The name “benzodiazepines” (BZPs) may not ring a bell. But doctors hand them out like candy. These sleep drugs are among the most common prescriptions written.
They also cause some of the most bizarre side effects. Perhaps the most famous case is that of former Congressman Patrick Kennedy.
Under the influence of BZPs, Kennedy crashed his car in July 2007 at 2:45 AM. He drove semi-conscious from his home to the U.S. Capitol… convinced he was late for a House vote.
A few years later, his cousin, Kerry, had a similar experience. According to ABC News, other people have reported sleepwalking, eating, and other bizarre behaviors. And the Kennedys aren’t the only ones caught driving after taking BZPs.
In a few moments, you’ll discover a new danger. I’ll also reveal an all-natural alternative. But first, a quick review of some of the risks linked to BZP drugs.
A Little Sleep With a Side of Violence… and Danger
BZPs are known to cause aggressive – even violent – behavior. In one study, 10% of those taking a specific BZP showed anger or hostility while taking the drug. That’s one out of every ten people. And millions take BZPs every day.
Peter Breggin, M.D. notes there were 113 reports to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding hostile behavior linked to BZP… in just a single month. Dr. Breggin’s review of BZP studies also reports these drugs can “blunt” emotions… increase depression… cause psychosis… trigger confusion and memory problems… and much more.
BZPs work by boosting levels of your body’s key “calming” neurotransmitter. This messenger chemical is called gamma-aminobutryic acid – or GABA for short.
Simply put, GABA slows your brain down so you can relax. Which helps you sleep.
But BZPs also have other effects. Japanese scientists say BZPs also dull another area of your brain. The area that decides which stimuli to respond to while you sleep. And it’s so good at this…
… you could easily sleep through a fire alarm while taking BZPs!
BZPs are to sleep what a 12-pound sledgehammer is to cracking walnuts. They both get the job done… but they can make an awful mess of it.
It’s too bad we don’t have a natural alternative that can safely affect GABA levels.
Oh, wait… we do!
Lemon Balm to the Rescue
There are two ways to make a neurotransmitter more effective. You could raise levels of the messenger molecule. Or you could use a “back door.”
Your body uses enzymes to break down chemical messengers. In the case of GABA, it’s an enzyme called GABA transaminase, or GABA-T. If you block the activity of GABA-T in your brain, you’ll have more GABA activity.
And that’s how lemon balm works. Natural compounds in lemon balm block GABA-T’s effects.
A study published in 2011 showed lemon balm can work remarkably well. In this Italian study, 85% of the volunteers who took lemon balm reported complete relief from insomnia.
Taken alone – or in combination with valerian – lemon balm has a centuries-old record for safely promoting sleep. Today, it’s available as an essential oil, in capsules, as a tea, or in bulk form.
If you’d rather not sleep through a fire alarm, lemon balm is certainly worth a try.
About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.
Smith, S., “Patrick Kennedy: I Wasn’t Drinking,” CBS News. Jul 16, 2007.
Newcomb, A. and Perez, D., “Kerry Kennedy Crash Raises Questions About Ambien Use,” ABC News. Jul 15, 2012.
Breggin, P.R., “Brain-Disabling Effects of Benzodiazepines,” benzo.org.uk.
“Millions on prescription sleeping pills would sleep through a fire alarm,” ScienceDaily. Jan 11, 2019.
Awad, R., et al, “Bioassay‐guided fractionation of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) using an in vitro measure of GABA transaminase activity,” Phytotherapy Research. Jan 22, 2009; 23(8): 1075-1081.
Cases, J., et al, “Pilot trial of Melissa officinalis L. leaf extract in the treatment of volunteers suffering from mild-to-moderate anxiety disorders and sleep disturbances,” Med Jrnl Nutr Met. 2011; 4(3): 211-218.
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