A new study indicates that a pure extract of lemon verbena can help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and improve overall sleep quality.

Summary: A clinical study published in Nutrients found that lemon verbena extract (RelaxPLX) can improve sleep quality and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. Conducted in Spain with 71 participants, the double-blind, placebo-controlled trial showed that those taking 400 mg of RelaxPLX before bed for 90 days experienced significant improvements in sleep patterns, increased melatonin production, and better overall sleep quality compared to the placebo group. 

Key Takeaways:

  • The study found that RelaxPLX significantly improved sleep quality, sleep latency, sleep efficiency, and reduced sleep disruptions in participants.
  • Participants taking RelaxPLX showed a 14% increase in nocturnal melatonin levels, indicating the extract’s ability to boost the body’s natural sleep hormone production.
  • RelaxPLX, a lemon verbena extract, demonstrated potential as a natural sleep aid, leveraging its active compounds like verbascosides to enhance sleep and reduce stress.

Results of a clinical study show that lemon verbena may help shorten the time it takes to fall asleep and promote better sleep quality.

The randomized double-blind controlled study, published in Nutrients, found that supplementation with RelaxPLX, a pure extract of lemon verbena (Aloysia citrodora) formulated by Suannutra’s subsidiary Monteloeder, improved sleep patterns and naturally increased endogenous secretion of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.

Study Details

Conducted at Medical School of the Catholic University of San Antonio de Murcia in Spain, the double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial included 71 healthy adult participants complaining of sleep disturbances as assessed by a validated questionnaire. The participants were randomly assigned a 400 mg capsule of lemon verbena extract (RelaxPLX) or placebo which they were instructed to take one hour before bedtime for 90 consecutive days. 

The participants were also instructed not to make any changes to their dietary habits or levels of physical activity.

Positive Effects of RelaxPLX

The positive effect of RelaxPLX on sleep quality was demonstrated through several measurement techniques. A Visual Analogue Scale survey assessment revealed significant improvements in overall sleep quality in the RelaxPLX group compared to the placebo group. In a short, self-reported questionnaire, participants in the RelaxPLX group reported significant improvements in drifting off to sleep more quickly, and experienced better sleep quality as opposed to those in the placebo group. 

These reports matched actigraphy measurement results that recorded physiological improvements in sleep latency, sleep efficiency, and fewer sleep disruptions or awakenings. These improvements were already noted midway through the study following 45 days of supplementation.

Additionally, nocturnal plasma melatonin levels increased in the RelaxPLX subjects by more than 14%, demonstrating the formula’s ability to naturally boost the body’s innate production of the sleep hormone melatonin.

“We discovered the positive effects of our lemon verbena on sleep while evaluating its use for joint health in athletes,” says Maria Ángeles Gutiérrez, Suannutra’s marketing director, in a release. “This initial finding spurred the development of RelaxPLX. Since then, we have explored how standardized doses can improve sleep quality, which we believe is a critical component of overall health, mental well-being, and longevity. Our first eight-week clinical trial on 40 participants demonstrated RelaxPLX’s capabilities in alleviating occasional stress and sleep difficulties. The current clinical study aimed to confirm and delve deeper into these benefits.”

Mechanisms of Action

Monteloeder applies a proprietary method of hydroalcoholic extraction of selected lemon verbena leaves to deliver a pure concentration of active compounds, primarily flavonoids, vitamins, and minerals. Microfiltration further concentrates the active compounds, followed by low-temperature drying to preserve them. RelaxPLX is standardized to 24% verbascosides, the key polyphenol found in lemon verbena leaves and responsible for the soporific effect of the botanical.

Some of the mechanisms through which lemon verbena exerts its beneficial activities include: increasing sensitivity to the relaxing GABA-A receptor, enhancing expression of neuroprotective brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and enhancing production of serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine. RelaxPLX has also demonstrated abilities to reduce the stress hormone cortisol.  

Previous pharmacokinetic analysis of RelaxPLX showed rapid absorption of the verbascosides with maximum plasma concentrations achieved within 20 minutes.

RelaxPLX has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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