After a long, stressful day it’s nice to make a cup of tea and take a hot bubble bath to help you sleep...but we don’t always get the chance or have the time for that.
Many women turn to herbal supplements to help with mood, energy, sleep, and calmness on a daily basis.
You’ve probably heard of drinking a beer to ease tension...but what about taking hops as a supplement? That gives you the benefits of this herb without the side effects of alcohol, such as getting buzzed or drunk and consuming all those calories.
Hops helps calm you and promotes better sleep without the unwanted side effects in the morning.
Another herb, valerian root, has been used for centuries to promote sleep and encourage calmness. Together they offer many health benefits for better sleep and feeling calm during the day.
Sleep problems are a common issue these days. Around 70 million Americans have chronic sleep problems according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Not sleeping well and feeling tired all the time contributes to a host of medical issues including poor concentration while driving and working, obesity, mental illness, and poor well-being.
Hops are actually the female flowers of the hop plant. You might have seen a leafy vine growing on a fence before and not recognized it—we tend to think of a drawing of hops on beer bottles.
Hops were discovered in the early 11th century and used as a flavoring agent in beer. After that, hops were also used herbal medicines to treat insomnia.
Hops are actually related to the cannabis family, which helps to explain how they work to relax muscles and treat anxiety.
Hops contain a flavonoid compound, xanthohumol, that may have antiviral, anti-clotting, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor activity.
Hops has historically been used, often with valerian, to promote sleep, and the effectiveness of this combination has been validated in a number of placebo-controlled studies.
Additionally, hops have an anti-anxiety effect. This herb effectively relaxes aching muscles and eases body pain.
Research shows that the sedative effects of hops comes from its ability to lower body temperature. Lowering body temperature helps to bring about drowsiness and is an important part of the body’s sleep process.
Valerian too has been long used to treat difficulty sleeping, restlessness, nervousness, and anxiety.
It’s native to parts of Asia and Europe, where it’s been used for over a thousand years. It’s actually the root of the perennial valerian plant, or Valeriana officinalis, that’s harvested for medicinal use.
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 does has a strong odor, but you can avoid that by taking valerian in pill form.
That gives you the opportunity to take a supplement with many calming ingredients such as you’d find in Nutrition Blends supplements.
These two herbs are especially effective when they’re used together. A 2010 research review published in Australian Family Physician found that pairing hops with valerian helps treat insomnia.
The review included 16 previously published studies, and 12 of those found that valerian on its own or in combination with hops helped improve sleep quality and lessened the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.
Most of us are familiar with the soothing affects of hops—that’s why many people have a beer in the evening.
The problem with alcohol is that after its effects wear off, we normally wake up and then have trouble sleeping.
Hops doesn’t do that because it’s a calming herb.
Valerian is too; it primarily 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.
Scientific study has demonstrated that both valerian and hops can help alleviate restlessness and anxiety, reduce stress, and lower blood pressure.
Along with their calming, sedative, and low risks for side effects, valerian and hops are being used to help other conditions beyond sleep issues and anxiety.
A flavonoid in hops helps reduce weight gain, lowers elevated cholesterol, and reduces high blood sugar. These conditions all contribute to metabolic syndrome, a condition which significantly increases your risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Hops even fights cancer. The flavonoids in this herb have anti-cancer properties and protect against several forms of cancer such as breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers.
Preliminary research shows valerian may also be useful for:
It’s amazing what herbs can do for us—they’re all natural, calming, detoxifying, and beneficial to our health without the side effects of medication.
Valerian and hops will calm you and help you sleep better—so imagine what they can do together combined with other calming herbs.
Nutrition Blends Inner Peace Formula contains 18 natural ingredients that provide calm energy, better focus, better sleep, and improved overall health.
A few other ingredients include lemon balm, lavender, St. John’s Wort, magnolia, and chamomile.
Learn more about Nutrition Blends Inner Peace Formula, including the science behind how they work, at www.nutritionblends.com.
Understanding Valerian and Hops from The Sleep Doctor.
The Health Benefits of Hops. Verywellhealth.com
Uwe Koetter and Martin Biendl, “Hops (Humulus lupulus): A Review of its Historic and Medicinal Uses.” HerbalGram, 2010, http://cms.herbalgram.org/herbalgram/issue87/article3559.html?ts=1439392197&signature=a1896f300a8827c5a6761b8f3e431091