Melatonin is a molecule synthesized in our brain by the pineal gland and in the gastrointestinal tract. In the body melathonin is produced from tryptophan amino acid. Melatonin is also synthesized in other organisms including plants.

Melatonin is known for its benefits in the synchrony of circadian rhythm, regulating sleep patterns with day and night.

Melatonin is also an antioxidant and protects tissues from oxidative damage by free radical elements. Further more, melatonin induces production of antioxidants such as superoxide dismtase (SOD) in the body.

Several researches indicate that melatonin protects the gastrointestinal tract from irritation, reduces stress-induced lesion formation and heals ulcer.

Melathonin Food and Herbal Sources

Melathonin is produced by plants and thus, it can be obtained from dietary sources. Below are lists of natural plant sources high in melathonin.

Table 1: Melatonin sources ( Rieter and Tan, 2002).

Melatonin sourceMelatonin content (ng/g)
Huang-qin 7,110
St. John’s wort, flower 4,390
Fever few, green leaf 2,450
Fever few, gold leaf 1,920
St. John’s wort, leaf 1,750
White mustard seed 189
Black mustard seed 129
Wolf berry seed 103
Fenugreek seed 43
Sunflower seed 29
Fennel seed 28
Alfalfa seed 16
Green cardamom seed 15
Tart cherry fruit (Montmorency) 15
Flax seed 12
Anise seed 7
Coriander seed 7
Celery seed 7
Poppy seed 6
Milk thistle seed 2
Tart cherry fruit (Balaton) 2