Medicinal plants for insomnia

Approximately one in three people suffers from insomnia, either temporarily or permanently. This means they have difficulties in sleeping.

This is not a rare phenomenon – large parts of society are affected by insomnia. Insomnia is a serious issue that can have an impact on the health and quality of life of sufferers.

Because of this, many people take sleeping pills, which have negative side effects such as decreased productivity during the day (at work, home…) and many of these medicines are highly addictive.

Thankfully, there are many effective natural remedies to help us beat insomnia.

These are not addictive and are often more effective than traditional medication as they work by supporting the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase of sleep, which is when we dream and fall into a regenerative sleep.


The most popular natural sleeping pill is, without a doubt, valerian. In small doses, valerian can calm the nerves, relax us and even improve our ability to concentrate.

In higher doses, the lignans in valerian replace our body’s adenosine and induce tiredness.

They can be bought in tablet form in any pharmacy without the need for a prescription.


If you are unable to sleep due to restlessness and nervousness, lavender could be helpful. A few drops of lavender oil in an oil lamp can calm and relax you. A lavender infusion is even more effective in aiding sleep.


Melissa or lemon balm is similarly relaxing, and can be found in several natural products. It is widely used in cookery – Spain has its own “Agua del Carmen” and in countries such as Germany it is possible to buy a liquor named “Klosterfrau Melissengeist”.

It is one of the most ancient medicines of the Germanic country and was invented by the nun Maria Clementine Martin who founded her own company in 1826 in Cologne to distribute the liquor.

It is not necessary to drink this alcoholic beverage to reap the benefits of Melissa: a relaxing tea can be made by adding hot water to a spoonful of Melissa leaves and leaving it to infuse for around five minutes.

Photo: CC0 Public Domain

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