Most people believe that the Melatonin they purchase at any given store is “All Natural”. I have even seen ads claiming Melatonin has an “Herbal Supplement”. Mmm?? Given my passion for herbs and learning all I can about them – If Melatonin is a Natural HERB, that’s news to me!
I can see why people can be lead to believe Melatonin is a natural product. If you look at the labels, they try to suggest the word Natural, in one way or another.
My interest about these misleading labels regarding Melatonin, grew to great concern about this subject, when I learned that some parents give their children Melatonin. believing that it is NATURAL.
Here’s some facts for you to consider regarding Melatonin:
- Melatonin is not an HERB by true definition. Melatonin is a HORMONE found naturally in humans and many plants and certain animals.
- Most genuine medicinal herbs are NOT recommended for children or pregnant women. This information can be found most anywhere you buy reputable medicinal herbs. There are only very few deemed acceptable for children under twelve years of age, such as Chamomile…
- The only natural source of Melatonin that can be used in medication comes from the pineal glands of animals. Buried deep within the brains of cows, sheep, and other diurnal (diurnal is the opposite of nocturnal) animals, pineal glands could be harvested and the melatonin extracted. Harvesting this gland is not a cost-effective process and since viruses found in the brains of animals can cause disease in humans, natural Melatonin gathered from animal sources is not used anymore. It is now synthetically produced and does not carry a risk of contamination or the means of transmitting viral diseases .
- The legal availability of Melatonin varies widely among countries, ranging from being available without prescription (e.g. in most of North America and Finland) to being available only on prescription (e.g. in the European Union, Norway and Australia) or not at all (although its possession and use may not be illegal). **
- Melatonin cannot be used as food additive because it is not recognized as safe by FDA***
- Melatonin in its natural state can be found in many foods, such as cherries and bananas.
My personal definition of Natural does not include: A synthetically made hormone mimicking the chemical compounds of the real substance.
This article is not meant in anyway to be medical advice. This article is my personal opinion on the subject, my aggravation regarding misleading advertisements and labels of Melatonin and my plea to parents of young children..PLEASE DO NOT GIVE YOUR CHILDREN Melatonin. There are enough synthetics and toxins in the everyday food bought at the supermarket, which for some are unavoidable to be ingested, that there is no need to add to it with a synthetic compound perceived to be natural.
An alternative child safe herb would be Chamomile. Chamomile is a 100% natural herb, with soothing, calming effects that occur naturally with the balance of the whole plant, not just one component of it.
Please see Herbal Tea Infusions for a tea infusion recipe with chamomile.
If you would like to read more on information I have found on the Natural Balance of the Whole Plant verses Synthetically manufactured pharmaceuticals and the effects on the human brain, please see my post: Plants and the Human Brain