Anxiety Herbs

Anxious? Can’t sleep? Try some Lemon Balm, a member of the mint family. Steep a teabag–or better yet, 1/4 to 1 teaspoonful of the dried leaves–in hot water, and drink up to 4 times daily. Hyperactive kids may also benefit. The dosage for a 75 lb child is 1/2 of the adult dose.

You can also grow Lemon Balm in your garden. Careful, though: Like its mint relatives, it gets wild and crazy, especially when left unattended.

Cautions: Don’t use if you have a thyroid condition, glaucoma, benign prostatic hyperplasia or hormone-sensitive cancer, if you’re taking antidepressants, sedatives or alcohol or if you’re pregnant or nursing. Always consult your doctor first.

Sleep and Weed

Did you happen to catch what’s- his- name Galifianakis lighting up live on Bill Maher? Bet he had a good schluf (Yiddish for sleep) later that evening. Why’s that?

Marijuana multiplies your melatonin levels –a thousandfold, some say.  And melatonin, a hormone that your pineal gland secretes when you sleep in the dark, increases your desire to slumber.   

As you age, however, natural melatonin levels decrease.  Supplements sometimes help. (If you’re using them unsuccessfully, try the sublingual ones, which melt under your tongue.)

Leaving aside the legal and health issues (memory loss, at least temporarily, chronic inflammation of throat and lungs), the problem with weed to promote sleep arises when people indulge during the day. That completely confuses their natural circadian body rhythms. So if you’re feeling naughty, do so in the evening—in the privacy of your home, of course.

Hey, Bill, think you should propose a constitutional right to weed in the bedroom? Imagine the Supremes opining on that one.