Which plants to sleep better?

There are many plants to help you sleep better, soothe you and make it easier to fall asleep. We’re going to list a few of them in this article. Here are 8 plants that can help you get a good night’s sleep.

Have you ever had those nights when sleep seems elusive, no matter how tired you are? There are natural solutions to improve the quality of your sleep. This article introduces you to the most effective plants to help you fall asleep more easily and sleep better. So what are these plants that help you sleep ?

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

Lemon balm is the best plant for getting a good night’s sleep because it has a sedative effect on the central nervous system. Use it if you are prone to spasms and neuralgia . Lemon balm should be considered more specifically if the digestive system is disturbed, with a proven nervous origin. It reduces stress and has a heightened anxiolytic effect when combined with valerian. Lemon balm promotes sleep in cases of insomnia when falling asleep.

What are the properties of lemon balm?

Lemon balm, used for mild to moderate anxiety, improves the quality and duration of sleep in men. It has peripheral analgesic activity and promotes attention and calm. A 2015 trial showed that lemon balm significantly reduced anxiety and heart palpitations, without side effects.

Lemon balm targets nicotinic and muscarinic receptors in the cerebral cortex. It protects neurons from apoptosis and oxidative stress. These actions could slow cognitive decline. Patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease showed an improvement in a 2003 trial. Its anxiolytic properties are thought to be due to the potentiation of GABA, with rosmarinic acid and triterpenes as active ingredients.

As an antispasmodic, lemon balm reduces the frequency and severity of abdominal pain and bloating associated with irritable bowel syndrome. It also reduces the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhoea, as demonstrated by clinical trials.

Lemon balm protects the gastrointestinal system, preventing ulcers and acting as a lipid-lowering agent by reducing serum cholesterol and lipids. It also modifies weight, body fat and lipid metabolism.

It has antimicrobial and antiparasitic activity against various bacteria, yeasts, fungi and parasites, and an antiviral effect against herpes simplex.

Its strong antioxidant activity, mainly due to rosmarinic acid and flavonoids, protects against oxidative stress. Regular consumption of lemon balm reduces markers of oxidative stress and stimulates antioxidant defences, particularly in hospital staff exposed to radiation.

How can lemon balm be used to improve sleep quality?

To use lemon balm, prepare an infusion by adding 2 teaspoons of dried leaves to a cup of hot water, leave to infuse for 10 minutes, then strain. Drinking this tea before bed helps you to relax and fall asleep. Lemon balm comes in various forms:

  • Capsules: as a dietary supplement in the form of standardised fresh plant extract.
  • Liquid form: standardised fluid extract of fresh plant to be taken at a rate of 5 to 10 ml a day in a glass of water, or whole suspension of fresh plant at the same dosage.
  • Hydroalcoholic extract: 20 to 25 drops to be taken 2 to 3 times a day in a glass of water.
  • Herbal tea: 1.5 to 4.5 g of leaves in 150 ml of boiling water, steeped for 5 to 10 minutes, drink 1 cup 2 to 3 times a day.


  • Not recommended for pregnant women, children or adolescents under 18.
  • Avoid in cases of glaucoma or Graves’ disease.

Precautions for use :

  • Lemon balm may reduce alertness and may be dangerous when operating machinery or driving.
  • It may increase intraocular pressure and interfere with thyroid hormone treatments, requiring medical supervision.

Drug interactions :

  • Due to its sedative and antispasmodic action, lemon balm may reinforce the effects of psychotropic drugs, sleeping pills, antidepressants, neuroleptic antipsychotics, cough suppressants and analgesics containing opiates.
  • Risk of interaction with barbiturates, glaucoma treatments, thyroid hormone substitutes and SRIs (fluoxetine). Medical supervision is advised when combining these treatments.

Linden (Tilia platyphyllos)

Linden buds are rich in farnesol and terpenes with neuro-regulatory sedative properties. It is not a sleeping pill but a sleep inducerthere are no contraindications for pregnant women, children or the elderly.

What are its properties?

Linden, renowned for its therapeutic properties, offers a range of health benefits.

Aqueous extract of lime has an anxiolytic action due to a gabaergic mechanism. Tilia tomentosa, in particular, contains substances active on benzodiazepine receptors. Its inflorescences are antispasmodic, thanks to the presence of farnesol, a sedative terpene.

A 2017 study examined Tilia platyphyllos. Its protocatechic and caffeic acids showed antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumour effects. Similarly, Tilia argentea contains quercetol and kaempferol heterosides. These compounds have an anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory action. They are neither acutely toxic, nor do they cause gastric damage.

Linden has traditionally been used to relieve colds, excess mucous secretions and throat irritations. Applied topically, it soothes pruritus, cracks, chapping and skin irritations.

Traditionally used to facilitate hepatorenal elimination, Linden sapwood is hypotensive, coronary-dilating, diuretic and uricosuric. The esculoside it contains, shared with horse chestnut, has venotonic and anti-inflammatory vascular properties. It is also choleretic, like the fraxoside also present, and has antispasmodic effects thanks to phloroglucinol.

Tilia tomentosa bud macerate treats a variety of disorders. It acts on the nervous, cardiac, digestive, metabolic, urogenital and osteoarticular systems. This treatment relieves anxiety, insomnia, hypertension, colitis, excess uric acid and gout attacks. Tilia tomentosa, a symbol of strength and protection, helps during periods of intense stress and sleep disorders.

How can Linden be used to help you sleep better?

To take advantage of the benefits of lime blossom, here are the usual doses:

  • Dry form: As a dietary supplement, Linden sapwood powder is taken in capsules, 4 capsules a day.
  • Liquid form: 5 ml of linden sapwood honey glycerol fluid extract diluted in water 2 to 3 times a day. Bud glycerol macerate (Tilia tomentosa) is taken in doses of 25 to 100 drops 1 to 2 times a day.
  • Linden sapwood decoction: Prepare using 1 to 2 tablespoons per cup, boiled for 10 minutes. Drink 1 to 4 cups a day.
  • Infusion of Linden inflorescence: Infuse 1 tablespoon per cup for 10 to 15 minutes, drinking 1 to 4 times a day. For use in baths or on the skin, use a large handful for 1 litre of water, infuse for 15 minutes and add to the bath water.

Using Linden requires certain precautions and has specific contraindications.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) advises against the use of lime blossom by pregnant or breast-feeding women. It also recommends that they should not be used by children. For psychological disorders, the age limit is under 12. For infectious indications, the age limit is under 4. Linden should also be avoided in cases of large urinary and gallstones.

When treating colds with thyme, it is advisable to consult a doctor or healthcare professional if symptoms worsen, especially if you experience shortness of breath, high fever or purulent sputum.

Lemon verbena (Lippia Citriodora)

Used in cases of digestive spasms, scented verbena helps to reduce general nervousness, promote recuperative sleep and therefore better sleep. This plant facilitates sleep and combatsanxiety.

What are its indications?

Aloysia citrodora, also known as sweet verbena, lemongrass or cedron in Peru, belongs to the Verbenaceae family. Native to the South American Andes, this woody plant grows at altitudes of between 0 and 3,000 metres. It is grown for its lemon-scented leaves, which are used in cooking, infusions, liqueurs, perfumes and toiletries. However, it does not survive in cold temperate climates.

The leaves contain 0.90% essential oil made up of citral, limonene, geraniol and sesquiterpenes, giving the plant febrifuge, antispasmodic, antifungal, sedative and eupeptic properties, as well as repellent action against mosquitoes. The plant is characterised by woody, branching stems, narrow, elongated, rough, lemony leaves and small white flowers, bluish on the inside.

Lemongrass verbena, rich in citral, cineol, limonene and geraniol, is sold as an herbal tea. It is beneficial for digestion, useful for dry, sensitive skin and flavours dishes. The plant can be sown and cut, flowering from June to September and growing up to 1 m tall.

It soothes stomach pains, eliminates flatulence, calms nausea, stimulates digestion and combats stress, anxiety and gastrointestinal disorders. When massaged, this relaxing essential oil is recommended for a wide range of ailments, including nervous fatigue, stomach upsets and flu.

Lemongrass verbena essential oil is antifungal, antibacterial and sedative, and is used in rheumatology. It should not be ingested, is contraindicated during pregnancy and in children under 8 years of age, and may irritate the skin.

How should lemon verbena be used?

To make lemon verbena tea, use 1 to 2 grams (1 to 2 teaspoons) of dried leaves; double the amount if fresh. For sleep disorders, drink one cup before bedtime, or three times a day for stress or nervousness. Consult a health professional for the correct dosage. In capsules, take 1 gram with a glass of water during meals.

Lemon verbena essential oil requires specific precautions. Avoid combining with thyroid treatments and cortisone, as there is a potential risk of drug interactions. Not recommended for pregnant or breast-feeding women or children under the age of 8. Dermocaustic, it must be diluted for cutaneous application. Avoid inhalation, diffusion, use in the bath and in the presence of prostatic hyperplasia. Risk of allergies to citrals and limonene, and of photosensitisation.

Verbena oil is photosensitising and you should avoid exposure to the sun after application. Carry out a skin test before use to prevent allergic reactions. In the event of contact with mucous membranes, rinse thoroughly.

There are various ways to use it. Atmospherically: dilute with other essential oils, such as lavender. Inhalation: a few drops in warm water, or on a handkerchief. Internally, take 1 to 3 drops 2 to 3 times a day with sugar, honey or on a neutral tablet. In the event of overdose, contact a poison control centre. To apply to the skin, dilute 30% of the essential oil in a vegetable oil.

Orange blossom (Citrus aurantium)

Orange blossom water is calming and sedative. It helps combathyperactivity, nervousness and stress.

Orange blossom is rich in flavonoids, aromatic molecules, vitamin C, carotene, essential oil, terpenols, bitter principles, terpenes and alcohol, and offers numerous health benefits. They are recognised for their potential to reduce anxiety and make it easier to fall asleep, relieve headaches and menstrual pain, and improve digestion. In cosmetics, they moisturise and soften the skin and hair, acting as a natural stress reliever, in massage oil or infusion.

Orange blossom hydrosol is suitable for all skin types, particularly dry, sensitive or delicate skin, and refreshes, tones and moisturises. We recommend applying it morning and evening to cleanse and soothe the skin. To preserve the essential oil or floral water, protect it from air, light and heat.

Orange blossom, known for its soothing, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and analgesic properties, is used to reduce stress, anxiety, insomnia, skin irritations, digestive disorders and cramps. Citrus aurantium, a member of the Rutaceae family, produces essential oils from its leaves, flowers and peel, including neroli.

Neroli essential oil has a variety of pharmacological properties, including a protective effect against cancer, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, digestive and skin tonic. It also stimulates the liver and central nervous system and acts on the skin. It also has antimicrobial, antiparasitic, lymphotonic and decongestant effects. It can be used to relieve menopausal symptoms and premenstrual syndrome, and has antifungal properties.

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

Chamomile flowers calm spasms and regulate nervousness. A mild hypnotic, chamomile is effective against sleep disorders and anxiety, as well as mild nervous breakdowns. Theapigenin it contains is a competitive ligand for benzodiazepine receptors.

What are the properties of chamomile?

Matricaria is used medicinally for its varied properties, offering both internal and external benefits. Internally, it is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cholesterol-lowering, spasmolytic, anti-ulcer, bactericidal, anxiolytic and more. Externally, it is recognised for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties.

Therapeutically, it is indicated for gastric inflammation and ulcers, intestinal spasms, menstrual disorders, cystitis, sleep disorders, mild nervous breakdowns, skin infections, flu and headaches. It is also effective against allergies such as hay fever.

Botanically, it is an annual plant, 50 to 150 cm tall, with yellow and white flowers. Its flowers and essential oil, rich in sesquiterpene alcohols, flavonoids, coumarin, mucilage and fructans, are the main constituents.

Chamomile matricaria, or German chamomile, is valued for its calming and digestive effects. It relieves colic, colitis, abdominal pain, indigestion, gastritis, hiatal hernia, gastric ulcers and intestinal disorders. Its properties on the nervous system help combat anxiety, depression and sleep disorders.

Externally, it treats eczema, burns and wounds. Its antispasmodic and digestive properties benefit the digestive system, particularly for dyspepsia, digestive disorders, flatulence, neonatal colic, Crohn’s disease and constipation. It supports the nervous system against anxiety, stress, insomnia and migraines. For allergies and respiratory conditions, it is effective against sore throats, colds, bronchitis and asthma.

It also helps with disorders of the female cycle, such as dysmenorrhoea, endometriosis and premenstrual syndrome. Finally, for skin disorders, it relieves inflammation, eczema and acne.

Chamomile essential oil is rich in alpha bisabolol, chamazulene and beta farnesene, giving it anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, healing, antispasmodic, stomachic, bactericidal and antiviral properties.

How can chamomile be used to help you sleep better?

To enjoy the benefits of chamomile, prepare an infusion by steeping dried flowers in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. To soothe sleep disturbances, drink this herbal tea one hour before bedtime. For digestive problems, drink a cup several times a day. To improve sleep, take one cup 20 minutes before bedtime, increasing the dose if necessary.

To make a decoction, boil 100g of dried flowers in 1 litre of water for 20 minutes. This preparation can be applied to damaged areas.

To use matricaria, take certain precautions. It is not suitable for people allergic to Asteraceae. Its sedative effect may interact with other plants or supplements. Matricaria essential oil may also interact with certain sedatives. It should be used with caution in combination with anticoagulants.

For chamomile tea, use 1 tablespoon of flowers for 150 ml of water, leaving to infuse for 10 minutes. Drink between 2 and 6 cups a day, 30 to 60 minutes after meals. For babies, dilute two teaspoons of the infusion in milk.

The mother tincture is taken in doses of 20 to 25 diluted drops, 3 times a day for 3 weeks.

For external applications, use an infusion or diluted mother tincture as a compress, sitz bath, vaginal douche, enema or gargle. A relaxing bath can be prepared with about 50 grams of flowers per 10 litres of water.

Contraindications of chamomile matricaria: not recommended for pregnant women or people taking anticoagulants. Beware of allergic reactions, particularly for those allergic to Asteraceae. The essential oil, which is oestrogen-like, is not recommended for pregnant women and must be diluted for use on the skin.

Passionflower (Passiflora Incarnata)

Passionflower acts primarily on the nervous system. This is why it is recommended for insomnia and mood disorders linked to cerebral overwork. Passion flower has a calming effect, reducing nervousness andanxiety. This plant is also an antispasmodic. As a sedative, it is indicated for insomnia and sleep disorders caused by night-time excitement. Its anxiolytic activity is due to its effect on the GABAergic system, soothing and relaxing.

What does passionflower do?

The pharmacological properties of the aerial parts of Passion flower are varied and important, particularly in neuropsychiatry and somatic disorders.

Passion flower acts as a sedative, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant and analgesic. Studies show that its efficacy is comparable to that of drugs such as oxazepam and diazepam. It works by inhibiting monoamine oxidase, stimulating serotonin and activating GABA receptors. Its compounds, such as alkaloids and flavonoids, play a role in these effects.

It improves spatial memory and influences neurotransmission by reducing levels of glutamic acid and serotonin, while modulating metabolites.

Passion flower initially induces an increase in activity, followed by sedation and a potentiation of the effect of sleeping pills. It lowers body temperature, favouring sleep, and has effects on circadian rhythms.

It has anti-nociceptive effects via opioid and gabaergic mechanisms, and is potentially cannabimimetic. Vitexin, a bioactive component, stimulates hippocampal neurogenesis, reducing markers of Alzheimer’s disease and improving memory.

Studies have explored patients’ experiences, revealing various impacts on orientation and behaviour. Passion flower reverses tolerance and dependence on psychotropic substances and helps with benzodiazepine and alcohol withdrawal. It has antispasmodic effects on muscles and calms the heart and respiratory system.

How to enjoy the sleep-inducing benefits of passionflower?

It is important to observe certain precautions and contraindications when using Passionflower.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) advises against the use of Passion flower by pregnant or breast-feeding women and by children under the age of 12, due to the presence of alkaloids.

As a sedative plant, Passionflower may reduce alertness, especially when driving or operating machinery. Consult a doctor before using this plant in children under the age of 12 or if symptoms worsen.

Passion flower may reinforce the sedative effects of anxiolytic or antidepressant drugs, as well as anticoagulants. It may also interact with benzodiazepines. Pharmacological interactions affect the absorption of certain hormones. These interactions involve organic anion transporters.

Dry form: Food supplement in the form of standardised fresh plant extract, dry extract, powder or capsules.

Liquid form:

  • Standardised fresh plant fluid extract: 5 to 10 ml per dose, diluted in water.
  • Whole suspension of fresh plant: 5 to 10 ml, 1 to 3 times a day, diluted in water.
  • Honey glycerine fluid extract: 5 ml, 2 to 3 times a day, diluted in water.
  • Mother tincture: 20 to 30 drops, 1 to 3 times a day, diluted in water or herbal tea.
  • Infusion: 1 to 2 teaspoons per 150 ml of water, infused for 10 minutes, 1 cup 1 to 3 times a day.

It is essential to consult a health professional for the safe and appropriate use of Passion flower.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

What are its properties?

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) has been known since ancient times for its sleep-inducing properties, and was very popular before the era of sleeping pills. Today, in phytotherapy, it is used to alleviate mild sleep disorders linked to anxiety, requiring precautions due to its sedative effects. Also used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, valerian powder is obtained by drying and crushing its rhizome and roots. It comes in capsules, herbal teas, baths or liquid extracts, and is known to attract cats.

Traditionally, valerian has been used to relieve nervousness, sleep disorders, palpitations, colic and certain skin problems. Although the active constituents and mode of action of valerian remain uncertain, studies suggest that it is effective in improving sleep quality and anxiety.

A great regulator of the central nervous system, valerian helps you sleep better, thanks to its calming and antispasmodic effect. The potency of its active ingredients has earned it a reputation as a natural sleep aid, improving the structure and quality of sleep. Valerian is a 5-HT5a receptor agonist and plays a role in serotonin regulation of the circadian cycle by increasing levels of 5-hydroxytryptamine(serotonin). In particular, it reduces induced stress by lowering the levels of monoaminergic neurotransmitters.

Indicated for insomnia, palpitations of nervous origin, neurotonic states and neurovegetative dystonia in adults and children, valerian acts on the alpha-sympathetic hyperfunction of prolonged stress and on sleep disorders (especially insomnia associated with falling asleep), combined withhop extract, even after a single administration, and lemon balm. This plant also improves sleep quality in insomniac post-menopausal women.

How can valerian be used to improve sleep?

Valerian is recognised for its sedative properties, and is approved by various health authorities with specific recommendations. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) approves its use to reduce mild nervous tension and sleep disorders, recommending it for adults and children over the age of 12. The World Health Organisation (WHO) considers it effective as a mild sedative, particularly for anxiety-related insomnia, improving the quality of light sleep. The German Commission E recognises it as a treatment for agitation and problems falling asleep due to nervousness.

The European Scientific Coordination on Phytotherapy (ESCOP) accepts its use for moderate nervous tension and sleep disorders. The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) emphasise its effectiveness in sleep disorders, while expressing reservations about its use for anxiety and sedation, particularly in cases of epilepsy.

Recommended doses vary according to the form of valerian. For an herbal tea, use 2 to 3 grams per cup of boiling water. Take this herbal tea two or three times a day, before bedtime, to promote sleep. Follow this treatment for at least two weeks. Consult a doctor if problems persist.

As far as contraindications are concerned, valerian is not recommended in the case of liver disorders or with hepatotoxic substances. Side effects, although rare, include headaches, nausea, abdominal pain and dizziness. Prolonged use can cause insomnia, and abrupt discontinuation can lead to withdrawal syndrome.

Finally, its sedative effect can interact with many drugs, increasing the risk of drowsiness. It can also affect the efficacy of anticoagulants and is not recommended for use with drugs that have a strong effect on the liver. Its use should also be avoided during pregnancy and breast-feeding, and in children under the age of twelve, except in special cases.


Lavender is renowned for its soothing and relaxing properties. Its pleasant fragrance helps to calm the mind and relax the body, making it easier to fall asleep.

What is lavender used for?

Lavender is renowned for its many medicinal properties, both internally and externally. Internally, it acts as a mild narcotic, useful against insomnia, hysteria and nervous disorders thanks to coumarin. It also has anti-spasmodic effects due to its esters. In the event of digestive, respiratory or cardiovascular problems, lavender soothes and helps in the treatment of migraines.

Externally, lavender relieves various skin conditions such as eczema, acne, minor burns, psoriasis and insect bites. It is also effective for healing wounds, relieving joint pain, acting against viper bites and as an anti-parasitic.

Common therapeutic indications include dermatological problems, joint pain, respiratory irritation, nervousness, anxiety and insomnia. Lavender essential oil is used in massage therapy, thanks to its active compounds. These include phenolic acids, terpene alcohols (linalool, geraniol), coumarin, tannins and esters.

True lavender essential oil has significant pharmacological properties. The linalool it contains is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, spasmolytic, antioxidant, sedative, hypnotic, anti-convulsant and local anaesthetic. Lavender’s anxiolytic properties, similar to those of lorazepam, are intensified by inhalation. This method reduces blood pressure and heart rate.

It is also antimicrobial, acting against pathogens such as salmonella and staphylococcus aureus, and antiparasitic against human parasites. Its insecticidal effect is effective against ticks, mites, lice and other insects.

Finally, lavender essential oil has anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, healing, cell-regenerating and hypotensive tonic effects, and can help modulate the immune and neuroendocrine systems, with antihypertensive and antiallergenic effects.

Using lavender to improve sleep quality

Lavender is effective against anxiety, restlessness, insomnia and digestive disorders of nervous origin. As an infusion, use 0.8 to 1.5 g of dried flowers up to 3 times a day. The tincture (1:5 in 60% ethanol) is taken in doses of 2 to 4 ml, three times a day. The essential oil (1 to 4 drops) can be mixed with honey or placed on a sugar cube, ideally at bedtime. For inhalation, pour 2 to 4 drops of essential oil into a diffuser or boiling water and inhale the vapours.

Apply 5 drops of essential oil to the forearms and solar plexus before going to bed for external use against restlessness and insomnia. For cramps and muscular pains, dilute 2 to 4 drops of essential oil in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and massage into the affected areas.

The recommended dosage varies according to the type of preparation: as a micronised dry powder, take 1 to 2 g a day in three doses; as a dry extract, 200 to 400 mg a day; as an infusion, up to 3 cups a day; as a spirit for local rubbing; as a massage oil, mix 2 to 4 drops in 60 ml of neutral base; as an inhalant, 2 to 4 drops in a diffuser.

For sensitive skin, dilute lavender essential oil in a base oil. Avoid using it with anticoagulants, during early pregnancy and on children under the age of puberty. Precautions should be taken with True Lavender essential oil, particularly in the case of prolonged use by men and by pregnant or breast-feeding women.


Hops is known for its sedative and relaxing properties. It helps reduce anxiety and makes it easier to fall asleep.

What are the benefits of hops?

Hop cones contain a variety of active compounds and offer a number of notable pharmacological properties. These include oestrogenic and anti-androgenic hormonal properties, mainly due to 8-prenylnaringenin (hopéine). This compound, the most oestrogenic of the hops, binds competitively to oestrogen receptors and shows significant activity in the treatment of menopausal disorders. It also has anti-androgenic activity and inhibits angiogenesis.

Hop extracts have been shown to reduce sperm count and motility, as well as testosterone and LH levels, without affecting FSH. In terms of anti-osteoporosis, studies have revealed protective effects on bones, including an increase in oestradiol, bone mineral density and a reduction in bone resorption markers. H. lupulus polysaccharides, particularly HLP50-2, suggest a pronounced anti-osteoporotic activity.

Hops also have a sedative and hypnotic effect, confirmed by clinical studies, particularly in combination with valerian for the treatment of sleep disorders. Xanthohumol, a prenylflavonoid, shows potential in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

On the antimicrobial front, the humulone and lupulone compounds in hops are active against various bacteria and show antibacterial action, particularly against resistant strains. Hop polyphenols have anti-plaque properties. Hydroalcoholic hop extract has antiviral properties against influenza and antioxidant effects.

Finally, hop cones have anti-cancer properties, thanks in particular to xanthohumol, which inhibits cell proliferation and angiogenesis, as well as stimulating the synthesis of collagen and elastin, thereby improving cognitive capacity.

How can hops be used to promote sleep?

To enjoy the benefits of hops, prepare an infusion by adding a teaspoon of dried cones to a cup of boiling water. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Drink this herbal tea in the evening to help you get a good night’s sleep. It is crucial to follow the correct dosage and instructions for the safe therapeutic use of hops.

In dry form, hops are available as standardised fresh plant extract or as dry extract in capsules. In liquid form, there is the honeyed glycerol fluid extract (50 drops 1-2 times a day) and the mother tincture (50 drops 1-2 times a day), both diluted in a glass of water. The decoction is prepared with 10g of hops per 1/2 litre of water, to be drunk with moderate heating 1 to 3 times a day.

Precautions should be taken when using hops. Because of its phytoestrogenic properties, hops should be avoided in cases of hormone-dependent cancer and by prepubescent children. Pregnant or breast-feeding women should also refrain from using it, in the absence of sufficient data.

Hops, a sedative plant, can reduce alertness. This property makes it dangerous when driving or using machinery. It also interacts with other sedative drugs, such as sleeping pills and anxiolytics. Antidepressants, antiepileptics, antipsychotic neuroleptics, opiates and antihistamines are all affected. Simultaneous use of these drugs with hops may require a reduction in dosage. Medical supervision is necessary in such cases.

Eschscholtzia (Eschscholtzia Californica)

Eschscholtzia is considered a natural anxiolytic. It is a major plant in the treatment of nervousness, anxiety and sleep disorders, as it is non-addictive. Hypnotic and sleep-inducing, it reduces the time it takes to fall asleep and prolongs the duration of sleep by inhibiting the enzymatic breakdown of catecholamines.

What are the indications for California poppy?

Its action on serotonin through certain alkaloids which bind to serotonin 5-HT receptors(protopine, aporphine) is not negligible. The induction mechanism involves modulation of GAGA-A. Eschscholtzia is used to treat insomnia, especially insomnia caused by difficulty falling asleep and anxiety. The time taken to fall asleep is significantly reduced.

Eschscholtzia combats insomnia and anxiety. Its alkaloids, such as protopine and aporphine, modulate serotonin 5-HT receptors. This modulation of GABA-A reduces the time it takes to fall asleep. Protopine and californin, responsible for its sedative and hypnotic effects, shorten this time and improve sleep quality. In vivo studies show that these substances extend the duration of sleep. They also reduce locomotor activity in a dose-dependent manner. Its sedative effect, comparable to that of chlorazepate, operates via a gabaergic action.

In addition to its impact on catecholamines, Eschscholtzia also affects serotonin by binding alkaloids to serotonin 5-HT receptors. Benzylisoquinoline alkaloids such as reticuline inhibit acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase, indicating a potential influence on cognitive functions.

Eschscholtzia also has anxiolytic properties thanks to alkaloids such as protopine, which increase the binding of GABA to its receptors. Other alkaloids increase this binding in the cerebral cortex, confirming its effectiveness against mild to moderate anxiety in clinical trials.

Its analgesic properties are explained by the modulation of enkephalins. In addition, Eschscholtzia has a spasmolytic effect on intestinal smooth muscle, demonstrated in vitro by protopine and californin, validating its anticholinergic and antispasmodic properties.

How should it be used?

To prepare an infusion of Eschscholtzia, dissolve 20 g of plant per litre of water and leave to infuse for at least 15 minutes. How to take it and how much to take:

In dry form, Eschscholtzia comes in various forms, such as standardised extract of fresh plant, dry extract, dry aqueous extract, powder, capsules or tablets. In liquid form, standardised fresh plant fluid extract is taken at a rate of 5 to 10 ml per day diluted in a glass of water. Hydroalcoholic fluid extract is taken in doses of 15 to 30 drops, 1 to 2 times a day. The mother tincture is taken in doses of 100 to 150 drops, also 1 to 2 times a day with water. As an infusion, use 5 g of dried aerial parts per cup, infusing for 15 minutes.

Eschscholtzia requires certain precautions. People allergic to papaveraceae should avoid this product. It should not be used in the presence of glaucoma, due to its sanguinarine content. Due to the presence of alkaloids in the plant, the EMA does not recommend its use by pregnant or breast-feeding women, or by children and adolescents under the age of 18.

This plant should be used with caution in people taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), as well as in antihypertensive treatment. Before taking these drugs in combination, you should consult your doctor. In addition, caution should be exercised when driving a car or operating machinery, especially in high doses.

Eschscholtzia extract and its major alkaloids actively inhibit cytochromes P450 3A4, 2C9 and 2C19. They also reversibly inhibit CYP2D6. This action suggests potential interactions with drugs metabolised by these hepatic pathways.


It is important to consult a health professional before using these plants, especially if you are pregnant, breast-feeding, taking medication or suffering from a medical condition. Herbs may interact with certain medications or have undesirable effects in some people.

In conclusion, there are many plants with soothing and relaxing properties that can help you sleep better. Chamomile, valerian, passionflower, lavender, lime blossom, hops and lemon balm are some of the most effective options for promoting restful sleep. Don’t forget to take the necessary precautions and consult a health professional if necessary.


  1. What’s the best plant to help you fall asleep?

There is no single answer, as it depends on individual needs. Some people may prefer chamomile, while others may find valerian or passionflower more effective.

  1. Can I combine different plants to improve my sleep?

Yes, you can combine different plants to create a personalised herbal tea that meets your specific needs. However, be sure not to exceed the recommended doses and consult a health professional if necessary.

  1. Are plants for better sleep safe for children?

Some plants, such as chamomile or lime blossom, may be safe for children in small quantities. However, it is essential to consult a paediatrician before administering plants to a child.

  1. How long does it take for these plants to take effect?

The effects of these plants can vary from person to person. In general, we recommend drinking an herbal tea about 30 minutes to 1 hour before bedtime to feel its relaxing effects.

Consumption of herbal teas for therapeutic purposes should be limited to three weeks. Respecting the precautions for use specific to certain plants is essential for maintaining good health.

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