Sleep...naturally: a review of the efficacy of herbal remedies for managing insomnia

Josefine Antoniades, Kay Margaret Jones, Craig Stephen Hassed, Leon Piterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this article is to review identified literature on the effectiveness of commonly used herbal remedies for insomnia. Methods: A search of the internet and electronic databases was conducted. Results: Fourteen herbal remedies were identified from the initial web search; however, only six of the fourteen websites returned any literature when combining the search terms with insomnia. One hundred and fifty-six articles were found, and 18 articles matched the inclusion criteria, while 138 articles were excluded. The literature found and reviewed by the current authors had investigated valerian (Valeriana officinalis) alone or in combination with other herbs, hops (Humulus lupulus), kavakava (Piper methysticum), chamomile (Matricaria recutita), and St. John s wort (Hypericum perforatum). Discussion: Few studies specifically investigate the effect of commonly used herbal remedies on insomnia. Valerian alone, or in combination with other compounds, has received some research attention, whereas other herbal remedies, such as St. John s wort, chamomile, and kava-kava have received very little attention. Conclusion: It is surprising that herbal remedies used for insomnia and sold as over-the-counter remedies have received very little research attention. Considering the rise in the use of complementary and alternative medications, it would seem appropriate that such preparations were assessed scientifically for therapeutic potential and safety. Additional research is required to provide evidence for the effectiveness and safety of these popular herbal remedies as therapeutic agents for treating insomnia symptoms
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136 - 140
Number of pages5
JournalAlternative and Complementary Therapies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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