One time I heard a joke about someone who had a bookmark on page 2. I laughed, but some nights I feel like I can barely read one sentence before falling asleep! I am more of a wake in the middle of the night kind of girl. Whatever your sleep needs are, like herbs, there are essential oils to help with sleep. We have touched on Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) in the previous Mood blog, so let’s visit other oils here.
Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides) The essential oil has a deep musky aroma, along the lines of patchouli. It is not for a diffuser though, the consistency is too thick but is calming in a lotion, cream, oil-based perfume or inhaler. Use one or two drops in a blend. There are no safety concerns using this oil.
German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) as an herb, excellent tea for calming. The essential oil is also calming. This is one of the “blue” oils; used mostly for modulating inflammation. The chamazulene, farnesene and bisabolols in the oil may cause some drug interactions, especially antidepressants. No safety concerns unless you are allergic to members of the daisy family (Asteraceae).
Opopanax, like Myrrh pictured, is grounding and relaxing.
If we talk about the CNS sedative components of essential oils, there are a lot of choices….
- Thyme ct linalool (Thymus vulgarus ct. linalool)
- Clary sage (Salvia sclarea)
- Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara)
- Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)
- Sweet marjoram (Origanim margorana)
- Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)
- German chamomile (Marticaria chamomillia)
- Patchouli (Pogostremom cablin)
- Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)
- Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata var. genuina)
- Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)
- Rose absolute (Rose damascene)
- Sandalwood (Santalum album)
Ylang ylang like neroli and rose are strong floral scents that have CNS sedative properties. A little goes a long way.
As you can see the list of oils is long, you don’t have to stick with Lavender as a sleep aid when using essential oils.
If lavender works, try a blend of lavender, ylang ylang and vetiver in a carrier oil.
If patchouli is too strong, try blending with cedarwood and opoponax in a carrier oil.
Any of these blends makes a good inhaler.