Description: Perennial herb with long creeping rhizome. Stem ribbed, with spines. Leaves alternate on petioles, with sharp tops and serrate edges. Staminate flowers, collected in panicles and located in the axils of the leaves.
Raw materials: Female inflorescences (cones), collected in August before blossoming. Lupulin is a yellow-green resinous coarse powder with valerian aroma. It is obtained by wiping the inflorescences through a sieve.
The main action: soothing.
Hop cones have a pronounced sedative effect and are used not only by traditional medicine, but also by pharmacists for the preparation of remedies used for nervous anxiety and sleep disorders. Hops also have analgesic and antispasmodic effects.
Method of application: 1 or 2 tsp. crushed cones pour a glass of boiling water. The cooled infusion is filtered and drunk in small sips in the evening.
The above medicinal plants are successfully used in modern medicine in the form of official dosage forms (tinctures, tablets). Their usefulness has been verified by the results of research in experimental pharmacology and toxicology. The calming or mild soporific and analgesic effect of plants helps to establish a healthy sleep. Like all herbal remedies, they have a slow, soft and moderate effect, giving long-lasting therapeutic results. Such properties of phytotherapeutic agents are precisely the factor that helps with chronic diseases of the nervous system, leading to insomnia.
Based on the accumulated practical experience of herbal treatment, several rules have been developed for the use of plants for treatment:
1. It is necessary to begin treatment with not very strongly acting plants.
2. It is necessary to use those parts of the plant where all the components contained in it are contained, and not synthetic analogues of the active substances. It will not be phytotherapy.
3. Means apply for a long time, at least 3-4 weeks.
The old tradition of treating insomnia with the scent of healing herbs – a pillow for sleeping – has not been forgotten either . For a long time, the effect of smell as a therapy was not taken into account. In the light of new discoveries, aromatherapy is recognized as an effective method of influencing human health. Leaves of lemon balm, mint and St. John’s wort, hop cones will have a calming effect due to essential oils. A pillow with herbs is placed at the head of the bed. For your sleepy pillows, you can use herbs in various combinations. Their fragrance will not only be a pleasant reminder of summer, but will also have a calming and mild sedative effect. In the sleepy pad, you can add not only mint leaves, but also chamomile flowers, roses, lavender, jasmine. Their pleasant aroma and magical healing properties will contribute to good sleep and pleasant dreams.
Remember if you had to sleep in a haystack? You know how great sleep in the hayloft! All this can be called aromatherapy.
Advice for parents. Infants often do not sleep due to pain and distension of the tummy or during teething. A pillow with hops, chamomile and valerian at the head will help them fall asleep. Children up to the year a small bag of dry chamomile flowers, placed on the stomach, will relieve pain. Essential oil of flowers soothes the intestines, giving the child an opportunity to sleep.
Thus, herbal medicine methods are another option for the treatment of insomnia. Herbal treatment has its advantages. First of all, it is more rare and less pronounced side effects. The biologically active substances of plants, in contrast to the synthetic, chemical analogs obtained in the laboratory, are derivatives of living organisms, although they are plant-based, and carry positive health energy. In addition, phytotherapeutic agents, especially those collected on their own, are cheaper and accessible to everyone. It is also important that the herbal treatment can be carried out at home, carefully and meticulously following the recommendations on the preparation of medicinal fees, tinctures and decoctions. In addition, it is more pleasant to deal with beautiful and fragrant plants, hold them in your hands, look for and collect, prepare medicines for yourself or close people, bringing recovery.
Of course, in fairness, you should evaluate the results of herbal medicine in comparison with the risk that is possible in the course of practical implementation. This applies, above all, to the great diversity in the quantitative and qualitative composition of biologically active substances in living medicinal plants as compared with the preparations obtained from them. This leads to the risk of reducing the effect when using whole herbs. The risk is exacerbated when the dosage of collection varies in a wide range.
One more circumstance should be noted, speaking about the risk of using herbal medicine. The fact is that not all plants are safe. The toxicity of many plants is simply not well understood.
And the most important circumstance is that the overestimation of herbal medicine, in practice, can lead to the omission of time when the development of insomnia at a stage when it can still be easily cured. The longer it takes root, the less likely it is to get rid of it at the lowest cost.
And finally, a very important point is the proper collection, drying and preservation of medicinal plants.
Plant materials and medicines can be obtained from cultivated or from wild plants. The way herbs are harvested depends on their healing properties. Harvesting is carried out in bright and sunny time in the appropriate vegetation period of the plant. When collecting herbs, leaves and flowers are placed in containers adapted for this purpose (baskets, bags, boxes). Watch that they are not kneaded, not squeezed and quickly transferred to the place of drying. If transportation is difficult, then the collected parts of the plant are spread out in closed rooms with a thin layer on the shelves, floor. Plant material in these cases can be stored for no longer than 10 to 12 hours.
When only tubers, roots and rhizomes are used, the above-ground part of the plant is cut off. When the above-ground part is taken, only it is cut off, without uprooting the plant. Flowers, leaves and fruits are collected one by one, manually or with scissors and knives. If these are stems, then it is more convenient to mow them with a scythe or sickle rather than tear them with your hands, so as not to harm the whole plant.
It is also important to collect plants and the time of year. Aerial parts collected during the flowering period, and underground – in spring or autumn. Time of day is also important, and for each species of plant there may be its own characteristics. Fresh parts of plants are cleaned before drying. Mechanical impurities are removed from underground parts by immersion for a short time in running water and subsequent shaking. Sometimes before drying, you need to scrape the bark, which is easy to do immediately after pulling out the root from the soil. After cleaning, the raw materials are dried for a certain time at the temperature established for the type and composition of the raw materials.
You can purchase ready-made medicinal plants in the pharmacy chain in a package and use them according to the instructions.
In any case, in the treatment of insomnia, it is wrong to put forward an alternative: drugs or plants. As you can see, they only complement each other and are effective along with the mandatory sleep hygiene and other therapies prescribed by the doctor. The main thing is that the patient and his doctor have the right choice of treatment. We have become familiar with all the methods of treating insomnia and are sufficiently armed to defeat it.