Strong Sedative Herbs


Sedatives are compounds that calm people, reduce anxiety, decrease awareness of one’s surroundings, or lessen one’s physical ability. These substances may cause perceptual changes especially dreams or cause feelings of euphoria. Psychoactive plants and compounds in this group include poppy, valerian, and passionflower.

The beautiful California poppy is indigenous to western North America and is the official state flower of California. At least ten other species of Escherichia are found in California. The genus was named in honor of Dr. J. F. Preschool, a Russian naturalist and surgeon who served in the Russian expeditions to the Northwest in the early 1800s.

The California Indians have used the golden poppy for medicinal and psychoactive purposes since prehistoric times. All parts of the plant (leaves, flowers, stems, seeds, and roots) have been used for their sedative and mild psychoactive effects. This species is commonly used as a painkiller and mild sedative in the same manner as opium among the Indians of northern Mexico. Many different alkaloids are contained in various parts of plant. The psychoactive effects of this plant are primarily as a sedative and inducing a mild state of euphoria.

For tens of centuries, plants have been highly valued and regularly used as medicine amongst the masses. Insomnia, a loss of sleep, is mostly treated by synthetic sleeping tablets these days. However, questions have been raised about the safety of prolonged use of artificial sedatives due to their deleterious side effects such as physical dependence. In recent years, there has been an increasing propensity to preclude insomnia by herbal medicines throughout the world. Many herbs have a lengthy background in terms of insomnia treatment in Iran. This paper gives an account of previously published research on sedative and hypnotic effects of medicinal herbs used for treatment of insomnia in Iranian traditional medicine.Keywords: Iranian medicinal herbs, Iranian traditional medicine, insomnia, sedative effect, hypnotic effect Go to:


Nowadays, insomnia has been a conspicuous problem or disease in our restless society. It has been reported that 10 to 20 percent of adults across cultures suffer from chronic insomnia (Lamb-erg, 2005[10]). Insomnia is often defined by sleeping problems. People who suffer from insomnia may encounter difficulty of getting to sleep or staying asleep, or having non-refreshing sleep, to some degree. The poor quality of sleep is naturally followed by functional impairment while awake (Scott et al., 2011[24]). Insomnia is secondary to other conditions. Indeed, it may stem from life events, mental disorders, pain, hormone shift and alcohol usage, to name but a few. Insomnia can be treated by synthetic medicines. Some insomniacs rely on sleeping tablets such as benzodiazepines and newer nonbenzodiazepines to get rest (Smith and Tett, 2010[26]; Riches and Krystal, 2011[23]). Despite clinical success, these medicines have a number of problems in use. Apart from daytime fatigue and cognitive impairment as side effects of these sedatives (Zlott and Borne, 2010[28]; Handler et al., 1980[5]), they may engender physical dependence (Blais and Petit, 1990[2]). On the other hand, insomnia can be treated by herbal remedies. Some insomniacs are inclined to take medicinal plants owing to low frequency of side effects. Several medicinal herbs have been used throughout the world (Wing, 2001[27]). Moreover, the usage of herbal medicines has come to Iranian people since ancient times and apparently still serves a key role in the arsenal of medicines in modern medicine. In fact, various climates in Iran exert a crucial role in distribution of plants used in traditional medicine. To date, several reviews have been published with respect to hypnotic impacts of herbal remedies throughout the world (Kim et al., 2011[8]; La-France et al., 2000[9]). We previously published a review on Persian herbal medicines with anxiolytic properties (Rab bani et al., 2011[20]). Nonetheless, a comprehensive review has been absent with regard to hypnotic effects of herbs used in Iranian traditional medicine. Therefore, this paper reviews the literature pertaining to medicinal herbs used for treatment of insomnia in Iran.

6 Herbal Sedatives to Help You Fall Asleep Naturally

More than a third of our population has trouble falling asleep at night. Sleep is the body’s natural way of restoring itself, and sleep deprivation can lead to a host of health problems, from headaches and fatigue to depression and a weakened immune system. If you’re struggling with insomnia or just having trouble falling asleep, check out these herbal sleep aids. Safe and natural, these natural sedatives will help you get a good night’s rest.

California poppy:

The California poppy contains protopine, which has similar (but much milder effects) as morphine, making it a good natural sedative. Although it is a relative of the Opium Poppy, it is not an opiate, so using it won’t cause dependence problems. Steep two grams of this herb in boiling water to make a relaxing tea.


This plant is a well-known herbal sleep aid. A cup of chamomile tea before bed will help you relax and fall asleep faster. Steep a heaping tablespoon of this herb in boiling water; cover the tea as it steeps so as not to lose the calming essential oils.


Although this natural sedative is used to make beer, drinking a glass full of beer before bed does not have the same effect as drinking a tea made from hops. Alcohol will lull you into a restless sleep from which you will wake several hours later, but hops will ease you into a deep, restful sleep. Hops work well on their own, but paired with chamomile and lavender they make a lovely herbal sachet.


Lavender relaxes the nervous system, helping you to fall asleep faster. Stuff an herbal sachet with the leaves of this plant, take a few drops of lavender tincture or place a few drops of lavender essential oil into a cup of boiling water and inhale.


This fast-growing vine contains tranquilizing compounds that can ease anxiety and help you sleep—but won’t cause drowsiness in the morning. Many varieties of the passionflower exist, but not all are suitable for medical uses. Be sure that you’re taking only Passiflora incarnate, as other variations can be dangerous. Steep one teaspoon of leaves in a cup of boiling water for a soothing tea.


This plant is a potent sedative and effective pain killer. In a Swedish study of valerian tranquilizing effects, almost 90 percent of insomniacs said that this herb helped them sleep. Valerian can make you feel groggy the next morning, so use with caution. Use valerian root to make a tea, or take 600 milligrams before bed.

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