You may have seen Valerian in tea blends and sleep-aid supplements. Valerian is an herb that has been used since the Middle Ages to treat sleeplessness. Did you know that adding Lemon Balm to Valerian root could work as well as a common pharmaceutical medications? More people are searching for natural alternatives and with all the scary reports about sleep-walking and operating cars while still asleep on some of the heavier pharmaceutical sleep aids, turning back to an age-old remedy might be the right way for you to go.
It has to do with the neurotransmitters in the brain. Both Lemon Balm and Valerian work with the GABA neurotransmitter, but each in different ways, and together. Lemon Balm keeps more GABA around for the brain because it inhibits one of the enzymes which breaks down GABA from working. Valerian stimulates the production of GABA by indirectly stimulating the production of glutamate.
GABA is made from glutamate, its building block. With Lemon Balm making more GABA available, and Valerian helping to create more GABA, more GABA is available. Other pharmaceutical medications make GABA easier to transmit in the brain, but they have a higher risk of side effects because of withdrawal and dependence.
Valerian root and Lemon balm together work well for anxiety and sleeplessness and is comparable to doses of other pharmaceutical medications. Valerian actually contains GABA inside its roots. GABA works in the brain to either provide sedation, relieve anxiety, relax muscles, or enhance sleep.
As well as working on the GABA receptors, valerian works on the serotonin receptors, and serotonin can also influence sleep patterns. It works as a partial agonist on the serotonin receptor 5-HT5A and helps regulate the times you sleep and the times you wake.
Using both of these herbs together in combination can help you sleep. There are many sleep teas and supplements which combine the two herbs. This combination has very few side effects and works as well as a mood booster without causing any withdrawal or dependence. It should be noted that extremely long-term use of valerian can cause symptoms similar to withdrawal, and it should be used as necessary but not abused for its sedating properties.
Lemon balm has a fairly low side effect profile and contains rosmarinic acid. Rosmarinic acid contains the same substance that is released from trees which also relieves anxiety. Valerian contains valerenic acid and is also an antioxidant.
Some of the other constituents of valerian work on the GABA system. Borneol, an ingredient in valerian essential oil, also works on the GABA AR site.
Both of these have been proven to work well together. A study was conducted and found that the group that received a valerian and lemon balm supplement had a much higher quality of sleep. Therefore, it is definitely something you want to consider if you are having trouble sleeping.
You can find valerian and lemon balm in some supplement formulations, already together at the right doses. If you add even more gentle sleep aids, like magnesium, zinc, melatonin, and L-Theanine, you will definitely get a better nights’ rest. A product like Pure Nootropics Optimal Sleep Complex is formulated with all of these ingredients to help you keep from tossing and turning. This complex will help you feel refreshed when you wake up because it is not an overly sedating supplement that will leave you feeling hungover the next day. Optimal Sleep Complex was specifically formulated with the most gentle and effective ingredients that not only have the science to back up their benefits on their own, but their combinations provide synergistic effects and make a world of difference when you are trying to find a natural solution.