Natural sleep aids are worth trying

By Joe Graedon, Teresa Graedon – The People’s Pharmacy
I have suffered from insomnia for many years. My doctor prescribed Ambien, but it doesn’t seem to be working very well anymore. I also suspect that it affected my memory.

Now the doctor is suggesting the antidepressant amitriptyline (Elavil). The side effects I have read about make me nervous. Is there any herb or home remedy that might help me get some sleep?

Amitriptyline is an old-fashioned (tricyclic) antidepressant. Some people experience a morning hangover effect that leaves them drowsy and disoriented. It also can dry the mouth, cause constipation and affect cognitive function, so it is not appropriate for older people.

There are a number of natural approaches for insomnia that may be helpful. The dietary supplement melatonin or herbs such as valerian, lemon balm, passion flower or hops may be helpful. A light, high-carbohydrate snack before bedtime is sometimes beneficial.

You sometimes get questions about how to get rid of warts. I’ve had horses all my life, and warts on a horse’s muzzle are common. I’ve always rubbed the milk from a bleeding milkweed plant on them. It takes only a few times.

Most horsemen know of this fix even if it is restricted to summer. It also worked on my daughter when she got warts on her hands and knees.

Topical application of milkweed juice is a time-honored wart remedy. Many others also have reported success with this native plant.

Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist, and Teresa Graedon is an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition

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