I've researched the medical literature on the topic of herbs for sleep apnea. I didn't find much.
Sure, there's information about
herbal sleep aids
for other sleep disorders, such as insomnia. But I was looking specifically for
information on the effects herbs would have on sleep apnea.
And I found one herb that was interesting. A recent study shows that green tea may reduce the following negative symptoms sleep apnea is associated with:
Scientists have noted that one of the side effects of sleep apnea is that it can impair brain function. This is because of a condition called hypoxia, which means periods of low oxygen levels.
During sleep, for a person with obstructive sleep apnea, oxygen level in the blood drops because the person stops breathing or has shallow breathing. Their sleeping is also disturbed throughout the night.
The consequence? Areas of the brain that deal with memory, concentration, and the ability to learn may not function fully.
There can be a decline in the ability to think clearly. Decision making becomes difficult. Concentration flies out the window. Poor judgment is more common, as is anger and stress. Mental sharpness becomes mental dullness.
Imagine what this is doing to a person's health...as well as their job or career performance...and the ability to create an income stream that can lead to financial freedom. (If that interests you, see my article Best Business to Start for Retirement and Financial Freedom.)
A 2008 study conducted by researchers at the University of Louisville showed that green tea can help offset some of these negative brain effects.
Here's what happened.
They subjected rodents to periods of low oxygen levels, to imitate the sleep apnea effects on the brain a person experiences. They then tested the learning and memory ability of the rodents by running them through a water maze.
Rodents given green tea in their drinking water performed far better than those who weren't given green tea.
The animals without the green tea also showed greater levels of aging and free radical damage to their brains. Free radicals are out-of-control molecules that bombard our cells thousands of times a day. They are widely considered to be major factors in unhealthy and rapid aging.
Perhaps that's why drinking tea has been used for thousands of years in Asian cultures to promote healthy aging.
The reason green tea may work as one of the herbs for sleep apnea is because it contains potent compounds called polyphenols.
Scientists have discovered that one of these polyphenols, called EGCG, is over 200 times more powerful than vitamin E for protection against those nasty free radicals. That's some potent brain cell protection for the mind!
Several studies have also shown that green tea may:
These heart health benefits are particularly important. That's because some sleep apnea side effects include a greater risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
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That page has some excellent information about the hazards of statins that you will find interesting.
You can use this herb as a tea or take a capsule or tablet supplements. There are no studies showing how much to take of these herbs for sleep apnea.
However, I can tell you that on the studies for protection against cancer, the recommended amount was three cups of tea a day.
As for green tea in tablets or capsules, see my article More Herbal Sleep Apnea Solutions.
Always discuss with your doctor any herbal medicine or teas you take. This is especially true for women attempting to become pregnant, or are pregnant, or people taking medications. Also note that green tea does contain caffeine. Or you can get decaffeinated green tea.
Research certainly seems to indicate that green tea compounds can help protect nerve and brain cells deprived of oxygen, which is one of the signs of sleep apnea.
Also, I've been looking into other herbs for sleep apnea treatments.
It seems to me that if other herbs for sleep apnea are to work, perhaps they might address the sleep apnea effects on breathing. That's what my article, More Herbal Sleep Apnea Solutions is about. I discuss the use of odors for helping with sleep apnea.
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