Insomnia is a prevalent sleep disorder that has not been well managed thus far. There are numerous medicaments for treatment of insomnia, but they have undesirable side effects that make herbal medicine a more viable option.
The effectiveness of a combination of Melissa officinalis L. (dry powder) and Nepeta menthoides Boiss. & Buhse (freeze-dried aqueous extract) on insomnia was evaluated.
DESIGN AND SETTING:
Insomniacs who met the entry criteria participated in a triple-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial at the Persian Medicine (PM) clinic in Tehran.
The subjects received either 1000 mg of M. officinalis plus 400 mg N. menthoides or a placebo nightly for four weeks in accordance with prescriptions from the pharmaceutical manuscripts on PM and the results of previous studies.
The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), sleep diary, and Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) were used for assessment of insomnia.
Comparison of the treatment and placebo groups showed a significant decrease in the mean difference of ISI (4.97 ± 4.69 vs. 1.60 ± 3.70; p =; 0.002) and total PSQI (4.14 ± 3.69 vs. 1.42 ± 2.81; p = 0.001) scores in the treatment group. A significant increase was also observed in total sleep time of treatment group (p < 0.001) based on the sleep diary.
A combination of M. officinalis and N. menthoides Boiss. & Buhse could be an alternative sleep improvement therapy.
Melissa officinalis; Nepeta menthoides; Persian Medicine; herbal medicine; insomnia; traditional medicine