lemon verbena helps insomnia and stress

Lemon verbena has long been used in herbal tea combinations to help you sleep. A new study puts some science behind that tradition.

There is a long tradition of using lemon verbena as a relaxing herb that helps you sleep. The list of studies is less long. But, recently, it is growing longer.

A double-blind study published in 2018, found that lemon verbena improves sleep, including how fast you fall asleep and how well you sleep (Phytother Res 2018;33(2):350-9). Other research has suggested better sleep and less anxiety (Curr Top Nutraceutical Res. 2015;13:95–102).

A new study gave either lemon verbena or a placebo to 40 people with lots of stress and not enough quality sleep. The dose of the lemon verbena was 400mg a day, standardized to 28% phenylpropanoids. The people in the herb group took one pill 1-2 hours before going to bed.

The people in the herbal group had significantly improved sleep that got better and better over time, while the people on the placebo had no improvement. Lemon verbena seems to have worked especially well in women. The people on lemon verbena had significant improvement in how often they woke up during the night and the amount of time spent in deep sleep and REM sleep. The placebo produced no improvement on any of these measures, and the difference in improved REM sleep was significant.

Though the difference was not significant, lemon verbena also seemed to improve stress. The stress continued to get a little worse in the placebo group. In the herbal group, stress stayed the same in the first month, but improved significantly in the second month.

This new study contributes to the growing evidence that lemon verbena can safely help you with insomnia in a stressful world.


Nutrients 2022;14(1):218

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