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St. John’s Wort as a Natural Remedy for Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is one of the many common sleep disorders that is characterized by a disturbance in the normal sleep and wake cycle. A person suffering from narcolepsy is referred as “narcoleptic”. This type of sleep disorder can cause an sudden overwhelming and severe daytime drowsiness episodes to narcoleptics. Severe daytime drowsiness episodes may occur anytime of the day and even in the middle of certain activities, with or without signs or warnings, and can happen multiple times in a single day. Narcoleptics usually have disturbed nighttime sleep with multiple episodes of brief awakenings.

Characteristics of Narcolepsy:

  • Excessive Daytime Drowsiness – may happen anytime during the day.
  • Cataplexy – temporarily and sudden loss of muscle tone.
  • Hypnagogic Hallucinations – vivid dreamlike experiences during sleep-to-wake transition state.
  • Sleep Paralysis – the person is unable to move temporarily during wake-to-sleep or sleep-to-wake transition state.

St. John’s Wort and Narcolepsy:

St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort is also known as Hypericum perforatum, goatweed, and rosin rose, is a type of herbal remedy that is used to help in relieving symptoms of narcolepsy. It is effective in improving quality and amount of sleep, since it acts in the nervous system, which can calm and relax nerves. Aside from improving the quality of sleep, St. John’s Wort can also work as a sedative, as a pain reliever, and can increase a person’s energy levels.

St. John’s Wort is not limited to be used by people with narcolepsy. It can also be used in treating other types of sleep disorder, such as insomnia, and other medical conditions, such as hemorrhoids, burns, skin abrasions, depression, anxiety, upset stomach, and edema.

How to Use St. John’s Wort:

According to Phyllis A. Balch, a nutritionist that wrote “Prescription for Nutritional Healing”, St. John’s Wort is recommended to be taken as a tea.

  1. Boil 1 glass of water
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of dried St. John’s Wort to a glass of boiled water
  3. Let it steep for 10 minutes to 15 minutes
  4. Then it is ready to drink.
  5. St. John’s Wort tea can be consumed up to 2 times per day, every day.

Precautions When Taking St. John’s Wort:

Aside from using St. John’s Wort as a tea, it can also be used in bath. However, it is very important to consult or talk with your doctor regarding the use of St. John’s Wort and all other types of herbal remedies. Since herbal remedies may also have side effects to the body and it may also have unwanted interactions with current medications.