A customer with narcolepsy wanted help staying awake during the day and getting restorative sleep at night.  Suggestions for daytime wakefulness include the use of adaptogenic herbs and other herbs that assist in toning and energizing the body, stimulating mental activity, and enhancing immune function.  Cheryl would consider any or some of the following:


Adaptogenic Herbs (in tea or liquid extract form)

Donald Yance, author of Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism, writes that primary adaptogens (those that regulate the HPA axis) offer the following actions:

  • Increase and modulate the flow of energy throughout the day
  • Decrease feelings of stress
  • Increase endurance
  • Support mental alertness
  • Promote deep, restful sleep

Yance continues, “Primary adaptogens strengthen all systems, promote optimal response, hasten recovery of function, and help regulate energy use by improving the function of the neuroendocrine system and enhancing cellular energy transfer.  They enable us to make more efficient use of oxygen, glucose, lipids, and proteins, thus providing us with a steady supply of energy.  It is our ability to acquire, use, and conserve energy that ultimately defines our lifetime adaptive success.”


According to Yance, the primary adaptogens include the following herbs:

American Ginseng Root, Asian Ginseng Root, and Eleuthero Root

Ashwagandha Root, Rhodiola Root, and Schizandra Fruit


Other Herbs to Support Balanced Health (in tea or liquid extract form)

Scheduling an effectively nourishing, well-balanced diet and optimal exercise helps to stabilize, restore and re-vitalize us, thereby encouraging overall physical strength and psychological optimism.  The following herbs can assist in the effort to re-regulate our patterns of behavior:

Guarana stimulates, energizes, increases libido

Lapacho enhances immunity

Maca nourishes, energizes, balances body systems

Bacopa, Ginkgo, Gotu Kola, Rosemary encourage alertness and healthy brain function


Nervine Herbs and Essential Oils to Enable Sleep

Toward day’s end, making the transition from activity to stillness is appreciably assisted by the use of herbs and essential oils that calm and sedate the nervous system, allowing us to drift downward into sound sleep.  The following herbs can be used individually or in combination in tea or liquid extract form; the essential oils come to our aid either inhaled directly from the bottle, diffused into the air, massaged diluted into the day-weary parts of the body, used in a warm bath, or as 2 – 3 drops placed undiluted on the bottom of each foot:


 Kava Kava Root

Valerian Root




Passion Flower

Wild Lettuce

Nervine Liquid Extract Combination

Lavender Essential Oil

Relaxing Essential Oil Mixture or Sleep Essential Oil Mixture

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