Got stress? Lately I’ve seen several mainstream press mentions of nervines, natural herbs that are reported to help support the nervous system.
These include tonics made from organic skullcap and oat tops, mildly calming herbs such as catnip and chamomile, and stronger relaxants such as valerian root and hops.
Lavender and chamomile tea are pretty mainstream these days but here are several I didn’t know about, per a few websites. Many are staple folk remedies that have been used for centuries.
Have any of you tried any of these? I can’t personally vouch for them and since herbs aren’t regulated the way drugs have to be, it’s always wise to consult a physician about dosing and possible side effects. Still, I’m intrigued. Any recommendations?
- Oat tops – Although they may not produce an immediate physical feeling of relaxation, oat tops are called a superfood for the nervous system, meant to support nerve functioning over time. Suggested for anyone who is overworked or relies on caffeine to get through the day, this herb is said to calm the nerves, reduce fatigue, relieve emotional instability, and help restore peace and tranquility to over-stressed and chronically upset people.
- Skullcap – Helps relieve occasional tension and stress, circular thoughts, and nervousness. Can be used throughout the day during stressful situations or at night before bed to calm worried thoughts. I’m curious to try this one. Considered to have anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties, herbalists recommend skullcap for muscle tension, insomnia, chronic headaches and relaxation.
- Chamomile – A classic, relaxing nighttime tea, the herb is also helpful for relieving mild daily mental stress. If you don’t like the taste, try adding a little lemon and honey.
- Lavender – This lovely calming herb is often used in aromatherapy applications. Wonderful in the bath or shower, massage oils, pillows, room sprays, and fragrance.
- Lemon balm – Sunshine in plant form, this citrusy herb helps with nervous exhaustion, gloom, and restlessness, while also providing pure aromatic pleasure. Rub a leaf between your fingers and inhale deeply for an immediate mood boost.
- Catnip – Gentle, calming herb suggested for sleeplessness in children and the elderly. Are we all cats at heart?
- California poppy – Used for its calming properties, this plant helps promote relaxation in those seeking rest. Picture that wonderful scene in The Wizard of Oz!
- Passionflower – Considered helpful for relieving general tension, occasional nervous restlessness, and supporting restful sleep.
- Hops – With a distinctive flavor and action known well by beer drinkers everywhere, this plant supports relaxation and helps calm a nervous stomach.
- Valerian – When sleep seems impossible thanks to nervous energy and a brain that won’t shut off, this potent herb encourages relaxation. Caution: for some people, valerian can have the opposite effect, causing stimulation and even more anxiety. If this happens, an herbalist can suggest something else.
Wishing you all a relaxing, stress-free New Year. We all deserve one! xx Alisa