Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
Carminative, Anti-depressant, Sedative
In the twelfth century Hildegard von Bingen wrote "Balm contains within it the properties of 15 other herbs". This popular garden plant makes an effective tea for digestive troubles, depression, high blood pressure, fever, tension, menstrual problems, and insomnia. Used long term it has a tonic effect on both the circulatory system and the heart. This is another great tea for children as it is gentle and calming. Because it doesn't induce drowsiness it can be used as a uplifting daytime tea.
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)
Sedative, Anti-spasmodic, Hypnotic
This beautiful vine is a gentle tonic for the nervous system. It is used to treat anxiety, depression, neuralgias, hypertension, and insomnia. Passionflower is appropriate to use with both children and the elderly, and helps to induce a restful sleep. It effects the sympathetic nervous system and improves the circulation and nutrition of the nerve centers.
Scullcap (Scutelleria laterifolia)
Sedative, Anti-spasmodic, Nerve Tonic, Anodyne
Scullcap is an important addition to the treatment of stress and anxiety. It is a safe central nervous system tonic, providing relief from insomnia, neuralgia, nervous headaches, and hysteria. It is believed that scullcap stimulates the production of endorphins and acts as a minor neural sedative that reduces nerve excitability. It is appropriate for daytime use as it does not induce drowsiness and can be taken for up to six weeks.
Hops (Humulus lupulus)
Nervine, Anodyne, Stomachic, Tonic
For centuries this aromatic plant has been used to induce a restful sleep. It's distinctive bitter flavour stimulates digestion thus relieving stomach complaints - particularly ones that are anxiety related. Not only an effective sedative, hops can also be used in combination with other herbs to treat nervous irritability, nervous headache, anxiety, and hysteria.
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
Nervine, Sedative, Anti-spasmodic
Valerian has been used throughout history to treat anxiety, pain (migraine, intestinal, menstrual) and other nervous conditions. It is very effective at normalizing the nervous system and has sedative effects comparable to benzodiazepine drugs (Valium) without the side effects. Valerian is used for hypertension and stress related heart problems, and has helped in cases of epileptic seizures. Because it's such a potent sedative it is best used before bed rather than during the day when it may cause drowsiness.