I have been having trouble sleeping lately.
Q. Dear Terry, “I have been having trouble sleeping lately. I tried valerian, but I did not like it because it gave me very strange dreams. What other natural ingredients can I try?” — Bev P., Albuquerque, NM
A. Dear Bev, There are four botanicals I use for sleep because they are known for their ability to calm our minds and relax our bodies.
Lemon balm is a lemon-scented herb that has been used medicinally for centuries. Lemon balm is an effective calming agent and mild sedative.
Lavender is another natural sleep aid. Long promoted for its effects on feelings of well-being, lavender flowers were commonly placed under pillows to help promote sleep. Scientific studies suggest that lavender oil works to relieve anxiety and is a mild sedative, increasing deep sleep.
Mandarin is traditionally used to help settle the nervous system and induce sleep. Mandarin peel is widely used to fight stress because of its exceptional soothing and calming effects. Scientists believe the compounds in mandarin peel, including limonene, work synergistically to promote relaxation and sleep.
Lastly, ravintsara is a rainforest tree with very fragrant leaves, bark, and nuts. This tree has long been used as an all-around tonic in Madagascar. I recommend ravintsara leaf oil because of its powerful effects for relieving insomnia, reducing depression, and alleviating nervous tension.
I suggest a blend of mandarin zest oil, lemon balm leaf extract, ravintsara leaf oil, and lavender flower oil. I would take this blend thirty minutes to an hour before bedtime.
Terry . . . Naturally