What are natural sedatives?
As the prevalence of anxiety and stress in modern societies rises higher and higher every year, many people use prescription sedatives, such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines to alleviate such conditions. However, these have many reported adverse effects, including:
- A dependence can develop easily.
- An overdose can cause drowsiness, confusion, and slowed respiration.
- Stopping a drug after using it for a long time causes anxiety, irritability, and sleep problems.*
Sedatives are, by definition substances that have:
- calming, soothing, tranquilizing effects,
- and are able to relieve or reduce anxiety, irritability, stress and excitement.
Natural sedatives are plants, or other naturally-occurring substances that produce these same effects. Although, the popular belief that says what’s natural is always safe doesn’t necessarily hold true in each and every case, if used prudently, natural sedatives and natural remedies for anxiety can be just as potent and generally much healthier alternatives to prescription drugs.
Many plants are considered natural sedatives with effects ranging from mildly relaxing to total sedation (of course, the potency and nature of the effects vary greatly with the dosage and from person to person also).
However, it is also important to note that if you’re not a stressful or anxious person, experimenting with these herbs can still be fun, many of them cause varying degrees of euphoria. They are recreational drugs for a reason.
Natural sedatives occur in many forms, including smokable herbs or herbal smoking blends, herbal calming tea mixes etc., and most of them have more than one method of consumption.
Most of these herbs have mild, relaxant effects and can be mixed in calming teas or herbal smoking blends. However, Kava and Kratom are much more potent than the rest of them.
Below I will provide you with an overview of the nature of the effects of these herbs and also a list of the most popular natural sedatives, sleep aids, calming tea ingredients, smokable herbs and more!
- Smokable herbs and herbal smoking blends with sedative effects
- Calming tea mixes
- The strongest natural sedatives – kava and kratom
- Natural remedies for anxiety and natural sleep aids
- Natural remedies for anxiety
- Natural sleep aids
- Intoxicating natural sedatives
Smokable herbs and herbal smoking blends with sedative effects
Almost all of the natural sedatives below are smokable herbs. They can all be smoked in themselves, as well as mixed with other similar plants in herbal smoking blends.
Pre-made herbal incense mixtures are also widely available online and in brick and mortar herbal high shops. However, branded herbal smoking blends (a.k.a. potpourri, or herbal incense mixtures) should be avoided, as the vast majority of these are made from low quality plants and own their unpredictable, dangerous effects to untested research chemicals.
Calming tea mixes
Some of these herbs, however, are said to be quite hard on the throat and lungs when smoked. The good news is that all of these natural sedatives can be be brewed into a calming tea, or be used in calming tea mixes. If you’re not a smoker, or dislike harsh smoke, you can still sample the effects of these plants.
You can buy pre-made tea blends, but it’s definitely cheaper and also more fun, if you mix your own.
Most of the herbs mentioned below blend well with other herbs in tea mixes. However, be sure to obtain valid and sufficient information on the interactions of the herbs, or substances in the herbs that you’re planning to mix!
The strongest natural sedatives – kava and kratom
Kava and kratom are reportedly the strongest herbal, natural sedatives on the market. They too possess anxiolytic properties and therefore list amongst the natural remedies for anxiety. However, the high they produce goes well beyond just relaxing the muscles and the nerves.
In higher doses, they induce very strong euphoria and sometimes even visual distortions are possible. They also serve as a general mood enhancer.
Kava (Piper methysticum)
Kava (Piper methysticum) is a crop native to the Western Pacific, but its long shelf life and pleasant effects made it popular amongst herbal legal high enthusiasts around the world.
A group of compounds called kavalactones are reportedly responsible for its sedative and psychoactive effects.
Note, that the legal status of kava is complicated in many countries. You might want to check my kava guide for more information, whether restrictions on kava exist in your country.
Buy kava – US
If you’re interested, I recommend buying kava and kava extract in the US here:
Buy kava and kava extract /shipped from the US, credit cards accepted/
Kratom, Mitragyna speciosa
Kratom, Mitragyna speciosa (also known as ketum or kratum) is an evergreen tree from the same family as the coffee plant. It is reportedly the second most popular legal high worldwide (after salvia divinorum).
Users report effects not unlike opiates. In smaller doses, kratom functions as a stimulant. However, as the dose increases, its strong sedative and anxiolytic effects become more pronounced. It is, in fact, one of the strongest natural sedatives, along with kava.
Kratom is usually available in the form of:
- dried leaves
- standardised extract (more expensive, but also stronger than the dried leaves)
- resin extract (usually very strong, 30-50x extracts – NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FIRST TIMERS).
If you’re interested in trying kratom for yourself, check out these two shops below:
Buy kratom from the US
I currently can not personally recommend any place to buy kratom in the US.
Buy Kratom from Europe, Netherlands
I recommend the following place in the Netherlands to buy kratom from Europe:
Buy kratom online/shipped from the Netherlands/
Natural remedies for anxiety and natural sleep aids
Many natural sedatives are proven natural remedies for anxiety. They help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and relieve occasional stress. Usually the psychoactive effects of these herbs are mild. However, they produce some kind of high – some of them are even considered marijuana alternatives (not substitutes).
Even though, I’ll list sleep aids and anti-anxiety herbs separately here, they can be used pretty much interchangeably. The fact that some of them is listed under sleep aids and some under anxiety remedies only represent, that my research of the herb indicated that it is whether primarily a sleep aid or an anxiety remedy.
Natural remedies for anxiety
Poppy seeds and pods (Papaver somniferum)
The overwhelming majority of the alkaloid content of the opium poppy is cumulated in the latex obtained from the plant. However, the pods and seeds also contain some residual thebaine, codeine and morphine. Pods are reportedly much more potent, but they’re illegal for human consumption in most countries. The seeds are freely available in almost every country (the only exception I know of is the United Arab Emirates, it’s banned there).
Poppy seed tea reportedly triggers opium-like effects. They can range from hardly noticeable to very strong – it depends on the amount consumed and the seeds’ residual morphine content.
Buy poppy seeds – US
I recommend buying poppy seeds which you can grow at home:
Buy opium poppy seeds /shipped from the US, credit cards accepted/
Buy poppy seeds – Europe, Netherlands
I recommend buying poppy seeds for cultivation from Europe here:
Buy opium poppy seeds /shipped from the Netherlands/
Blue lotus (Nymphaea caerulea)
Blue lotus (Nymphaea caerulea) is a herb with mild sedative and psychoactive properties. The ancient Egyptians reportedly soaked it into wine or other alcoholic beverages to further enhance its effects.
Today it is used as an anxiolytic herb, as well as a recreational herbal legal high and an aphrodisiac. It is also one of the better natural sleep aids out there.
Buy blue lotus – US
I recommend buying blue lotus and blue lotus extract from from the following place in the US:
Buy blue lotus and blue lotus extract /shipped from the US,
credit cards are accepted/
Buy blue lotus – Netherlands
I recommend buying blue lotus extract in Europe at the following place:
Buy blue lotus extract /shipped from Europe, Netherlands/
– only available as part of a herbal incense mixture, if you would like to buy only blue lotus, check out a US vendor (see above).
Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)
Nelumbo nucifera – also called Indian lotus or sacred lotus – is a perennial aquatic plant native to South Asia and Australia.
Nelumbo nucifera can be prepared and consumed in various ways. The traditional method is brewing it into a tea, but the dried petals and leaves may be smoked as well.
Consumption of the sacred lotus causes a rather mild, opium-like buzz. Users generally feel relaxed and mildly euphoric. It can also act as a sleep promoter. It is one of the moderately popular, but nevertheless great natural sedatives!
Buy sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) – US
I recommend buying Nelumbo nucifera at the following place:
Buy Nelumbo nucifera /Shipped from the US./
Buy sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) – Europe
Couldn’t find any place selling it in Europe at the time of writing. Let me know in the comments section below if you know any.
White lotus (Nymphaea alba)
Nymphaea alba, also called European white water-lily or white lotus is an aquatic flowering plant native to Europe.
Nymphaea alba has been consumed for hundreds of years for medicinal and ritualistic purposes. Today, it still enjoys popularity as a recreational substance.
The active ingredients in the European white water-lily are the alkaloids nupharine and nymphaeine. Consumption of the white lotus causes sedation and mild euphoria.
Buy Nymphaea alba – US
I recommend ordering Nymphaea from the following US shop:
Buy white lotus /Shipped from the US./
Buy Nymphaea alba – Europe
Couldn’t find any place selling it in Europe at the time of writing. Let me know in the comments section below if you know any.
Wild dagga (Leonotis leonurus)
Wild dagga (Leonotis leonurus) is native to South Africa and southern Africa, where it is very common. It is known for its medicinal and mild psychoactive properties.
Wild dagga induces a cannabis-like a high, although it is reportedly much lighter. It also has mild relaxant, anxiolytic and sedative properties.
Buy wild dagga – US
I recommend ordering wild dagga from the following US legal high shop:
Buy wild dagga and wild dagga extract/shipped from the US, credit cards are accepted/
Buy wild dagga – Europe, Netherlands
I recommend buying wild dagga from the following European legal high shop:
Buy wild dagga/shipped from Europe, Netherlands/
Damiana (Turnera diffusa, Turnera aphrodisiaca)
Damiana (a. k. a. Turnera diffusa, or Turnera aphrodisiaca) is a shrub native to southwestern Texas, Central America, Mexico, South America, and certain parts of the Caribbean.
Damiana is a mild natural remedy for anxiety. It can also act as an aphrodisiac.
Buy damiana – US
I recommend ordering damiana and damiana extract from the US, from the following place:
Buy damiana or damiana extract /shipped from the US, credit cards accepted/
Buy damiana – Europe, Netherlands
I recommend ordering damiana, damiana extract, or damiana containing aphrodisiac from Europe, from the following Dutch ethnobotanical shop:
Buy damiana, damiana extract and more /shipped from the Netherlands/
Marihuanilla (Leonurus sibiricus)
Marihuanilla, or Leonurus sibiricus is a herbaceous plant native to China, Mongolia and Siberia, though today it can be found throughout America as well.
Marihuanilla is a mild narcotic, causing the user to enter a pleasant, relaxed state. Leonurus sibiricus may be consumed either as a tea or by smoking. The intoxicating effects seem to be stronger when the leaves are smoked, whereas drinking the tea has more of a relaxing, numbing effect.
Buy marihuanilla – US
I recommend buying Marihuanilla at the following link:
Buy Marihuanilla /Shipped from the US/
Buy marihuanilla – Europe
I can not personally recommend any European vendors right now.
Natural sleep aids
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a perennial plant native to Europe, Asia and North America.
Valerian is usually used to treat insomnia, as well as alleviate symptoms of depression or anxiety disorders. It is a recognised natural sedative.
Buy Valerian – US
Buy valerian /Shipped from the US./
Buy Valerian – Netherlands
Buy Valerian /Shipped from the Netherlands. Currently valerian root is unavailable, but supplements containing valerian root extract, such as Lounge E are available./
Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)
When used in everyday language skullcap or skullcap herb usually refers to the most popular and most extensively used species from the Scutellaria genus, Scutellaria lateriflora (American skullcap, blue skullcap, mad dog skullcap, or side-flowering skullcap).
Scutellaria lateriflora is used extensively in herbal medicine. It is one of the best natural sleep aids and mild natural sedatives. Many boast skullcap for its relaxant effects and claim, that a skullcap tea is the perfect recipe for a good night’s sleep.
Buy skullcap – US
You can buy skullcap on the link below (perfect for a skullcap tea, as well as for smoking):
Buy dried skullcap herb /shipped from the US, credit cards are accepted/
Buy skullcap – Europe, Netherlands
You can buy skullcap from the Netherlands here:
Buy skullcap here /shipped from the Netherlands/
Perfect for a skullcap tea or for smoking.
Wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa)
Wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa or opium lettuce) can be found growing freely in various regions of the world including Australia, America, Southern Europe and India.
Consumed in larger amounts, it is said to produce effects not unlike opium and opiates. However, in lower amounts it relieves anxiety. It is also one of the best natural sleep aids available!
Buy wild lettuce – US
I recommend buying wild lettuce and wild lettuce extract from the following US online shop:
Buy wild lettuce and wild lettuce extract /Shipped from the US./
Buy wild lettuce – Europe, Netherlands
I recommend buying wild lettuce and extract from the following European legal high shop:
Buy Wild lettuce /Shipped from the Netherlands./
Intoxicating natural sedatives
The mere two plants in this category also induce some relaxing and calming effects. However, they also have reported intoxicating properties, therefore they cannot be considered merely anxiety remedies or natural sleep aids.
Sinicuichi (Heimia salicifolia)
Sinicuichi (a.k.a.Heimia salicifolia and sun opener), is a perennial shrub native to Mexico and Central America.
The most common cognitive effect of the sun opener is mild auditory hallucination. The acoustic effects are generally accompanied by mild visual changes as well. This generally appears in the form of a yellow tint to the user’s vision, especially the peripheral vision.
Sinicuichi use is generally described as a positive, relaxing, or even euphoric experience. Consumption may be followed by slight giddiness and a feeling of intoxication; not unlike marijuana but milder.
Buy Sinicuichi – US
Buy Sun opener and Sun opener extract /shipped from the US/
Buy Sinicuichi – Europe
I could not find any European legal high vendor that would sell Sinicuichi. Let me know in the comments section below if you know of any.
Sinicuichi is reportedly illegal for human consumption in the US state, Louisiana. It appears to be legal everywhere else.
Intoxicating mint (Lagochilus inebrians)
Lagochilus inebrians, or intoxicating mint is a shrub with numerous stems reaching a height of 20–80 cm. It only grows naturally in the Samarkand and Bukhara provinces of Uzbekistan, some areas of Turkmenistan and Tajikistan and a few other regions in Central Asia. It is, therefore quite hard to come across commercially available dried Lagochilus inebrians or its extrac. It can also be relatively expensive.
Its effects, as an intoxicant are reportedly mild. It’s mostly a bodily high – a pleasant, warm, glowing feeling.
These can be:
- mild euphoria
- relaxing effects on the nervous system
- strong excitation
- a general state of well being
- subtle perceptual changes
Buy intoxicating mint – US
You can buy Lagochilus inebrians from this US legal high shop (it is available only in limited quantities, it might be out of stock, check back later in that case):
Buy dried Lagochilus inebrians /Shipped from the US, credit cards accepted/
Buy intoxicating mint – Europe
I could not find any European legal high shops, which would sell intoxicating mint. Let me know in the comments section below if you know any.
I’m 100% committed to safe and responsible legal high consumption. If you have a few minutes to spare please read my blog post about responsible and safe legal drugs use.
Back to Simon’s legal high guide.
Last updated: 2015.12.08.