Natural Global Sleep Remedies

by Rona Berg

Every culture has herbal remedies for the basic—and brutal—problem of sleeplessness. 

These herbs and plants are often incorporated into supplements or powders to mix into drinks, brew as tea, spray on the pillow or inhale from a few drops of essential oil on the wrist.


FRANCE  |  Lavender The aroma of lavender is extremely relaxing: Spray around the bed or pillow, or place a sachet between the pillowcase and pillow. 

GERMANY  |  Valerian root A flowering plant native to Europe, the root of valerian is a sedative, and it is easy to find in supplement or tea form. 

EASTERN EUROPE  |  Chamomile Chamomile acts as a sedative, and a cup of tea can often make you drowsy enough to fall asleep. 

INDIA  |  Ashwagandha An adaptogenic plant used in Ayurvedic treatments for over 5,000 years, ashwagandha, often taken in supplement form, helps the body balance stress. 

UK  |  St. John’s Wort A natural antidepressant, studies have shown a link between St. John’s Wort (supplements) and our GABA receptors, which reduce stress and help promote sleep. 

US  |  CBD According to Dr. Fisher, CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, an important balance-restoring system in our body. 

NORTH AFRICA  |  Lemon Balm Native to the Mediterranean, lemon balm—taken as tea or supplement—has a minty, citrusy flavor.  

SOUTH AMERICA  |  Passion Flower The leaves and roots release GABA, a neurotransmitter in the brain that promotes relaxation. Easily found as a tea.

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