Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies for Insomnia: A Comprehensive Guide

Clove Tea
Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 12/23/2016

I love the smell of cloves. Oddly, I am not a fan of clove essential oil, but the powdered cloves smell wonderful to me. So I had the jar of cloves out on the counter and thought, I should make me some clove tea! I put 1/4 teaspoon in a little mug and added boiling water. I meant to drink it after a few minutes but got distracted. By the time I remembered it, the cloves had steeped for 20 minutes or more. I remembered reading a story about someone who used very strong clove tea to help them sleep. I considered not drinking the tea but it sounded so yummy. (It was dinner time and I didn't want to be sleepy yet.)

I sat down for a few minutes after my tea and next thing I knew I was waking up from a cat nap. Oops! At least I didn't burn dinner or anything.

I guess clove tea really does help you to relax and zone out. If you try it, let me know if it works for you!

~Mama to Many~

Skullcap and Valerian
Posted by J. (Bozeman, Montana) on 11/27/2016


Some time ago I started waking up at night, unable to sleep consistently. I searched around and found that the herbal mixtures of skullcap and valerian finally worked for me.


Amino Acids
Posted by Canadian Dave (Canada) on 11/26/2016 15 posts

People may have to avoid arginine if they have cold sores or herpes. Glutamine can also be a problem in high doses in people who are gluten intolerant.

Eliminate EMFs
Posted by Canadian Dave (Canada) on 11/26/2016 15 posts

I have to unplug some things to get a good night's sleep. I also sleep poorly if strong magnets are near the bed (like speakers) or, and even solar powered devices, and - I don't know if this is weird or not - if I have polyester in my pajamas or too much polyester in the room. I've found some success learning about the best feng shui direction to sleep in - its different for every birth year, and in herbal supplements too, the easiest being lettuce.

Vitamin D
Posted by Canadian Dave (Canada) on 11/26/2016 15 posts

I find that taking vitamin D prevents sleep unless taken only in the morning. B vitamin complex I have to take only in the morning too.

Castor Oil
Posted by Michael (New Zealand) on 11/22/2016

Hello there Mama to Many!

Been reading your postings often. Good work there. I can relate to your use of a Castor Oil pack! I commenced a couple of weeks ago and have done it for one hour in the afternoon, six days each week, on my lower back. I largely follow your regime. I have cut a piece of flannel and folded it four times to make a six inch by six inch pad. Left in a container in the 'fridge in a little bit of good quality, Castor Oil (enough to lightly saturate but NO more), I drag it out when the billy has boiled and nearly fill the hot water bottle. Lying face down on a protective cloth over a piece of foam in my "sleep out" ( the smell is best kept to one's self ), I proceed to place the pad directly on the lumbar region, cover with a second layer of dry, double-folded flannel cloth, a double layer of plastic sheeting and then the HWB. Time passes O.K. I sometimes nod off until my clockwork timer shrills, when I promptly arise and use the discarded hot water from the HWB, plus a little Bicarb. and a dedicated sponge, to wipe down the nether regions. Already in my working gear, I am then good to garden. Good as gold: job done.

Does it warrant such dedication you may well ponder? Well I AM sleeping much better, not going to "you no where" during the night, and feeling more mobile with a bit less pain. So it is worth all that lot for starters. Kidneys and liver yes but ovaries no I suspect. Mind you, I have gone and done the Raised Bed Trick, about four inches so far, at the same time I started on the Oil. Also, now taking Alfalfa and more MSM so that may have helped. Again, I have re-commenced my "Brew" of Molasses, Lime juice, Honey and ACV once per day which I am always a complete fan of anyway.

So yes, my sleeping HAS improved for sure and I think the Hot Oil Pad may be the secret and it only took a couple of weeks to kick in so all's good. I hope this helps others. Worth a try for sure and there may be other benefits too.

I love this Site as much as you do!

Cheers, Michael

Castor Oil
Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 11/21/2016

Has anyone tried a castor oil pack for insomnia? I have seen that some use a drop in the eyes or on the eyelids for sleep.

I find that when I use one overnight I seem to sleep better and longer. I find them cozy and relaxing and that effect seems to last into the next day.

I put castor oil onto a piece of flannel (folded over a couple of times – maybe the end result is 6 inches by 6 inches – not too scientific.) I cover that with some plastic wrap. If I wear a long stretchy camisole under my night clothes, it seems to hold it in place pretty well. (But use old pajamas and sheets anyway, just in case! ) Then I apply a heating pad. I confess I do leave the heating pad on all night. This is not recommended for diabetics, the elderly or children. (Maybe for anyone. A warm rice sock would be an alternative.)

You are supposed to wash off the castor oil with a baking soda rinse in the morning, but I don't actually do that.

Castor oil packs are commonly used to detox the liver. I have heard that the liver detoxes overnight. Maybe the castor oil pack helps this process? Maybe sleep troubles is in part caused by a sluggish liver? Just wild guesses here.

Anyway, castor oil packs do help me to sleep well (even when I am using them over an ovary or my gall bladder.) I would be interested to hear if anyone else experiences this.

~Mama to Many~

Nettle Tea
Posted by Rsw (Oh) on 07/22/2016

Thank you, Mama, for taking your time to look into this. I can imagine how busy you must be with you family, farm animals and all the reading and remedies you prepare. You have generously helped so many of us here on Earth Clinic with you knowledge and advice, using herbs most of us are not familiar with, in ways we would never have discovered without you!

Nettle Tea
Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 07/21/2016

Dear Rsw,

Well, I have checked several of my herbal books. Though some are technical in nature, none are technical enough to answer your excellent question about nettle's effect on serum iron levels of those with already high levels.

I will keep my eyes open for the answer to this in my reading and if I find out anything further I will let you know!

~Mama to Many~

Nettle Tea
Posted by Liz (Boston, Ma) on 07/20/2016

I am going to give that one a whirl, Mama. I haven't had a decent night's sleep since early menopause 12 yrs. ago. I don't have insomnia, per se, but I sleep only 2-3 hours before waking, regardless of how exhausted I am. I then toss and turn the remainder of the night. Sometimes, I'll doze off for another hour, but generally speaking, if I get even 4 consecutive hours of sleep, I feel like I had a good night. :

As I said here a week or so ago, sometimes we don't know 'why' something works; it just does! It sounds like Nettle tea for insomnia is one of them. :) I'm looking forward to trying it. Thanks so much for your never ending wisdom!

Nettle Tea
Posted by Rsw (Oh) on 07/19/2016

Hi Mama,

What a great post about the nettle tea helping with insomnia! I have enjoyed your posts on how it helps with allergies, but this is a very welcome observation for many of us.

My question is this - I looked it up on several sites and noticed that it may raise iron levels, which would be helpful for those with anemia. Have you ever read in any of your herbal books if it also increases serum iron in those with already high levels? If not, this may be very helpful to me, and if it does, it may be very helpful to those with low iron levels, in addition to all it's other benefits. Thanks for posting this.

Nettle Tea
Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 07/19/2016

Dear Namaw,

Yes, you could dry the leaves and then use them to make tea. I think it is not recommended to use older leaves but to use young leaves.

I have not dried nettles myself before. I have mostly just dried plantain and burdock leaves. In fact, just today a friend showed me some nettle at her house; previously I couldn't even identify it. I can't wait to find some where I live.

I assume you know to use gloves when harvesting the nettles. Here is a great article about using nettles and drying them, with pictures!

~Mama to Many~

Nettle Tea
Posted by Namaw (Bama) on 07/19/2016

M to M--if I use my nettle that's growing outside, I dry the leaves first, then crumble and use for the tea? I've never made it into tea before. Thanks.

Nettle Tea
Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 07/18/2016

Well, a friend and I have stumbled upon something for insomnia. Nettle tea! I gave my friend some dry nettle (with some peppermint for flavor) for a health issue. (I don't recall which health issue, but it wasn't insomnia.) She has had trouble sleeping for decades. Since childhood even. She started making and consuming a very strong nettle infusion. After several days she realized she was sleeping 7 hours a night and not waking up and having trouble getting back to sleep. The only thing she was doing differently was taking nettle.

I do not know why nettle is helping her. I have guesses. Nettle is a highly nutritive herb. Perhaps a simple undetected vitamin or mineral deficiency was causing the sleeping trouble. Nettle is a blood purifier. Perhaps the nettle is dealing with something in her system that was causing trouble sleeping. I can't explain it, but I can say that nettle is generally very safe. For someone who has tried "everything" for insomnia, strong nettle tea might just be the solution.

To make a strong nettle infusion:

Put 4 tablespoons of tea leaves (3 T. nettle, 1 T. peppermint) in a quart jar.

Pour very hot water over the leaves.

Cover with a lid.

Steep overnight.

Strain in the morning and drink throughout the day. Keep in the refrigerator. Discard 24 hours after you begin the brew.

This tea is also great for allergies and asthma and general poor health.

~Mama to Many~

Posted by Hisjewel (America, New York) on 06/23/2016

I have to admit I am fascinated with Neem Tea. It does so many wonderful things for your health if you are faithful to it.

But one thing I have a problem with is it makes me sleepy. I learned there are different degrees of sleepiness of how deep certain herbs, minerals etc make or help you to sleep. Well I only take a few sips of Neem tea a day during its term of use, and it never fails to make me knock me out sleep. If you are a driver, the day you take the neem is a good day to take the train or bus. Someone needs to know why they are sleeping so hard. Take a look in the insomnia section where I would like EC to post this one. You will find out why you are so sleepy during the day. For example I did not know iodine gives you good sleep. But it does. I saw it on the list and tested it out.


Posted by C (Ava, Mo) on 06/05/2016

2 stars for 5 HTP.

I have tried it off and on and you can build up an intolerance, which I did and cause you not to sleep. The best sleep aid is not on here are adaptogens for adrenal health.. Helps with deep sleep, energy like crazy---the best!!!!! This is almost my silver bullet and I have had extremely severe problems!!!!!

Oh I forgot the most important one!!! If your stomach is bloated and you have gas, it may be a sign of allergies of food, for example gluten or milk. If people eat what they are allergic to, it can cause severe insomnia. The very best recommendation is go on an elimination diet like I did and I started sleeping. When I mess up the diet, my sleep is bad.

Posted by C (Ava, Mo) on 06/05/2016

2 stars for 5 HTP. Oh I forgot the most important one!!! If your stomach is bloated and you have gas, it may be a sign of allergies of food, for example gluten or milk. If people eat what they are allergic to, it can cause severe insomnia. The very best recommendation is go on an elimination diet like I did and I started sleeping. When I mess up the diet, my sleep is bad.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by John Welch (Fl) on 03/06/2016

Yes, potassium would be a major factor in "turning off" the adrenals and thus cortisol production. I use 3 drops Lugol's and two caps Apple Cider Vinegar. I'm going to try mixing in the honey and sodium bicarbonate.

Posted by Bama (Bama) on 02/29/2016

Better But With Side Effects

I have ibs-d and insomnia. Ted (I think) suggested magnesium for the insomnia, but I have to be careful taking it because of the diarrhea. So, I've been reading and have heard of something called angstrom magnesium--such small particles that it bypasses the gut and goes straight into the system. So, I got some and tried it last night--had diarrhea all day today. I also do the mag oil, so am I getting too much? It did seem to help me sleep, I was groggy most of today, but it wasn't a good sound sleep. I wake and doze all night. I also take niacin (500 mg 2X/day), the code kind of multivitamin, d3, b complex, astaxanthin (4 mg/d), calcium aep (don't remember the dose) and ubiquinol (200 mg/d). I use the mag oil in the morning after my shower, about a tablespoon worth. I thought the angstrom kind didn't cause digestive upset--maybe it was something else? I really felt under the weather all day. Thanks for the input.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Pete (New York) on 12/06/2015

How do you prepare the apple cider with the kcup in the keurig coffee maker?

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Timh (Ky) on 10/12/2015 2073 posts

Extended use of Nutmeg is not recommended as it is mildly toxic and hallucinogenic. Can induce wild dreams or nightmares, dry mouth, and constipation.

One could safely include Nutmeg with these herbs: Valerian, Hops, Avena Sativa, Passionflower, Kava, and Chamomile for a more pronounced effect.

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Bev (Nuvivet) on 10/11/2015

I have the same problem.. tried all of the above and the only thing work was nutmeg and milk. 1 tsp of powder nutmeg mix in warm milk. Drink just before bed. This work really good. Moreover, nutmeg is very good for your overall health. Hope this works.. please let me know.

Good luck.

Posted by Dianec (California) on 10/02/2015

Dear Flippside (Tampa, Fl),

The Zinc worked like a charm!!! I only used it once at 15 mg. and not only was I asleep in half an hour amazingly I had tremendous energy all day! I had been dragging for weeks and not sleeping! And without taking anything I am sleepy right now. But I am taking one tab of Zinc right now!

I can't believe the energy I have with only one tab of zinc!

Thanks so much for posting this!

Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 09/30/2015

Dear Gal,

I think the best way to take Iron is with Blackstrap Molasses. A tablespoon once a day. I have also used Floradix. That works well, but it is expensive.

Using a cast iron skillet is also a great way to get iron into your foods. I use my cast iron skillet daily.

The herb, Yellow Dock is also high in iron.

~Mama to Many~

Posted by Mmsg (Somewhere, Europe) on 09/30/2015

Gal, I've taken Blackstrap Molasses for iron, when nothing else worked. I wonder if it would work for sleep.

Posted by Gal (Gal) on 09/30/2015

I happened to be at the hospital and spoke to a sleep Dr.She said the first thing she has sleep patients do is start iron. Said that, often, this is enough to correct the sleep issue. I've never heard of this but I'm willing to try anything. What kind is most easily tolerated? I've tried the sloFE and it was awful on my tummy. Thanks.

Posted by Flippside (Tampa, Fl) on 09/30/2015

I am a 52 year old post menopausal woman who has had a challenging time during the past couple of years during the transition due to adrenal fatigue. I have tried everything for insomnia due to cortisol fluctuations and recently tried zinc supplements (zinc glycinate chelate) after reading that zinc lowers cortisol. Results were immediate and I'm happy to report that I have been sleeping like a baby, 8-9 hours straight, for over two weeks now! I initially started with 30mg before bed, but I have cut back to 15mg with no noticeable affect. I also take magnesium glycinate before bed but it alone wasn't enough. Just wanted to share in hopes that supplementing with zinc might help others!

Oil Pulling
Posted by Lily (Los Angeles, Ca) on 08/06/2015

Another great remedy I have found for sleeplessness/anxiety is oil pulling, specifically before bed or in the evening. I know you're supposed to oil pull in the morning before eating, but when I oil with Grapeseed oil it makes me so tired and feel so relaxed, it's really something I need to do at night!

I have tried various oils - coconut - which was quite possibly the WORST thing for anxiety - my heart was racing for days - BE CAREFUL with coconut oil if you are prone to anxiety! I tried several other oils and didn't feel much of anything, but GRAPESEED OIL is like taking a sedative for me. I feel so calm and could sleep for 12 hours, the deepest sleep with very vivid dreams. A must try for people with anxiety and insomnia!!

Flax Seeds
Posted by Lily (Los Angeles) on 08/06/2015

Whenever I can't sleep, I take about 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds at night in rice or almond milk or cottage cheese and I instantly feel calm and can have the best night's sleep!

Dead Sea Salts Bath
Posted by Terri (Fl, USA) on 07/25/2015

Thanks so much Dave! Ive had insomnia for a couple years now. Seems to be a problem due to getting "older". I used to sleep with no problems. You didn't mention where you buy the dead sea salt. I will try Whole Foods tomorrow.....hoping they have it.

Dead Sea Salts Bath
Posted by Dave (Fountain Inn, Sc) on 07/24/2015

Hello All,

I'm reporting back again on the use of Dead Sea Salts to help with improved sleep and reduced tension.

I also enlisted one other to try the DS Salts bath and he reports a dramatic improvement in a chronic condition he has suffered with for years. It is a neuropathy that goes down the side of his head then into his shoulder and down his side. It centers in extreme sensitivity to cold; even a breeze on his head can produce this painful condition. He'd suffered with an ear infection that predated the condition and now is very sensitive to loud sounds.

He uses colloidal silver with DMSO compress to his neck on the painful side and takes the Dead Sea Salts baths.

He reports much less pain and improved energy.From my perspective, I found the DS Salts baths have dramatically improved my sleep.

I now sleep through the night five out of seven nights. Over the years as I was a caretaker for years for my wife, I never slept throughout the night. So this "sleeping through the night" is a happy thing!

I take this Salts bath once every ten days. I use about 2/3d of a cup of Dead Sea Salts and 2/3d Epsom Salts; 3 tablespoons of MSM and a tablespoon of Borax. If I only had the DS Salts, it would be fine. But the combo covers a lot more issues.

I dissolve the combo in a big pot of hot purified water while running the bath water ... then I add the solution and just soak for 20 minutes or so.

That's it.

Valerian Root
Posted by Ray (Cleveland, North Carolina) on 07/02/2015

I started using valerian root capsules when I couldn't fall asleep several years back. A 500mg capsule worked ok for me. Usually takes me about half an hour after ingestion. Recently, I've found that drinking 1 teaspoon valerian root powder an hour or 2 before I asleep works really well. I'm able to fall asleep quick and sleep through the night.

In general, I've found that ingesting powdered herbs works faster and better than taking capsules. Not sure exactly why. Maybe it's being slowly absorbed by my body as I sip drinks instead of all the dosage at once. Make sure you mix it with some kind of fruit or sweetener. It smells like feet but doesn't taste bad.

Hot Water Bottle
Posted by Rural Girl (Central Texas) on 07/02/2015

I used to take a long time to go to sleep or wake up shortly after falling asleep. I had read on Dr. Mercola's site that the lowering of body temperature acts to put us to sleep, so my hypothyroid, too-low temperature didn't allow more lowering. I guess I was wide awake to preserve life when my temp was 95.9 - 97.2F. (In cold survival situations people who fall asleep die.)

I have had some 1,2 and even 3 hot bath nights to get back to sleep. I used to monitor my temperature frequently at night. Now I just take a hot water bottle to bed. I go right to sleep and sleep all night long. Electric heating pads are not recommended. They put off harmful EMF, ElectroMagnetic Fields, plus I got a fatty tumor where I fell asleep on one set on low. Sweet dreams!