Healthy people, healthy planet

Natural Medicine for Insomnia

In this world, we all are faced with the effects of a stressful lifestyle. The “stress” symptoms most commonly seen by the health care practitioner are insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness. Fortunately, there are alternatives to the use of prescription medications– many herbal and nutritional remedies work quite well!


The western herbs that act as relaxants as well as nervine tonics are beneficial. These include Valerian, Passion Flower, Chamomile, Vervain, and Oatstraw. This category of herbs not only relaxes nervous tension, but also tones the nervous system. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is the most popular of this category, and has been shown in studies to enhance sleep quality with no side-effects the next morning.


Adaptogenic herbs such as Siberian Ginseng and American Ginseng are also useful. The symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness are often signs of deep metabolic stress in the body. This category of herbs assist the body in adapting to stress, whether the stress be metabolic, physical, or psychological. Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is often taken one to two weeks a month to support the metabolism of the body and to reduce the effects of stress. It also enhances energy and overall health and resistance.


And finally, those under stress need nutritional support. The B Vitamins, Vitamin C, and Calcium are often depleted, and their supplementation is often beneficial. And since L-Tryptophan, the amino acid often used for alleviating insomnia, is no longer available on the market, one may need to choose among these other nutrients.

The following is an Herbal Program that may be useful in treating insomnia.


  • As needed
    Valerian, or Valerian combined with other relaxants and nervines
    Dosage: 20 drops to 40 drops of the extract, or a strong tea, two to three times in the evenings, as needed.


In addition, try the following program:



  • Week 1


    Siberian Ginseng or other adaptogenic herbs
    Dosage: 1 dose, 3 times daily

    Calcium/Magnesium
    Further restores and relaxes the nervous system
    Dosage: 1 dose (up to 250 mg of Calcium), 3 times daily

  • Week 2


    B Complex
    Supports metabolism during times of stress
    Dosage: 1 dose (up to 50 mg of B1,3,6), 3 times daily

  • Week 3


    Siberian Ginseng or other adaptogenic herbs
    Dosage: 1 dose, 3 times daily

    Calcium/Magnesium
    Further restores and relaxes the nervous system
    Dosage: 1 dose (up to 250 mg of Calcium), 3 times daily

  • Week 4


    B Complex
    Supports metabolism during times of stress
    Dosage: 1 dose (up to 50 mg B1,3,6), 3 times daily

Janet Zand, OMD, L. Ac., is a respected naturopathic physician who lives and practices in the Los Angeles area. She has developed a unique and effective method of combining herbal medicine with nutrition, homeopathy and acupuncture. Her credentials include a Doctor of Naturopathy, Doctor of Oriental Medicine, and Certified Acupuncturist. Dr. Zand has over fifteen years of clinical experience treating with natural medicine, as well as having formulated her own line of herbal supplements.

Janet Zand LAc OMD Written by Janet Zand LAc OMD