What is a Hypnotic?

Hypnotics are herbal remedies that will help to induce a deep and healing state of sleep. They have nothing at all to do with hypnotic trances!

How Hypnotics Work

Herbs that help you sleep have modes of action that vary from mild muscle relaxing properties, through
volatile oils that ease psychological tensions, to remedies that contain strong alkaloids that work directly on the
central nervous system and put you to sleep. Some of the most effective plant hypnotics are illegal for the very
degree of their effectiveness. This includes the whole range of Opium Poppy derivatives. The remedies mentioned
here are entirely safe and have no addictive properties.

Hypnotic herbs should always be used within the
context of an approach to sleep problems involving relaxation, food, and lifestyle in general. For a detailed
approach to their therapeutic use please refer to the section on the nervous system.

Hypnotics for Different Parts of the Body

Each system of the body has plants that are particularly suited to it, some of which
are hypnotics of varying strength. It is safe to say, however, that all of the hypnotic remedies can help the whole
body, in that sleep is such a vital health process.

Circulatory system: Here we can mention
Motherwort, Linden, Balm. Notice that they are all in the milder group. European Mistletoe can help but must be
used with care.

Respiratory system: All of the hypnotics can help as anti-spasmodics in conditions
such as asthma, if used at the right dose. Wild Lettuce eases irritable coughs.

Digestive system: The
relaxing nervines and carminatives are important, of which we can mention Chamomile, Vervain, Balm, Hops
and Valerian. The anti-spasmodic herbs will help with intestinal colic, for example Hops, Jamaican Dogwood,
Passion Flower and Valerian.

Urinary system: Hypnotics are important here when used as muscle

Reproductive system: The same remarks hold good.

Muscles and Skeleton:
All hypnotics will aid in reducing muscle tension and even the pain associated with problems in this system.
They may be used internally or as lotions. Especially important are Jamaican Dogwood and Valerian.

Nervous system:
All these remedies work on the nervous system.

Skin: Chamomile and Cowslip
are healing, but otherwise the value of hypnotics here is to ensure that the body has a good recuperative rest each

Hypnotic Herbs

Californian Poppy

Eschscholzia californica


Matricaria recutita


Humulus lupulus

Jamaican Dogwood

Piscidia erythrina


Tilia spp.


Leonurus cardiaca


Artemisia vulgaris
Pasque Flower

Anenome pulsatilla

Passion Flower

Passiflora incarnata


Scutellaria laterifolia


Valeriana officinalis


Verbena officinalis

Wild Lettuce

Lactuca virosa

Wood betony

Betonica officinalis

Hypnotics & Their Secondary Actions

Please refer to the secondary actions of Nervine Relaxants

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Written by David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH

Explore Wellness in 2021