Today I am going to review MegaFood Supplement called “Dream Release.” I received a sample at my local Whole Foods and am addicted. The dream release motto is ‘Relax.Sleep.Renew’ and that is exactly what this supplement does. OMG, this supplement is truly amazing. It is like if Ambien and Xanex had a natural baby, they would call it ‘dream release.’ I give it 5 stars (*****) out of 5. My only hope is that the FDA does not catch up with this wonder supplement and ban it before I can clean the shelves nationwide.
The Megafood company has been making natural vitamins and supplements for 40 years since 1973. Located in New Hampshire the company believes in ‘farm to tablet’ meaning that they source fresh ingredients from family owned farms that grow with care and practice ethical farming standards. They process their minerals and supplements in a patented ‘slo-food’ process. “Just as the name implies, the Slo-Food Process is a slower, gentler way of making whole food supplements. The process was designed to optimize the potency of a vitamin or mineral within the phytonutrient rich whole foods selected to create our FoodState Nutrients. Each and every step, from farm to tablet, was designed with the ultimate goal in mind – to create supplements that make a noticeable difference on your journey toward optimal health.” (www.megafood.com)
Dream Release contains magnesium, valerian root extract, California poppy extract, vervain whole herb power and Sensoril Ashwagandha root and leaf extract. The megafood website lists the following in support for their product: “Dream Release was formulated to help promote a sense of relaxation and a restorative sleep associated with a lucid dream state. Valerian and California poppy have long been used to promote deep and restful sleep in those with occasional sleeplessness. Magnesium and ashwagandha are also included to help release tension. Vervain is a calming herb known to help promote a restful sleep. It is traditionally used in many cultures to help evoke vivid and lucid dreaming experiences.”
Magnesium, an abundant mineral in the body, is naturally present in many foods, added to other food products, available as a dietary supplement, and present in some medicines (such as antacids and laxatives). Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. Magnesium is required for energy production, oxidative phosphorylation, and glycolysis. It contributes to the structural development of bone and is required for the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and the antioxidant glutathione. Magnesium also plays a role in the active transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes, a process that is important to nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm.
Valerian is a perennial flowering plant, with heads of sweetly scented pink or white flowers that bloom in the summer months. Valerian flower extracts were used as a perfume in the sixteenth century. Valerian root has sedative and anxiolytic effects. It can also be classified as a drug since its consumption produces a sedative or medicinal effect, while it is not exclusively a type of food. These effects are suspected to be mediated through the GABA receptor. The amino acid valine is named after this plant.Valerian is most often used to treat insomnia. It can be considered an alternative treatment for hypnotic drugs. It is also sometimes used as an alternative for sedatives, such as benzodiazepines in the treatment of certain anxiety disorders.
Whether or not valerian is an efficacious treatment for insomnia is still a very open question. Multiple recent systematic reviews of the medical research literature and meta-analyses have produced conflicting conclusions regarding the efficacy of the substance. One systematic review and meta-analysis published in 2006 in the American Journal of Medicine concluded that “[t]he available evidence suggests that valerian might improve sleep quality without producing side effects.”However, another systematic review, published in 2007 in the journal Sleep Medicine Review, concluded that valerian was safe but not clinically efficacious for insomnia.
In the United States, valerian is sold as a nutritional supplement. Therapeutic use has increased as dietary supplements have gained in popularity, especially after the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act was passed in 1994. This law allowed the distribution of many agents as over-the-counter supplements and therefore allowed them to bypass the regulatory requirements of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In addition to being used for the treatment of insomnia and other sleep disorders, valerian has also been used to treat anxiety and gastrointestinal pain caused by irritable bowel syndrome. It has also been used in alternative medicine to treat symptoms such as nervous tension, excitability, and stress as well as intestinal colic or cramps and as a muscle relaxant.
California poppy is a plant. It is the state flower of California. People use the parts that grow above the ground for medicine. California poppy is used for trouble sleeping (insomnia), aches, nervous agitation, bed-wetting in children, and diseases of the bladder and liver. It is also used to promote relaxation. Some say that California poppy has a similarity to opium, but is non addictive, safe to use, and it is much less powerful. Along the same lines, some use this herb as a way of relaxing after a stressful day or to help them fall asleep. In combination with other herbs, California poppy is used for depression, long-term mental and physical tiredness (neurasthenia), nerve pain, various psychiatric conditions, blood vessel problems, sensitivity to weather changes, and sedation. An herb combination including California poppy is also used for sleep and mood disturbance associated with strong, warm wind in the Alps (foehn illness).
Vervain, also known as Verbena, grown throughout temperate North America is a perennial herb that has a large range of medicinal uses today. The herb can be found growing along the road side and produces small pale lilac colored flowers and has no perfumed scent. Vervain has been used in spiritual ways through history with Priests using it in sacrifice, Druids including it in their lustral water and even being employed by magicians and sorcerers. Today it is used medicinally for many common complaints. For example, a weak tea of Vervain can be used as a digestive aid and improve the absorption of foods. Vervain is also considered effective in treating colds and respiratory afflictions. As in. Dream Release, Vervain is traditionally used as a nerve restorative and is very helpful in nervous tension and may have a mild anti-depressant. Also, and my personal favorite, vervain is used to fight off vampires. According to scienceray.com, “[I]n the CW hit show “Vampire Diaries” we’re seen people use something called Vervain to combat a threatening vampire. It doesn’t kill the vampire. It just sort of evens the playing field, weakening a vampire enough to get a stake through the heart or lock him away in a casket.”
Finally, Ashwagandha, one of the most vital herbs in Ayurvedic healing, has been used since ancient times for a wide variety of conditions, but is most well known for its restorative benefits. In Sanskrit, ashwagandha means “the smell of a horse,” indicating that the herb imparts the vigor and strength of a stallion, and it has traditionally been prescribed to help people strengthen their immune system after an illness. In fact, it’s frequently referred to as “Indian ginseng” because of its rejuvenating properties (although botanically, ginseng and ashwagandha are unrelated). In addition, ashwagandha is also used to enhance sexual potency for both men and women.
Belonging to the same family as the tomato, ashwagandha (or Withania somnifera in Latin) is a plump shrub with oval leaves and yellow flowers. It bears red fruit about the size of a raisin. The herb is native to the dry regions of India, northern Africa, and the Middle East, but today is also grown in more mild climates, including in the United States.
Ashwagandha confers immune system protection, combats the effects of stress, improves learning, memory, and reaction time, reduces anxiety and depression without causing drowsiness, stabilizes blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, reduces brain-cell degeneration, contains anti-malarial properties and offers anti-inflammatory benefits. Some studies have also found that ashwagandha inhibits the growth of cancer cells in small animals, but further research is needed to determine whether the herb prevents the development of tumors in human beings.
The combination of herbs and extracts in this supplement are amazing. So, I will be using this supplement occasionally, as needed. I will also be exploring the other vitamins and supplements that MegaFood offers. As always, check with your doctor or herbalist before using this or other supplements.
*All views expressed in this blog post are my sole opinion. Further, I have not been asked or endorsed by Nature’s Way in any manner. This blog post is not a replacement for medical care. Please always follow the advice of your physician.*
Article written with help from Wikipedia, The Chopra Center, MegaFood, Scienceray.com, WebMD, National Institute of Health and Crazy for Tea.com.