Newest Review: ... so were not a prescribed drug so should not have any harmful side effects. Kalms are in table form and there are 200 in a glass bottle ... more
A Great Herbal Helping Hand Against Stress
Member Name: missrarr
Advantages: Herbal, readily available and not overly expensive, I find these genuinely helped against stress
Disadvantages: This is a herbal treatment only and any prolonged period of stress - after a short period see a GP
***WHAT'S A KALMS TABLET, THEN?***
Kalms have been around for a while. Last time I used them they came in brown glass jars with a blue label, which is how I was reminded of the product recently - I came across one of my old jars of Kalms Night and thought it would be a good time to reinvest in the product.
Now, it turns out, Kalms have moved with the times. You can now get this in a bottle pack of 200 pills, but I have mostly seen them available in a 84-pill blister pack. This should last you two weeks and while you can buy through the brand's website for over £5, I have bought two packets of this from Asda and Waitrose and paid £4 both times - possibly a promotion although I didn't see one advertised.
Kalmsstress.com is quite a nice website where you can purchase this product and it also kindly offers plenty of tips on dealing with stress - but there is little information on what is actually in them. It just claims to be a traditional remedy used to relieve worry, irritability and the stresses and strains of every day life. It helps promote natural sleep and can also be useful for women suffering from the symptons of menopause. It is a herbal product which comes in white, sugar-coated pills which you are advised to take two of at three points throughout the day. Probably not particularly originally, I opt for breakfast, lunch and when I get home at night an hour or so before bed to try to aid sleep - I don't use the Kalms Nights in conjunction with the original product. You are meant to take these after meals so it makes fairly obvious sense.
The packaging is much more informative than the website on the actual product, I find! In a relaxing combination of blue shades (ignore the apparent image of the blue gel capsule on the front - these are white hard tablets inside). The front of the box claims inclusion of Hops, Valerian and Gentian. I know of Valerian's calming qualities as it was often our medicine of choice to calm our family pet dogs on Bonfire night, although I had no idea Hops were similarly capable and the third ingredient is a new one on me.
Each tablet contains 45mg of Hops, 33.75mg Valerian Extract and 22.5mg Gentian Extract. Sucrose is included which I presume is the coating. These are all the ingredients listed as being present in the product and, stating the bleeding obvious, the packaging advises you not to take it if you are allergic to any of them. Given we live in a world where I once read seafood allergy advice on a pack of frozen Tesco Salmon, I am not even remotely surprised....
These tablets are not the smallest but I often take larger vitamin supplements and with the coating I find these fine to take with a sip of water.
Valerian can see its effects enhanced by alcohol, so excessive consumption should be avoided. The tablets should not be stored above 25 degrees, and these can make you feel sleepy, with buyers advised not to drive or operate machinery if they are thusly affected.
There is a further information leaflet in the box which you should read before use. If you miss a dose, do not double up; it is advised that though this is a natural product, no non-essential medication should be taken when pregnant or breast feeding. Should you develop nausea or abdominal cramps you are advised to talk to your doctor, as you are if on any non-prescription medicine or on any medicine which may make you drowsy.
Not recommended for anyone under 18, and it is advised that notable effects may not come into play for 2-4 weeks for the product should be taken continually. The internal leaflet contains a full list of ingredients, which I personally think should be on the box clearly: they include Acacia, Icing Sugar, Magnesium Stearate, Maize Starch, Silicon Dioxide, Sodium Starch Glycolate, Stearic Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Carnauba Wax, Mastercote White SP0950, Purified Talc, Shellac Varnish, Sucrose, Titanium Dioxide and Yellow Beeswax! No wonder they don't put that on the box....
They are produced by Lanes Health, based in Gloucester.
***DO THEY WORK?***
First off, a note on the packaging. I think that the introduction of the blister packs - so you can take one plastic foil-backed sheet to work with you - is a great introduction. The last thing I want at the moment is someone at work taking the mick or thinking I can't cope when they spot a sodding great glass jar of Kalms tablets! This is far more practical - you can have one in your desk drawer, one in your bag, some at home etc, so you don't miss dosses by leaving bottles at work or at home, and subtle. I personally think this is important. I have not had any instance of the pills escaping their foil prisons in my bag either so I am happy with this.
Now, I personally found these products worked and worked quickly - within a week I felt a lot calmer, and felt I was sleeping better. Whether or not this could be attributed to a placebo effect, the mental effect of feeling that I was at least doing something positive, did worry me. However, two instances made me feel that the change in my demeanour could be down to this product rather than anything else.
First of all, I have always had a terrible habit of grinding my teeth when I sleep. I used to know I was doing it, a sure sign I was about to have a massive bout of stress symptoms, because I would start to wake up with a very sore jaw and neck. Now, poor Mr Rarr has to hear it. Whilst it never wakes me, it does him and, due to the twin reasons that it is not a nice sound and it means his girl is unhappy, he hates hearing it. Unprovoked, he told me that I hadn't been grinding my teeth for a few days straight, which recently has been unheard of. So my subconscious seemed happier anyway.
Secondly, as I felt more relaxed heading towards the end of the two-week supply blister pack, I also took some time off work and stopped popping these like clockwork in desperation for them to work. You could argue that being off work made me more relaxed therefore it wasn't such an issue - but I also started to realise that, despite being off work, as I accidentally skipped a day's dose or one meal's dose thus lowering my daily intake, my stresses came back. Maybe coincidence, but on one of those days after barely taking these for about three days, I found myself tense, lashing out and on the verge of tears over the slightest thing as I had often been before. I have started taking them again with more dedicated regularity whilst off work and I feel calmer, more able to focus, that I am sleeping better and that things don't affect me out of proportion once again.
So I thoroughly recommend these if you feel stressed when you know that you are not depressed or suffering from extreme situations - admitting to day-to-day stress does seem to have stigma attached to it these days, particularly for women - either other women will think we can't "have it all" therefore are weak or men will think we're just "girls" who can't cope. But if something is widely available that can improve your outlook and sleep, and consequently your health, I think that there is no shame in using it, although I would prefer that my colleagues didn't know about it.
For me, the main thing about this product is that its effects mean I can sleep better - I recall I used to be impressed by Kalms nights but while I saw if this product would work for me now I have tried to save money but just using the regular product. If I can sleep better, I can cope better with my working day, and over time my energy levels can rise and allow me to consider other things that might improve my mental wellbeing - I am currently considering yoga and taking up running with the latter aim being a long-term plan to raise money for charity. It also helps me clear my mind, separate issues and target and deal with them more effectively, and therefore make more time for my other ambitions and aims which I felt were falling by the wayside. Small things - like having the energy to do half an hour's cleaning up when I get in after work - help the overall picture in a big way and if these little white herbal tablets - despite their less than savoury sounding list of actual ingredients! - can help with that and I can get them for a price averaging less than £3 per weekly dose then I am very pleased with them. I shall continue to take them at the moment while I work to change the sources of my stress, and see no problem with stopping taking them - they certainly aren't displaying any addictive issues if I can forget to take them when they do their job and make me relax more!
Overall a very pleasing, non-prescription herbal product that may very well help you if you are feeling stressed. Of course, if you suspect you are depressed - and the leaflet does say if things don't improve after four weeks you should consult a GP about your feelings - then please seek professional help and don't feel that you need to hide it. I've been there in the past and life is too short - take the steps you need to in order to get as much enjoyment from it as possible. I am very pleased by this product and shall continue to take advantage of its benefits as long as I need to while I make the adjustments to my life that will bring a genuine change to my mindset and remove the causes of the stress, and am very happy to do so without worrying that it will have side effects of its own that I need to be concerned about.
Summary: A really great help to me under stress which has helped me get invaluable better sleep.