Melatonin: A Plant’s Secret Weapon?
The Melatonin Synthesis Process
What is Melatonin?
How Does Melatonin Work?
Why Is Melatonin Important?
Who Uses Melatonin?
A Brief History of Melatonin Synthesis in Plants
In the beginning of time, there was no light. There were only the stars and the sun.
These two luminaries provided warmth and light to life forms. One day, some creatures came across these lights and began to use them for their own purposes. The ability to see light was a tremendous advantage. Over time, plants and animals alike evolved in such a way that they could take advantage of this resource.
Nowadays, a few plants use these lights to help them grow. In recent years, scientists and doctors have studied this process extensively.
They’ve dedicated their careers to unlocking the secrets of melatonin in plants. These professionals believe that they are on the verge of a major medical discovery.
How Does Melatonin in plants Work?
The popular supplement has been shown to reduce anxiety and promote sleep. It also has been used to treat insomnia and help people fall asleep. It is a favorite among medical professionals and people who have trouble sleeping at night. Many people use melatonin to increase their quality of life. It is important to note that the supplement has been linked to several major side effects. People who are thinking about taking this supplement should consult their physician immediately.
How Do You Use Melatonin?
The supplement comes in several different forms. These include pills, liquid and even a skin cream. It can easily be purchased from Amazon or your local drugstore. A single pill will cost you around $1.00, though the price may vary. Some melatonin pills are made from herbal ingredients. Others resemble traditional medication. The liquid supplement can be ingested with a spoon or mixed with a glass of water or any other beverage.
Most melatonin pills contain 1mg of melatonin. You’ll need to take three or four pills around one hour before bedtime.
Some users find that this causes nausea. If you experience any gastro-intestinal issues, try taking a lower dosage. A lower dosage might also be necessary if you take other medications before bedtime. Check with your physician before taking any new supplements or medications.
The liquid supplement is measured using a dropper. There are several different liquids that you can use to mix your melatonin with.
These include water, juice, milk and even applesauce. Taking a liquid supplement will speed up the effects significantly.
The skin cream is applied to the body. It is absorbed through the skin and enters the bloodstream.
Some melatonin creams come mixed with other medications, such as clonazepam or trazodone. This can help ease some of the side effects that are commonly associated with melatonin.
How Long Does It Take?
The supplement should kick in within 20 to 60 minutes. Most users say they begin feeling sleepy anywhere between 40 minutes to one hour. The supplement should last for several hours, up to five or six. It all depends on the user and how their body reacts to the supplement. It is a good idea to plan your activities around this medication. Some people have trouble sleeping if they take it later in the day. They may be unable to fall asleep until several hours after taking melatonin.
Melatonin can cause several side effects. These include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
These digestive issues will be at their worst around 30 minutes after taking melatonin. Taking a lower dose may help to alleviate these symptoms. Other side effects may include headaches, dizziness and blurred vision. Some people have also reported feeling more anxious when taking melatonin. If you start to feel worse, it is best to stop taking the melatonin immediately.
The supplement may cause interactions with other medications. It is important to let your physician know what supplements you are taking, as well as what other prescription medications.
It may interact with some asthma medications. The supplement can also have negative interactions with certain antibiotics, blood thinners and diabetes medication.
Does It Really Work?
Yes, melatonin does really work. It helps to regulate your sleep cycle by quieting the body’s internal clock. This stops you from feeling tired at certain times of the day and keeps you in sync with the 24-hour day/night cycle. You may not need melatonin forever. Many people find they outgrow their use of the supplement after a few years. If you do need to take it long-term, there are little to no side effects.
Melatonin helps to improve your quality of sleep. This can lead to feeling more refreshed when you wake up in the morning.
You may also have more energy throughout the day. It can also improve your mental state. Many people feel more positive and are able to deal with stress better when they take melatonin.
How Much Does It Cost?
Melatonin can be purchased from most local drug stores, convenience stores or supermarkets. You can also buy it online or through mail order. The cost of melatonin will depend on where you purchase it and how much you buy at one time. Buying in bulk may save you some money. One 10 mg pill can cost between $.50 and $3.00, depending on the brand. Most people need to take one or two 10 mg pills a day. This can lead to an annual cost of between $60 and $480 a year.
Things to Consider
Melatonin is not only available as a pill, it is also available in other forms. Some of these include lip balm, lozenge, cream and a spray.
It is important to discuss all options with your physician before making a final decision.
Melatonin should not be used by everyone. If you are under the age of 18, do not take this supplement.
It may have negative effects on your physical and mental development. Pregnant and nursing mothers should also avoid using melatonin. It may pass through your system and into the child. This can lead to several issues for either you or your child.
Melatonin can also cause several side effects in some users. Take some time to test the waters.
Begin with a low dose to see how your body reacts. You should start to feel sleepy within 30 minutes after taking it. If you do not, try increasing the dose slightly. If side effects become bothersome, stop taking the supplement and talk to your physician immediately. These side effects are rare, but may include:
Breast swelling in men
If you take other medications, the side effects may become more frequent or more severe. Tell your physician about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you are taking before beginning melatonin.
Melatonin may interact with other substances. This could cause either no reaction or a negative reaction.
Some of these substances include:
Blood pressure medication
If you take any of these or other drugs, tell your physician before beginning melatonin. This is especially important if you need to increase or decrease your dosage of any of these substances.
While melatonin can be a great sleep aid for many people, it doesn’t work for everyone. Take time to test the waters before jumping in.
If it does work for you, it can be a blessing. It can help regulate and improve your sleep cycle. This can lead to more energy during the day. It may also help you to think more clearly and positively. It may even help you live a longer life.
Sources & references used in this article:
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- Melatonin in plants (MM Posmyk, KM Janas – Acta Physiologiae Plantarum, 2009 – Springer)
- The physiological function of melatonin in plants (MB Arnao, J Hernández-Ruiz – Plant signaling & behavior, 2006 – Taylor & Francis)
- Melatonin in plants (R Caniato, R Filippini, A Piovan, L Puricelli… – … in Tryptophan and …, 2003 – Springer)
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- Melatonin in plants–diversity of levels and multiplicity of functions (R Hardeland – Frontiers in Plant Science, 2016 – frontiersin.org)
- Melatonin in plants and other phototrophs: advances and gaps concerning the diversity of functions (R Hardeland – Journal of experimental botany, 2015 – academic.oup.com)