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Health Matters�Lullaby and Good Night
By Vonalda M. Utterback, CN
Even the most loving of parents can be pushed to the edge of their patience when their child has dyssomnia. Your son or daughter may have difficulty falling asleep, experience night terrors, walk in his or her sleep, or suffer from other sleep disturbances. When the problem is chronic, no one in the family gets enough sleep to stay healthy and happy.
The current conventional treatment for children with restlessness (often diagnosed as ADHD) and dyssomnia, often involves synthetic psychotropic drugs, which can be highly addictive. However, peaceful slumber for all concerned may now be as easy as a trip to the local holistic pharmacy, according to a recent study of German children with dyssomnia and daytime restlessness.
During the open-label study conducted at various pediatric clinics in Germany, children were prescribed up to four tablets per day of Euvegal Forte, a German-made herbal formula containing 160 mg of valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) and 80 mg lemon balm (Melissa officinalis).
After four weeks, the core symptoms of dyssomnia and restlessness were reduced from “moderate/severe” to “mild” or “absent” in most cases. Almost 81 percent of the children suffering from dyssomnia improved, and about 70 percent of the children with restlessness experienced a clear improvement. There were no reported negative side effects directly related to the remedy.
Janet Zand, LAc, OMD, Rachel Walton, RN, and Bob Rountree, MD, recommend additional herbal insomnia remedies in their book, Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child (1994, Avery Publishing). The trio suggests trying chamomile (Chamomilla recutila) or passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) tea at bedtime; skullcap (Scutellaria laterifolia) in tea, tincture, or capsule form one hour before bedtime (do not give to children under six); or valerian root for children more than 12 years of age.
Author: Vonalda M. Utterback, CN
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