Insomnia is common, so are its remedies. Not only are prescription medicines evolving, there is increased availability of over the counter supplements. Choosing the right solution can be a daunting task, with opinions varying amongst all experts.
At Refine Naturals, we took this task of formulating an effective sleep supplement seriously and combined 3 of the best herbs for effective results (visit our product ‘here’).
Choosing a time-tested solution:
The Houma, Cherokee and other Native American tribes used all parts of the passionflower plant for medicinal uses documented in 1612. Medicinal use of lemon balm dates back for over 2000 years. Paracelsus, the Swiss physician, commented that lemon balm should be used for “all complaints supposed to proceed from a disordered state of the nervous system”. On the other hand, modern sedatives have been in the market since 1960s. The reliability of these time tested herbs cannot be doubted.
Multiple health benefits of Passionflower:
Passiflora incarnata has been clinically proven in well designed, randomized clinical trials (RCTs) to treat insomnia, anxiety disorders, opiate withdrawal, neuropathic pain and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Read more on what the term ‘clinically proven’ actually refers to here. Its effects can be attributed to the well-studied flavonoid Chrysin and apigenin and unlike some prescription sedatives like diazepam, passionflower gets washed out pretty fast from the body.
Calming action of Lemon balm:
Having a calm state of mind, free from stress is a pre-requisite for a good sleep. Lemon balm does just that and consequently improves sleep quality.[9,10] Several studies prove lemon balm’s virtue in improving mood and relieving stress by its unique property to inhibit GABA transaminase. Rosmarinic acid, citronellal, citral are some of the actives in Melissa officinalis. The beauty of lemon balm not only lies in its calming effect but also the ability to improve memory.
Sedative action of Hops:
The sleep promoting effects of the neurotransmitter ‘Adenosine’ are not talked about much, but did you know that it inhibits arousal and causes sleepiness? Hops acts on the brain three-fold: modulating adenosine receptors, GABA receptors, and melatonin receptors. The sedative activity of Humulus lupulus lies mainly in myrcenol, xantohumol and its bitter resins.
The problem with prescription sedatives:
REM sleep consolidates our memory and helps in learning. Unfortunately, popular sleep aids (benzodiazepines), while increasing total sleep duration, reduce the amount of time spent in REM sleep. Consequently, they have been shown to have a negative impact on memory and lead to cognitive decline.[14,15] What’s more, their use has been linked to daytime sleepiness, recurrent falls and driving accidents.
Multiple ingredient formula:
A combination of 3 herbs allows reducing the doses of the ingredients (product does not sedate acutely or interfere with normal sleep, next day activities or causes addiction).
At Refine Naturals, we realize that not all natural health supplements are created equal. We concentrate our expertise in choosing quality and evidence backed medicinal as well as non-medicinal ingredients. We keep our labels and marketing practices compliant to advertising standards, so as to never mislead consumers in their decision making.
At Refine Naturals: We believe “You Deserve Better than FINE!”
- Plants Profile for Passiflora incarnata (purple passionflower) [Internet]. [cited 2020 Sep 15];Available from: https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=pain6
- Scholey A, Gibbs A, Neale C, Perry N, Ossoukhova A, Bilog V, et al. Anti-stress effects of lemon balm-containing foods. Nutrients 2014;6(11):4805–21.
- Lee J, Jung H-Y, Lee SI, Choi JH, Kim S-G. Effects of Passiflora incarnata Linnaeus on polysomnographic sleep parameters in subjects with insomnia disorder: a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled study. Int Clin Psychopharmacol 2020;35(1):29–35.
- Akhondzadeh S, Naghavi HR, Vazirian M, Shayeganpour A, Rashidi H, Khani M. Passionflower in the treatment of generalized anxiety: A pilot double-blind randomized controlled trial with oxazepam. J Clin Pharm Ther 2001;26(5):363–7.
- Akhondzadeh S, Kashani L, Mobaseri M, Hosseini SH, Nikzad S, Khani M. Passionflower in the treatment of opiates withdrawal: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. J Clin Pharm Ther 2001;26(5):369–73.
- Aman U, Subhan F, Shahid M, Akbar S, Ahmad N, Ali G, et al. Passiflora incarnata attenuation of neuropathic allodynia and vulvodynia apropos GABA-ergic and opioidergic antinociceptive and behavioural mechanisms. BMC Complement Altern Med 2016;16(1):77.
- Akhondzadeh S, Mohammadi M, Momeni F. Passiflora incarnata in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. Therapy 2005;2(4):609–14.
- Passiflora incarnata - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics [Internet]. [cited 2020 Sep 15];Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/passiflora-incarnata
- Kennedy DO, Little W, Scholey AB. Attenuation of Laboratory-Induced Stress in Humans After Acute Administration of Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm): Psychosom Med 2004;66(4):607–13.
- Cerny A, Schmid K. Tolerability and efficacy of valerian/lemon balm in healthy volunteers (a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre study). Fitoterapia 1999;70(3):221–8.
- Awad R, Muhammad A, Durst T, Trudeau VL, Arnason JT. Bioassay-guided fractionation of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) using an in vitro measure of GABA transaminase activity. Phytother Res PTR 2009;23(8):1075–81.
- Carnat AP, Carnat A, Fraisse D, Lamaison JL. The aromatic and polyphenolic composition of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L. subsp. officinalis) tea. Pharm Acta Helv 1998;72(5):301–5.
- Franco L, Sánchez C, Bravo R, Rodriguez A, Barriga C, Juánez J. The sedative effects of hops (Humulus lupulus) , a component of beer, on the activity/rest rhythm. Acta Physiol Hung 2012;99(2):133–9.
- Pagel JF, Parnes BL. Medications for the Treatment of Sleep Disorders: An Overview. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2001;3(3):118–25.
- Picton JD, Marino AB, Nealy KL. Benzodiazepine use and cognitive decline in the elderly. Am J Health Syst Pharm 2018;75(1):e6–12.
- Rossat A, Fantino B, Bongue B, Colvez A, Nitenberg C, Annweiler C, et al. Association between benzodiazepines and recurrent falls: A cross-sectional elderly population-based study. J Nutr Health Aging 2011;15(1):72–7.