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 Herbal Actions: Hypnotic 
What is a Hypnotic?
Hypnotics are herbal remedies that will help to induce a deep and healing state of sleep. They have nothing at all to do with hypnotic trances!

How Hypnotics Work
Herbs that help you sleep have modes of action that vary from mild muscle relaxing properties, through volatile oils that ease psychological tensions, to remedies that contain strong alkaloids that work directly on the central nervous system and put you to sleep. Some of the most effective plant hypnotics are illegal for the very degree of their effectiveness. This includes the whole range of Opium Poppy derivatives. The remedies mentioned here are entirely safe and have no addictive properties.

Hypnotic herbs should always be used within the context of an approach to sleep problems involving relaxation, food, and lifestyle in general. For a detailed approach to their therapeutic use please refer to the section on the nervous system.

Hypnotics for Different Parts of the Body
Each system of the body has plants that are particularly suited to it, some of which are hypnotics of varying strength. It is safe to say, however, that all of the hypnotic remedies can help the whole body, in that sleep is such a vital health process.

Circulatory system: Here we can mention Motherwort, Linden, Balm. Notice that they are all in the milder group. European Mistletoe can help but must be used with care.

Respiratory system: All of the hypnotics can help as anti-spasmodics in conditions such as asthma, if used at the right dose. Wild Lettuce eases irritable coughs.

Digestive system: The relaxing nervines and carminatives are important, of which we can mention Chamomile, Vervain, Balm, Hops and Valerian. The anti-spasmodic herbs will help with intestinal colic, for example Hops, Jamaican Dogwood, Passion Flower and Valerian.

Urinary system: Hypnotics are important here when used as muscle relaxants.

Reproductive system: The same remarks hold good.

Muscles and Skeleton: All hypnotics will aid in reducing muscle tension and even the pain associated with problems in this system. They may be used internally or as lotions. Especially important are Jamaican Dogwood and Valerian.

Nervous system: All these remedies work on the nervous system.

Skin: Chamomile and Cowslip are healing, but otherwise the value of hypnotics here is to ensure that the body has a good recuperative rest each night.

Hypnotic Herbs

Californian Poppy
Eschscholzia californica
Matricaria recutita
Humulus lupulus
Jamaican Dogwood
Piscidia erythrina
Tilia spp.
Leonurus cardiaca
Artemisia vulgaris
Pasque Flower
Anenome pulsatilla
Passion Flower
Passiflora incarnata
Scutellaria laterifolia
Valeriana officinalis
Verbena officinalis
Wild Lettuce
Lactuca virosa
Wood betony
Betonica officinalis

Hypnotics & Their Secondary Actions
Please refer to the secondary actions of Nervine Relaxants

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 About The Author
David Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMHWhilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary wholeness and responsibility for it......more
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