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The MindBodyBrain Project

Wisdom Wednesdays: Do sleep herbs actually work?


In this week's podcast, I look at the evidence for some commonly used natural herbs for sleep.

Here are the research studies.

1. Hattesohl, M., Feistel, B., Sievers, H., Lehnfeld, R., Hegger, M., & Winterhoff, H. (2008). Extracts of Valeriana officinalis L. s.l. show anxiolytic and antidepressant effects but neither sedative nor myorelaxant properties. Phytomedicine, 15(1–2), 2–15. PMID: 18160026

2. Taavoni, S., Ekbatani, N., Kashaniyan, M., & Haghani, H. (2011). Effect of valerian on sleep quality in postmenopausal women: a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. Menopause (New York, N.Y.), 18(9), 951–955. PMID: 21775910

3. Becker, A., Felgentreff, F., Schröder, H., Meier, B., & Brattström, A. (2014). The anxiolytic effects of a Valerian extract is based on valerenic acid. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 14(267), 1–5. PMID: 25066015

4. Liu, L., Liu, C., Wang, Y., Wang, P., Li, Y., & Li, B. (2015). Herbal Medicine for Anxiety, Depression and Insomnia. Current Neuropharmacology, 13(4), 481–93. PMID: 26412068

5. Amsterdam, J. D., Shults, J., Soeller, I., M., Rockwell, K., & Newbwerg, A. (2012). Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) May Have Antidepressant Activity in Anxious Depressed Humans – An Exploratory Study. Alternative Therapies In Health And Medicine, 18(5), 44–49. PMID: 21959306