sofi atlas of plants

  1. plant
    Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng)
    taxonomy
    Withania somnifera
    parts used
    Root, fruit, leaf
    application
    Alleviate arthritis (anti-inflammatory), helps cope with stress and promote calm, improve endurance
    mode of action

    Rooted in Ayurvedic medicine, this herb is often used to reduce stress through impacting cortisol levels (stress hormone). A natural remedy for low energy levels, and helps promote alertness.

  2. plant
    Black Horehound
    taxonomy
    Ballota nigra
    parts used
    Aerial parts
    application
    Used to treat nervous disorders (sedative + anti-inflammatory properties)
    mode of action

    Shown to decrease anxiety in people suffering from sleeping disorders. Chemicals isolated include flavonoids, diterpenoids and phenylpropanoids. Traditionally, consumed as a dried herb, as a tea, and a tincture prepared as a dilution on a daily basis.

  3. plant
    Cardamom
    taxonomy
    Elettaria cardamomum
    parts used
    Seed
    application
    Anxiety + antidepressant properties
    mode of action

    Quercetin is a flavonoid compound within cardamom, believed to be responsible for its powerful therapeutic effect. Research into quercetin showed lowered anxiety and depression. Used in traditional remedies for depression by grinding seeds into powder and boiling in water with tea leaves.

  4. plant
    Chamomile
    taxonomy
    Matricaria chamomilla
    parts used
    Flower
    application
    Insomnia treatment
    mode of action

    Chamomile was found to improve on sleep latency, night time awakenings, and fatigue severity scores. Overall chamomile is a safe herb with minimal side effects.

  5. plant
    Chinese (Garden) Peony
    taxonomy
    Paeonia lactiflora
    parts used
    Roots
    application
    Used to address headache and relieve pain (modulate muscle spasm)
    mode of action

    Muscle cramps; a specific combination of peony and liquorice (shakuyaku-kanzo-to). There is no limited standardisation. One common preparation, total glucosides of peony, is a water or alcohol extract of the root. Commonly used in combination with other herbs in traditional Chinese medicine.

  6. plant
    Cowslip flowers
    taxonomy
    Primula veris
    parts used
    Flower, leaf, root
    application
    Sedative tea (leaves), transient insomnia (constituent in Maria Treben Tea), general anxiety
    mode of action

    Contains triterpene saponins, flavonol glycosides, methoxy flavone, and other flavonoids. A remedy for insomnia, headaches, over-activity, and nerve pain (neuralgia). Contains saponins and salicylates which are the main ingredient of aspirin. The yellow flower is antispasmodic and sedative.

  7. plant
    Damiana
    taxonomy
    Turnera diffusa
    parts used
    Leaf, stem
    application
    Used to reduce anxiety (anxiolytic)
    mode of action

    Anxiolytic effects; apigenin may play a role in this activity, central nervous system (CNS) depressant activity. Hypoglycemic agent, sedative-hypnotic agent (used to reduce tension and anxiety and induce calm (sedative effect) or to induce sleep (hypnotic effect).

  8. plant
    Feverfew
    taxonomy
    Tanacetum parthenium
    parts used
    Leaf
    application
    Migraines, anti-inflammatory and pain relieving qualities
    mode of action

    Used to treat migraine headache in combinations with white willow, magnesium, vitamin B6, tanacetum parthenium, 5-HTP and ginger. Used to treat opiate withdrawal. Anti-inflammatory effects. May block prostaglandin synthesis by inhibiting phospholipase, which prevents the release of arachidonic acid.

  9. plant
    Ginseng
    taxonomy
    Panax ginseng
    parts used
    Root
    application
    Traditionally used for the treatment of sleeplessness and energy levels
    mode of action

    Traditionally used for the treatment of insomnia. Strongest potentiation of GABA A receptors amongst plant-based remedies. Ginseng red potentiation on GABA A receptors was higher than that of using Ginseng white. Contains ginsenosides. Hypoglycemic agent, immunomodulators, immunostimulants, adaptogens.

  10. plant
    Grass of Parnassus
    taxonomy
    Parnassia palustris
    parts used
    Flowering aerial parts
    application
    A sedative for nervous disorders
    mode of action

    The whole plant is astringent, slightly diuretic, sedative, tonic and vulnerary. Used to treat wounds and as a sedative, for treating nervous disorders. It is used as a homeopathic tonic for anxiety, Very little is known about the chemistry of this plant.

  11. plant
    Guarana
    taxonomy
    Paullinia cupana
    parts used
    Seeds
    application
    Used as a stimulant, and to reduce mental and physical fatigue
    mode of action

    Stimulates central nervous system (CNS), heart, and muscles. Guaranine (aka caffeine) is found in guarana and is identical to caffeine derived from coffee or tea. Contains varying mixtures of xanthine alkaloids other than caffeine, including cardiac stimulants theophylline, theobromine and polyphenols.

  12. plant
    Hawthorn (Common)
    taxonomy
    Crataegus monogyna
    parts used
    Leaves, flowers, fruit
    application
    Nervous conditions related to the heart
    mode of action

    Increases force of contraction of the heart, whilst slowing the rate. Used as a traditional remedy for high blood pressure. Anxiety can produce overstimulation of the ‘fight or flight response’ causing an increase in heart rate. Major pharmacologically active components are believed to be flavonoids.

  13. plant
    Holy basil (tulsi)
    taxonomy
    Ocimum tenuiflorum
    parts used
    Aerial parts
    application
    Treatment of anxiety (adaptogen and anti-inflammatory)
    mode of action

    The seed oil of holy basil contains linoleic acid (52%), linolenic acid (17%), oleic acid (14%), palmitic acid (12%), and stearic acid. Antiplatelet agent, hypoglycemic agent, immunomodulators, adaptogens, stimulent (cognitive).

  14. plant
    Hops
    taxonomy
    Humulus lupulus
    parts used
    Leaf, resin
    application
    Sleeplessness treatment
    mode of action

    Hops main sedative activity lies mostly in the alpha bitter acid constituents, the main conclusions from the review were using hops in conjunction with valerian for sleep disturbances can be beneficial as it modulates the GABAergic system and melatonin receptors.

  15. plant
    Japanese thistle
    taxonomy
    Cirsium japonicum
    parts used
    Aerial parts and roots
    application
    Antihemorrhagic (used to stop bleeding) and anti-diabetic activity
    mode of action

    Anti-inflammatory, diuretic and haemostatic. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) Japanese thistle are plants that are “Cool” in nature. This means that Japanese thistle tend to help people who have too much “heat” in their body. The balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM.

  16. plant
    Lavender
    taxonomy
    Lavandula angustifolia
    parts used
    Flower
    application
    Anxiety (and sleeplessness) treatment
    mode of action

    Sedative-hypnotic with anti-inflammatory properties. Induces relaxation and sedation. Decreases EEG and alertness. Used in capsules/tinctures to address anxiety. Reduces time to fall asleep, improves sleep, and reduces sleepiness at awakening (due to increased melatonin following inhalation).

  17. plant
    Lemon Balm
    taxonomy
    Melissa officinalis
    parts used
    Leaves, flowers, fruit
    application
    Treatment of insomnia
    mode of action

    Cholinergic modulation impacts memory and alertness. When given with valerian, passionflower, and butterbur can lower anxiety. Contains citronellal, neral, flavonoids, polyphenol compounds, monoterpene glycosides, and triterpenoids. Hypoglycemic, immunostimulants, and sedative-hypnotic agent.

  18. plant
    Lime Flowers (blossom)
    taxonomy
    Tilia x europaea
    parts used
    Flower
    application
    Treatment of transient insomnia (sleep drops), and general anxiety and depression (aloysia)
    mode of action

    Central nervous system (CNS) effects: The sedative effects of linden may be attributed to the volatile oils, including citral, citronellal, citronellol, eugenol, and limonene. Diuretics, Sedative-Hypnotic Agents.

  19. plant
    Magnolia vine
    taxonomy
    Magnolia officinalis
    parts used
    Bark
    application
    Anxiety and sleeplessness treatment
    mode of action

    GABA A potentiator. Magnolol and honokiol are bioactive compounds with sedative + hypnotic effects. Magnolol acts via the GABA A receptor increasing NREM and REM sleep. Honokiol and magnolol have a great future having demonstrated great efficacy in treating insomnia and approved for this use.

  20. plant
    Mondo grass / lily turf
    taxonomy
    Ophiopogon japonicus
    parts used
    Tuber
    application
    Soothing (anxiety) + sedative (insomnia) properties in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
    mode of action

    Anti-inflammatory properties found in early studies though more trials and work needed to fully understand the modes of action of the plant.

  21. plant
    Motherwort
    taxonomy
    Leonurus cardiaca
    parts used
    Aerial parts
    application
    Used in sleep drops and for treatment of general anxiety (tea)
    mode of action

    The exact effect on insomnia unknown. Sedative-hypnotic agent, diuretic. Used for heart conditions (inc heart failure, irregular heartbeat, fast heartbeat, and heart symptoms due to anxiety). Well tolerated. Motherwort, valerian, hops, and lemon balm taken before bed can improve sleep quality.

  22. plant
    Myrrh
    taxonomy
    Commiphora myrrha
    parts used
    Bark resin
    application
    Used to address pain
    mode of action

    Pain: A standardized myrrh extract (MyrLiq, Biosfered S.r.l.) 200-400 mg once daily for 20 days has been used.

  23. plant
    Oats
    taxonomy
    Avena sativa
    parts used
    Seeds, straw and bran
    application
    Sleep (drops) and anxiety (tinctures)
    mode of action

    A multi-functional grain. Dose of vitamin B, magnesium and fibre helps neutralise stress hormone cortisol. Restorative impact on the nervous system. Historic use to address stress, anxiety, fatigue, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, sexual lacklustre, grief and trauma.

  24. plant
    Pasque flower (Pulsatilla)
    taxonomy
    Pulsatilla vulgaris
    parts used
    Aerial parts
    application
    Used to address headache, sedative, fever reducing qualities + ease nervous tension
    mode of action

    There is no recent evidence to support specific doses of pasque flower. The fresh plant is toxic; classical doses of the dried herb were from 0.1 to 0.4 g daily.

  25. plant
    Passionflower (passiflora)
    taxonomy
    Passiflora incarnata
    parts used
    Leaves, flowers
    application
    Anxiety + insomnia treatment
    mode of action

    Sedative-hypnotic agent inhibits uptake of GABA (mediation of the GABAergic system) and has an affinity for GABA A + B receptors. Dried extracts often used in combination with a range of plants targeting additional anxiety and sleeplessness pathways (i.e. valerian, hawthorn, horehound and saffron).

  26. plant
    Rosemary
    taxonomy
    Rosmarinus officinalis
    parts used
    Leaves
    application
    Mild pain reliever and nervous tension, can treat low mood, depression and sleeplessness
    mode of action

    Anxiolytic and sedative properties, a GABA-A potentiator, similar effect on GABA-benzodiazepine receptors and useful in treatment for insomnia. May inhibit cholinesterase and have a protective effect on dopaminergic neurons. Antiplatelet agents, salicylate-containing herb & supplement.

  27. plant
    Saffron
    taxonomy
    Crocus sativus
    parts used
    Flower stamen
    application
    Used to reduce anxiety (anxiolytic) and depression
    mode of action

    Used in the treatment of anxiety; clinical research shows mitigation of moderate anxiety. Also used in the treatment of depression, and shown benefit in clinical research. May modulate brain serotonin by inhibiting serotonin reuptake, and altering dopamine and norepinephrine.

  28. plant
    Skullcap
    taxonomy
    Scutellaria baicalensis
    parts used
    Root
    application
    Lead pain reliever and headaches, transient insomnia, can improve mood and general anxiety
    mode of action

    Modulation of GABA receptor. 5-HT(7) receptor effects: constituents bind the serotonin receptor 5-HT(7). Activity on the 5-HT(7) receptor is due to flavonoids. Effects serotonin receptor causing sedation. Anxiolytic: flavonoids may act as GABA agonists causing a sedating and anxiolytic effect.

  29. plant
    St John’s Wort
    taxonomy
    Hypericum perforatum
    parts used
    Whole plant
    application
    Antidepressant and aid in sleeplessness
    mode of action

    Used for treating many disorders including sleep disturbances. Active compounds are hyperforin and hypericin; hypericin exerts its effects via monoamine oxidase inhibition, whereas hyperforin acts via the inhibition of GABA, serotonin, dopamine, L-glutamate, and norepinephrine reuptake.

  30. plant
    Valerian
    taxonomy
    Valeriana officinalis
    parts used
    Roots
    application
    Insomnia (stress/anxiety induced) treatment
    mode of action

    Used for treatment of insomnia. May work as well as benzodiazepines in promoting natural sleep over time. Herbal hypnotic and sedative. May also have follow-on soporific effects (in stress-induced insomnia) due to shared pathways via down-regulation of neurological stimulatory activity (therefore useful for anxiety).

  31. plant
    Verbena (Vervain)
    taxonomy
    Verbena officinalis
    parts used
    Aerial parts
    application
    As a tonic may help headaches (sedative), insomnia from nerves, remedy for melancholia
    mode of action

    Clinical research remains nascent. Traditional dosage of decoction taken several times per day has been described. Interaction rating moderate; must be cautious in combination. Polyphenolic compounds can inhibit iron absorption. Drinking as tea decreased iron absorption from a meal by 59%.

  32. plant
    Wild Celery
    taxonomy
    Apium graveolens
    parts used
    Whole Plant
    application
    Used to treat nervous conditions and sleeplessness
    mode of action

    Neurologic/central nervous system (CNS), sedative (hypnotic agents) and antispasmodic. Effects may be due to phthalide constituents (d-limonene, selinene). Antiplatelet agents, Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) Inhibitors, photosensitizers. Capsules containing 250 mg extract have been used daily.

  33. plant
    Wood Betony
    taxonomy
    Stachys officinalis
    parts used
    Flower, leaf
    application
    Used to treat headaches (neuralgia), insomnia and relieve anxiety (reputed to affect CNS)
    mode of action

    Anxiolytic effects, but currently no high-quality studies on the medicinal applications of betony. Most dosing information based on traditional use. Used as an infusion, dried herb in boiling water, as a liquid extract or tincture. Consumed multiple times per day.

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