Botanical Medicines

Lavender (Lavendula officinalis) is a botanical used for mild relaxing properties and is used traditionally for addressing symptoms such as insomnia, depression, restlessness, and nervousness. Preparations of Lavender are frequently derived from the plant oil for inhalation, and internal ingestion is contraindicated. The constituents of lavender oil lead to relaxation and decreased alertness when inhaled.38 Inhalation of lavender oil may decrease symptoms of anxiety in manic patients.

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is another herb often utilized for mild calming effects and the ability to decrease alertness,39 which is useful for treating nervous anxiety. The terpenes are a constituent of lemon balm and are thought to act on some of the inhibitory neurons such as GABA in the brain, thereby eliciting a calming effect.40 One study using both lemon balm and valerian (Valeriana officinalis) demonstrated improvements in the amount and the quality of sleep in subjects who took the combination.41

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