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Powerful Herbal Medicines for Sleep Support


  • I brought a bottle of De-stuff for my 11 month old daughter yesterday who has had a runny nose for the last 5 days, I've been wiping her nose constantly but after 2 doses of De-stuff I've only had to wipe her nose twice today. I wish I'd known about this sooner. I will be using this straight away in the future
    – Melissa Bayne
  • I love Kiwiherb! Finding something that worked so well, and was safe for my daughter when she was at an age where she couldn't have all other medicines, it was such a great help! And now I use nothing else
    – Alyssa Francis-King
  • Received a bottle of children's chest syrup to trial and what can I say it's magic in a bottle!! After a single dose they didn’t cough the whole night which meant a better sleep for everyone after two days they were so much better and they liked the taste which is great, can't wait to try more of your products
    – Daniella Bhagat
  • Brought a bottle of children's chest syrup and it works like magic no more coughing during the night. Also my son loves the taste
    – Philippa Quigley
  • My wife and I have been using this product for years and they are amazing and work fantastic!!! We have the all the children's stuff including the echinature, chest syrup, throats syrup and the De-stuff!!! Absolutely amazing products We love them
    – Craig Hume
  • Absolutely love baby balm. My 6 week old had flakey, dry skin and nothing I had tried was helping until I tried baby balm. Her skin is so much better. I can't believe how fast it worked. Thank you Kiwiherb!!!
    – Alex Lazzaro
  • I'm not often inspired enough to go seek out a brand's Facebook page just to give them my positive feedback - in fact this is the first time ever. I just wanted to express how much I love the children's cough syrup, it's always worked wonders on my kids - it's now taken to the next level with the inclusion of the syringe which is long enough to reach the bottom of the bottle - hurray! It's always been the bane of my mum-life trying to reach the medicine when the bottles have run low with syringes that aren't long enough - thank you!
    – Melissa White
  • On Sunday we bought De-Stuff for our 3 year old daughter who has struggled with a cold all week. After 2 doses of it, along with the Chesty formula, she slept so well that night and woke up looking and sounding so much better. Now almost 3 days later her cold is all but gone. I wish I had have found out about it sooner.
    – Bridgette Robinson

Powerful Herbal Medicines for Sleep Support

Top 10 Naturopathic Sleep Hygiene Tips

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About the Author

Asti Renaut

Asti Renaut (BHSc. Comp Med, BA, Adv Dip Nat, Adv Dip Herb Med, MNZAMH)

Asti Renaut is a degree-qualified medical herbalist and naturopath with over ten years clinical experience. Asti practices in Christchurch, New Zealand, treating a wide range of health issues. She especially enjoys working with infants and children, and finally has one of her own to practice on! One of the cornerstones of Asti's practice and philosophy is the importance of education and sharing information. She believes that empowering clients to understand their own bodies and health, and giving practical tips and tools to use from the garden and kitchen are just as important for wellness as qualified professional care. 

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Part 2*

When most people think of herbs for sleep, they think of a cup of Chamomile tea, but we have many more powerful herbal remedies at our disposal! Now, I am a huge fan of Chamomile tea, don’t get me wrong. When you use the whole dried flowers, in a decent quantity, steeped (covered) for a good five minutes minimum, and then drink it...ahh... relaxation in a cup. A good well-brewed Chamomile tea will be slightly bitter, and taste quite strong. The problem, as with many popularised herbal medicines, is in the quality, the preparation, and the dose. Expecting a tea bag from the supermarket to solve your sleeping woes is like expecting an apple from the supermarket to keep the doctor away. It may happen, but probably by good luck rather than good medicine!

Chamomile is indeed a powerfully calming herb when administered correctly. It has a special affinity with children, and has the added benefit of being relaxing for the digestive system. Chamomile can be given in the evening for children who need help to get to sleep, or can be given throughout the day and night for children prone to nervous tension. This can also be useful in babies and infants who have unsettled tummies that may be keeping them awake at night. Chamomile given in a liquid or syrup form like Kids Calm makes it easy to administer for even the fussiest of small people!

Whatever the herb, whoever the person, I often find it is best to use quite substantial doses for a week or two to help change sleeping habits and patterns. After this, the herb can often be used just as needed, on nights that seem particularly difficult.

Valerian. Let me tell you about Valerian. Valerian is one of the most powerful sedative herbs we have in our herbal dispensary. It helps to get people to sleep and helps them stay asleep. In other words, it has been shown to help with sleep onset insomnia and also sleep maintenance insomnia. Valerian has been shown in a clinical trial to be as effective as a common benzodiazepine medication but with less side effects. That is rather compelling research!

Some herbalists do prescribe Valerian during the day for people with anxiety, to calm them down. If someone gave me Valerian during the day, I would have a very hard time staying awake. Believe me, I tried it once. I am wary of using this powerful herb during the day, unless it is for very highly motivated highly stressed and anxious people who have too much energy and need to be brought down a few notches in order to feel normal!

I have also seen liquid Valerian used successfully by people with Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), when even high doses of magnesium don’t work. Valerian is one of the few herbs that has been specifically trialled on children, and shown to be effective to improve children’s sleep. It is however a strong herb with a rather strong flavour, and I would usually try Chamomile first.

Whenever I see someone with sleeping issues, I ask them what their stress levels are like. Do they have stress or tension during the day? Have they had any anxiety or feelings of overwhelm? Elevated levels of stress hormones from the adrenal glands can interfere with sleep hormones, and also stimulate our nervous systems to keep us ‘wired’.

Two excellent herbs for calming stress and reducing the effects of stress on the body are Withania and Lemon Balm. Withania somnifera is named as such because of its ability to improve sleeping patterns; “somni” meaning sleep. It influences levels of stress hormones in the body, calms and relaxes the nervous system and helps us perform better under pressure. Lemon Balm is a wonderfully calming herb that relaxes the mind and soothes frazzled nerves. When combined with B complex vitamins (which are depleted in stressful times) in StressCare®, these two herbs provide an excellent support to reduce the effects of stress on mind and body. Reducing stress during the day is so important when sleep is a problem, as the calmer we feel throughout the day the more likely our nervous system will be able to ‘turn out the lights’ at night.

 So next time you need some support for sleep, remember there are strong and powerful herbal medicines at your disposal, just waiting to help sing you their botanical lullabyes. 

*Click here to read Part One: How to Get Better Quality Sleep -  Naturopathic Sleep Hygiene: Top Ten Tips