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Herbs For Refreshing Sleep
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A healthy uninterrupted sleep is a basic human need like eating and breathing. Insomnia is one of the fallouts of a stressful life. Reasons for stress vary from financial to relationship-related problems. An overactive mind or physical pain may also be a cause. Concentration, decision making, memory and reaction time all are affected due to sleep deprivation.

Many insomniacs use sleeping pills and other sedatives which can be addictive, especially after taking them over long periods of time and even become ineffective. However, certain herbal preparations known to have a soothing effect on the body and the mind can be taken to treat sleeplessness.

Aniseed (saunf) tea (prepared by boiling 375 ml of water and adding a teaspoonful of aniseed to it and allowed to simmer for 15 minutes) is considered beneficial in the treatment of sleeplessness. This tea is taken hot or warm either after meals or before going to bed. Honey and hot milk can be added to improve its taste.

A tablespoon of honey added to celery (ajmod or ajwain-ka-patta) juice makes a delightful drink. Also taken at night before retiring, helps one relax into a soothing and restful sleep.

A teaspoon of fried cumin seeds (jeera) powder and pulp of ripe banana can be taken to induce sleep.

A massage with oil made of Indian Sorrel (amboti-ki-patti) and castor oil before going to bed provides a cooling effect to the eyes and induces good sleep. The oil is prepared by heating equal quantity of Indian Sorrel juice and castor oil. This oil is cooled and then stored.

Irritability and depression are associated with sleeplessness. An effective medicine is a mixture of nutmeg (jaiphal) powder and fresh amla (Indian gooseberry) juice.

About 30 grams of milk extracted from poppy seeds (khas-khas) mixed with sugar can be used for treating insomnia. A teaspoon of poppy seed oil taken every night is also very effective.

Fresh juice of Valerian (jalakan) plant can be used as a narcotic to induce sleep. It reduces excitement, irritation and pain.

(China Daily October 11, 2006)

Note: Recipes mentioned above are for reference only.

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