the central nervous system to calm us.
It’s a very powerful herbal sedative, some saying it’s as effective as valium. So it’s very popular as a remedy for insomnia.
We’ve all been there: you’re lying in bed but you’re wide awake because your mind is racing with thoughts of work and other responsibilities.
Valerian is a root extract that has been used for centuries to enhance sleep and encourage calmness, and it’s especially good for calming your mind to fall asleep.
It can be very helpful in creating a low level of calm without any “hangover” effect or histamine coma the next day.
Valerian has been long used to treat difficulty sleeping, restlessness, nervousness, and anxiety.
The Mayo Clinic says, “Results from multiple studies indicate that valerian — a tall, flowering grassland plant — may reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and help you sleep better.”
Valerian functions as an anxiolytic, which means it relieves anxiety and has calming, sedative effects.
It increases levels of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) in the brain, something we naturally make to calm ourselves.
GABA is an “inhibitory neurotransmitter” that quiets the activity of the neurons of the central nervous system, and that lowers anxiety while boosting feelings of relaxation.
GABA is also an important neurochemical for sleep, and healthy levels promote restful sleep so we get enough time in slow-wave and REM sleep—the two deepest sleep stages that restore us mentally and physically.
Valerian root is a great extract to help you relax during the day and then quiet your racing mind in the evening so you can go to sleep—and then it helps with restful REM sleep.
Skullcap is a flowering perennial plant from the mint family, Lamiaceae, that’s also called “mad dog” or blue skullcap. The plant has blue or purple flowers.
It has beneficial and essential substances like flavonoids, iridol, tannins, essential oil, resin, iron, silicon, calcium, magnesium, lignin, and wogonin.
Skullcap may neutralize and even get rid of toxic free radicals from the body, reducing oxidative stress.
Remember that oxidative stress affects brain-related diseases like anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and Parkinson’s disease.
So this herb helps with mental clarity, which makes sense because it’s in the mint family, and just smelling mint actually refreshes your mind.
It also helps reduce triglycerides, and that helps with more rapid weight loss.
Mental clarity and help with weight loss are two highly sought after benefits, so it’s an important herb to add to your supplements.
This herb is also a member of the mint family, and has long been used for reducing stress, promoting sleep, and supporting normal digestion.
Many people turn to lemon balm to settle an upset stomach. Other use it in addition to valerian root to improve sleep quality.
We have many studies that show how calming lemon balm is.
A 2004 study titled, “Anxiolytic effects of a combination of Melissa officinalis and Valeriana officinalis during laboratory induced stress” studied how lemon balm affected laboratory-induced stress in humans.
The researchers assessed the mood of patients before and after taking a dose of lemon balm extract or a placebo.
A 300 mg dose increased the speed the subjects could do math problems, without any reduction in accuracy.
A higher 600 mg dose offset the stress induced by the test, and produced significantly improved self-ratings of calmness and alertness.
Another study found that a daily oral dose of lemon balm reduced agitation and improved symptoms of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
In 2004, a study documented the effectiveness of a lozenge containing lemon balm along with herbs known to reduce anxiety.
The study was called, “Effects of lozenge containing lavender oil, extracts from hops, lemon balm and oat on electrical brain activity of volunteers.”
It was a placebo-controlled, double-blind trial, where volunteers used the active lozenge or a placebo twice, two hours apart.
They recorded brain waves before and at after the use of the lozenges.
Subjects that received the active lozenges, instead of the placebo, showed marked increases in the alpha wave activities that are associated with relaxation.
On top of that, they showed increases in the brain wave activity associated with attention. That suggests that the combined herbal preparation helped subjects cope with psychological and emotional stress.
Lemon balm is a proven calming herb that can help you think better as well.
It’s interesting that one study looked at a combination of herbs—notice it lists lavender, hops, lemon balm, and oat in “Effects of lozenge containing lavender oil, extracts from hops, lemon balm and oat on electrical brain activity of volunteers.”
Nutrition Blends Inner Peace Formula uses these listed herbs, along with passion flower, scullcap, and 12 other herbs for ultimate relaxation, plus other herbs and natural ingredients for energy, digestion, mood, and well-being.
Learn more about the Inner Peace Formula at www.nutritionblends.com, where you’ll also find a long list of studies to support the benefits of each ingredient.
“Benefits Of Skullcap And Its Side Effects.”https://www.lybrate.com/topic/benefits-of-skullcap-and-its-side-effects
“Natural Sleep Supplements.” https://www.wellandgood.com/good-advice/5-natural-sleep-supplements-that-actually-work/slide/2/
Lemon Balm. https://www.drweil.com/vitamins-supplements-herbs/herbs/lemon-balm/
Gyllenhaal C, Merritt SL, Peterson SD, Block KI, Gochenour T. Efficacy and safety of herbal stimulants and sedatives in sleep disorders. Sleep Med Rev. 2000 Jun;4(3):229-51.
Kennedy DO, Little W, Haskell CF, Scholey AB. Anxiolytic effects of a combination of Melissa officinalis and Valeriana officinalis during laboratory induced stress. Phytother Res. 2006 Feb;20(2):96-102.
Dimpfel W, Pischel I, Lehnfeld R. Effects of lozenge containing lavender oil, extracts from hops, lemon balm and oat on electrical brain activity of volunteers. Eur J Med Res. 2004 Sep 29;9(9):423-31.