Chinese Herbs For Insomnia

Using Chinese herbs for insomnia works well for most of my patients, especially when combined with the proper diet and lifestyle changes. The important thing here is to choose the right one for the "type" of insomnia you have.

There's several different remedies that are effective. You need to pay attention to the subtle differences between their usages to determine which one is the best for you. Read through all the remedies below first before deciding which one is appropriate for you.

Remember, Chinese herbs for insomnia are different than drugs. It sometimes takes a couple weeks before noticing their effects. That's because it's working to correct the cause, rather than temporarily stop the symptom.

These are available from online sources, and some are available at Oriental Markets. Acu-market.com is a fair-priced resource. They are also made by different manufacturers. Plum Flower Brand is a decent one.

Important! Your insomnia may be associated with another problem, like fever, pain or asthma, which would be the actual "root" problem that has to be handled. (If so, you may find the solutions to that problem elsewhere on this site. )

Also important!: Warning - do not use these Chinese herbs for insomnia during pregnancy. And, if you are using it and symptoms get worse... stop using it!

Some of the remedies below seem to used for very similar symptoms, and indeed, can sometimes be used interchangeably. Try to determine which symptoms match yours the closest (although they are often helpful when the symptoms aren't an exact match, it's safest to get as close as possible.)

If these don't approximate your symptoms, you may need to consult directly with a doctor of Oriental medicine to determine a correct remedy.

O.K., here's some of the better Chinese herbs for insomnia and the "type" of insomnia they're used for...

An Mien Pien (or Pian) - "Calm Sleep Tablets"

  • Helpful for different types of insomnia, particularly when anxiety, panic or depression is present.
  • Anxiety
  • Vivid dreams
  • Palpitation
  • Mental Fatigue

Also used for insomnia after eating a big meal. This is a very common, popular remedy.

Suan Zao Ren Tang Wan ("Zizyphus Decoction Pill")

Similar usage to An Mien Pien, it's noted for being excellent for long-term usage to strengthen the internal imbalance that caused the insomnia in the first place.

Gui Pi Tang

Insomnia with:

  • Sleeping on and off
  • Excess dreaming
  • Heart palpitations
  • Possible digestive / elimination problems
  • Night sweats
  • Forgetfulness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

Tian Wan Bu Xin Wan ("Emperor's Tea Pills")

Insomnia plus:

  • Dry mouth
  • Profuse sweating
  • Heat in your palms and soles of your feet
  • Also, possible:
  • Low back pain
  • Dizziness
  • Ear-ringing

Bu Zhong Yi Qi Wan

Insomnia plus:

  • Weariness, fatigue or exhaustion
  • Lack of strength
  • Decreased appetite
  • Possibly nausea, vomiting and oppression in the chest (due to what we call "phlegm")

Again, if these don't seem to match your symptoms, you probably need to speak with a doctor of Oriental medicine to find the appropriate remedy for your type of insomnia.

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References:

Fratkin, Jake Paul. (2001). Chinese Herbal Patent Medicines. Boulder, Co. Shya Publications.Wiseman, Nigel and Ye, Feng. (1998) Paradigm Publications. A Practical Dictionary of Chinese Medicine. Brookline, MA. Paradigm Publications.

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