Natural Sleep Aid Tip for Children, Try Lavender

From time to time I get calls asking if children can take iSleep Herb Pac.  While the herbs in the Pac Herbs product iSleep, are completely safe for children (adjusted to child's weight) on principal alone  I  do not recommend sleep aids for children.  The reason for this, and I am referring to approximate age of 13 and under, is generally speaking children our very healthy and should not have problems sleeping. 

Although it is not uncommon for teens to have sleep disorders usually due to stress, children younger than 10 normally will only have an occasional bad dream that wakes them and falling asleep is completely related to the amount of exercise they have done on any given day.   If your adolescent is having sleep problems, you must figure out the source of the stress that is keeping him or her from a good nights sleep.  Providing a sleep aid pill will only exasperate the problem as they mature.

So what do you do when you are frazzled and tired of your rambunctious eight year old's bedtime getting later and later as a result of long summer days and the lack of a school routine?  Here's a suggestion for young children that is a completely natural sleep aid.

Use lavender essential oil, as little as two drops in a warm bath will relax those little wide eyed monsters and settle their spirits.  If they are not taking a bath the same two drops on their pillow will have a similar effect.    Another possibility,  take one drop of lavender essential oil and rub it in at a spot near the back of each ear lobe, (start at the back of the ear lobe and add two finger widths toward the back of head.) Rub a drop of lavender essential oil in the area to relax.  This spot is used in Chinese medicine and acupuncture to calm the CNS. It's name Anmian,  translated means peaceful sleep.

Lavender is a gentle, safe and effective sleep aid for children (and adults) with no habit forming tendencies.  Except of course, they may become so accustomed to the scent they will not want to fall asleep without it.   Don't worry, it is not terribly expensive.  I am always grateful for a good nights sleep and I been known to carry a small bottle of lavender oil with me when traveling. I love everything about lavender, the name, the color growing in my yard, and especially the smell.  It has a wonderfully calming scent with a gentle action of  soothing nerves, perfect for both children and pregnant women as a natural sleep remedy.


Pac Herbs reserves all rights. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.

Tiger Woods May Want to Check Out a Non-Prescription Sleep Aid

I not really much for celebrity gossip but tabloids are reporting Tiger Woods texted his friend Rachel saying “I feel like taking pills is my only alternative” for sleep.  No doubt Tiger has been on the high stress life style for many years.  Fame and fortune do have a price and like millions of people, it’s easy to feel the only way to get a good nights sleep is with the help of a prescription drug.

Would somebody please pass him an  iSleep Herb Pack before he lands in rehab, or pass on an address and I will be happy to send him some.  Poor guy, somebody tell him Chinese herbs have been used for centuries to calm the mind and provide a peaceful, non-addictive way to fall asleep. I  actually feel terrible for anyone who must rely on prescription sleep aids.  It’s a terrible cycle to get into and one that is even harder to break and here is why Tiger should be shining this year.

Fast Facts About Tigers from Jennifer Dubowski, L.Ac.

Are you a Tiger?

You are if you were born in: 1902, 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, or 1998.

The Tiger symbolizes character traits such as bravery, competitiveness and unpredictability. This courageous and fiery fighter was admired by the ancient Chinese as the zodiac sign that kept away the three main tragedies of a household: fire; thieves; and ghosts. The Tiger has other strong qualities and is: a natural leader; generous, intelligent and always alert. Tigers love to be the center of attention and are very charming, although they have a slight tendency to be selfish. Just as their jungle counterparts rely on instinct, so do individuals born in the Chinese Year of the Tiger. The best jobs for Tigers are those that will lead them towards positions of leadership. Tigers make interesting partners – they are creative, passionate and will never bore their mates. They’re expressive, polite and trustworthy, but watch out. Partners need to have a high energy level and a sense of adventure to keep up with a Tiger.

Celebrities born under the sign of the Tiger include: Emily Bronte, Leonardo DiCaprio, Karl Marx, Marilyn Monroe, Marco Polo and Queen Elizabeth II.

Those individuals born in the Year of the Tiger are compatible with the Chinese astrological signs of Horse, Dog, and Dragons. They are incompatible with Goat and Ox.

Colors are Green, Purple



Sleep More For Natural Weight Loss

Natural Sleep aids help with Weight LossScientists have known for years that sleeping more can actually help you lose weight.  There are many studies to support this conclusion.  One such study published in  2005 which included 8000 adults over several years found that less sleep corresponded to greater risks of weight gain.  Is the answer to the American obesity problem in the bedroom?  It's true that eating and sleeping cannot really occur at the same time.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition studied a small group of men and women and measured their food intake over 48 hours periods.  One period of time included 8 hours of sleep and another in which the participants slept only 4 hours.   After the night of less sleep the men consumed more than 500 extra calories or approximately 22% more.   

The University of Chicago did a similar study last year and and similar findings in both men and women.  The less sleep the more calories eaten, particularly carbohydrates.   Makes sense to me, when I haven't gotten a good nights sleep I tend to make up for my lack of energy with food.   Some studies blame the gain on hormones.  They argue decreased sleep creates a spike in ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite and an increase in leptin, which signals satiety.  But there seems to be no consensus yet.  Regardless, sleep aids such as Chinese herbs can help you stay asleep and give you the rest you need,  without side-effects or additional calories.  Prescription sleep aids in comparison with placebo pills only provided 11.4 minutes of additional rest but then, that is a subject for another bog. 

What do you think?  Does a night of better sleep equal less food intake the next day?  Eur J Endocrinol. 2008 Dec;159 Suppl 1:S59-66. Epub 2008 Aug 21. Sleep and the epidemic of obesity in children and adults.

Study Shows Chinese Herbs Help Sleeplessness

iSleepherbpac.comAsian countries commonly treat sleeplessness with Chinese herbs more affordably and without the side-effects associated with prescriptions. A study done in Taiwan showed patients complaining of  insomnia were successfully treated with Chinese herbs.  


This study included 16,134 participants who received a total of 29,801 Chinese Herbal Medicine prescriptions. This large-scale study which used data assembled by the National Health Insurance of Taiwan, evaluated the frequency and patterns of Chinese herbs in treating insomnia

What’s unusual about this study is not just the sheer numbers of participants but the amount of data collected. Read the full study here.

The reason the study has such a large group of participants is simply that Taiwan has instituted a unique computerized data entry system as part of its health care system.  Patients can choose to visit either a Western hospital or a Traditional Chinese Medicine hospital. All data from patient visits are recorded in a national computer database. Because data is readily available in electronic form, large scale analysis is easy. Data in this study covers the course of one year.  The numbers reflect the patients who, according to diagnostic codes for insomnia, were treated with Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine in 2002.

Included in this data are the following:

  • How many patients complained of insomnia, demographics on age, sex, etc?
  • How many patients were prescribed various Chinese herb formula combinations in packets? (herbal packets are the preferred delivery method of Chinese herbs in Taiwan hospitals and clinics.)
  • How many patients were prescribed single Chinese herbs in packets?
  • Which Chinese herb formula was the most prescribed?
  • Which individual herbs were often added to the prescribed Chinese herbal medicine formula?


The data concluded the most common individual Chinese herbs prescribed for insomniawere Polygonum multiflorum used 23.8% of the time, followed by Ziziphus spinosa (18.3%) and Poria cocos (13.3%). Suan Zao Ren Tan was the most commonly prescribed formula.  These are the same Chinese herbal ingredients found in iSleep Herb Pack.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________ PUBLISHED IN:   EVIDENCE-BASED COMPLEMENTARY & ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE CAM Advance Access published online on April 1, 2009 eCAM, doi:10.1093/ecam/nep018 © 2009 The Author(s). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Prescriptions of Chinese Herbal Medicines for Insomnia in Taiwan during 2002 Fang-Pey Chen1,2, Maw-Shiou Jong1,2, Yu-Chun Chen2,3, Yen-Ying Kung1,2, Tzeng-Ji Chen2,3, Fun-Jou Chen4 and Shinn-Jang Hwang2,3 1Center for Traditional Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, 2National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taipei, 3Department of Family Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital and 4Graduate Institute of Integration Chinese and Western Medicine, Chinese Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) has been commonly used for treating insomnia in Asian countries for centuries. The aim of this study was to conduct a large-scale pharmaco-epidemiologic study and evaluate the frequency and patterns of CHM use in treating insomnia.

We obtained the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) outpatient claims from the National Health Insurance in Taiwan for the year 2002. Patients with insomnia were identified from the diagnostic code of the International Classification of Disease among claimed visiting files.

Corresponding prescription files were analyzed, and an association rule was applied to evaluate the co-prescription of CHM. Results showed that there were 16 134 subjects who visited TCM clinics for insomnia in Taiwan during 2002 and received a total of 29 801 CHM prescriptions. Subjects between 40 and 49 years of age comprised the largest number of those treated (25.3%). In addition, female subjects used CHMs for insomnia more frequently than male subjects (female: male = 1.94:1). There was an average of 4.8 items prescribed in the form of either an individual Chinese herb or formula in a single CHM prescription for insomnia. Shou-wu-Teng (Polygonum multiflorum) was the most commonly prescribed single Chinese herb, while Suan-Zao-ren-tang was the most commonly prescribed Chinese herbal formula.

According to the association rule, the most commonly prescribed CHM drug combination was Suan-zao-ren-tang plus Long-dan-xie-gan-tang, while the most commonly prescribed triple-drug combination was Suan-Zao-ren-tang, Albizia julibrissin, and P. multiflorum.

For reprints and all correspondence: Prof. Shinn-Jang Hwang, Department of Family Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, No. 201, Sec. 2, Shih-Pai Road, Taipei 112, Taiwan, ROC. Tel: +886-2-287-57460; Fax: +886-2-287-37901; E-mail:


National Institute of Health – PubMed study abstract on Suan Zao Ren Tang

J Biomed Sci. 2007 Mar;14(2):285-97. Epub 2006 Dec 7.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor mediates suanzaorentang, a traditional Chinese herb remedy, induced sleep alteration.

Yi PL, Tsai CH, Chen YC, Chang FC.

Department of Medical Technology, Jen-Teh Junior College of Medicine, Nursing and Management, Miaoli, Taiwan.


The sedative-hypnotic medications, including benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepines, are the most common treatments for insomnia. However, concerns regarding patterns of inappropriate use, dependence and adverse effects have led to caution in prescribing those sedative-hypnotic medications. On the other hand, a traditional Chinese herb remedy, suanzaorentang, has been efficiently and widely used in clinic for insomnia relief without severe side effects in Asia. Although suanzaorentang has been reported to improve sleep disruption in insomniac patients, its mechanism is still unclear. The present study was designed to elucidate the effects of oral administration of suanzaorentang on physiological sleep-wake architectures and its underlying mechanism in rats. We found that oral administration of suanzaorentang at the beginning of the dark onset dose-dependently increased non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREMS) during the dark period, but had no significant effect on rapid eye movement sleep (REMS). Our results also indicated that intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor type A antagonist, bicuculline, significantly blocked suanzaorentang-induced enhancement in NREMS during the dark period, but GABA(B) receptor antagonist, 2-hydroxysaclofen had no effect. These results implicated that this traditional Chinese herb remedy, suanzaorentang increases spontaneous sleep activity and its effects may be mediated through the GABA(A) receptors, but not GABA(B) receptors.

One herb, two herbs, red herbs, blue herbs…. What’s the difference?

red herbs blue herbs all chinese herbs for PMS Relief & sleep When we speak about using plants as medicine there are two very different and distinct methods, Western herbalism and Chinese herbal medicine.   I find a lot of confusion between these two methods, so I've written a little background on each.
Western herbal medicine or folk herbalism primarily treats symptoms such as asthma symptoms or coughs, colds, headaches, constipation symptoms, PMS symptoms etc. All cultures across the globe have used indigenous plants for their own brand of folk medicine. However,  Western herbs in our modern day  fell from the lime light when prescription medicine started being heavily marketed in the 1950’s.   They seem to be making a comeback today, but  large clinical studies are scarce and very expensive and this makes it difficult to know what really works.  Good manufacturing standards, which are overseen by the FDA in the U.S. are getting stricter, but enforcement is lacking and herb quality control has no standardization. 
In comparison, Chinese herbal medicine is the worlds oldest documented medicine. Chinese medicine has been continually practiced for over 2000 years. The same herbs have been prescribed for centuries. However, the method of prescription is done on what’s called “pattern identification” rather than on just “ bodily symptoms”. Pattern identification can get complicated but in a nut shell, a patients pattern diagnosis is made up of a person’s overall body constitution, medical history, emotional temperament, signs and symptoms. Chinese herb formulas are prescribed according to each individuals set patterns and often customized to treat  both the  underlying root cause of disease and symptoms.

Chinese medicine including Acupuncture is gaining popularity in the West as  an effective alternative therapy. Unlike Western herbalism, China, Taiwan, Japan and other Asian countries have extensively researched and studied herbs in clinical trials. Today most of Asia depends on herbs for their primary medicine.   Good manufacturing standards in Taiwan, a large producer of Chinese herbs, are extremely controlled compared to the U.S. and both enforcement and quality control standards are similar to pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in the U.S. The reason for these strict standards in Taiwan is because the herbs are covered as part of the Taiwanese  National Health Insurance program and heavily depended upon for all types of illness.  In fact, even a swine flu cure has been highly publicized in Asia using only cooked and processed Chinese herbs.
Hope this helps explain the differences, if you have any questions feel free to post below. 

Med Students Say They Can Benefit From CAM

CAM therapies include Chinese herbs, Chinese Medicine both of which help insomnia and give PMS ReliefAnother study, I found this one most encouraging. A survey of 1784 current U.S. medical students from around the country said knowledge of Complementary and Alternative Medicine could help them as Western doctors do a better job. (51% of U.S. medical schools participated). The survey’s overall objectives were to discover how many future doctors are using Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies and  which therapies and to  assess medical students’ attitudes toward CAM. CAM therapies include, Acupuncture, herbal medicine, yoga, massage and other non-traditional healing modalities.
There is certainly a need for emerging physicians to integrate Complementary and Integrative Medicine into their medical practices. Medical schools are recognizing this and have taken steps at restructuring their curriculum to incorporate CAM educational opportunities. It’s been my privilege to be personally involved with one such school, the USC Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles  when they host their CAM Health Care day each year.
The Keck School  invites a few local Alternative Medicine practitioners from various fields to speak in the classrooms of  their first year medical students. Being an  Acupuncturist I spoke about Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese herbal medicine.   I found the  students had an incredible interest in learning more about Chinese medicine and were extremely open minded and had great questions.  However, when I asked how many of them had ever gone to an Acupuncturist only about 20% said they had and not surprisingly they were most often the students from Asian decent.   I’m looking forward to getting more feedback from the students at this years CAM day to be held in March.  I’ll keep you posted, it’s always an enjoyable afternoon.
Adequately preparing our future doctors is a daunting task, but I do believe our medical institutions are on the right track.  The next generation of  doctors are already telling us that one day soon, CAM will be more than peripheral medicine, it will be main stream.

The findings were published online Jan. 20, 2010  in Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.