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
Breaking news: Scientists have developed a way to keep poop from sticking to toilet paper. (Does this make your day, or what?!)
Apparently, the slippery spray-on coating — like Teflon for TP — could prevent bacteria build up, reduce the amount of water needed to flush, and leave the toilet cleaner.
Want to read the whole story? Click here.
Something new to worry about — with an easy fix.
According to a microbiologist, we should be washing all our towels after three uses, max. That’s because damp towels are breeding grounds for bacteria, which we’ll then transfer to our bodies. Yuck, right?
The solution: sniff your towel. If it stays damp too long it will develop an odor, which is your cue to wash it, pronto.
Just read a great post I have to share: This first aid kit might save your life or someone else’s.
There’s a fascinating article in October Vogue magazine about a new device that could change the way health care workers perform breast exams.
Imagine — something faster and more pleasant than squashing your boobs in a giant panini press!
iBreastExam is a handheld cancer screening tool about the size of a travel-sized clothing steamer. Using Cloud technology rather than radiation, the padded electronic sensor can detect abnormal lumps as small as five millimeters. And it only takes a few minutes to assess multiple quadrants in each breast and then store the info.
Already in use across developing countries where access to radiology and conventional mammograms is limited at best, iBreast Exam is now becoming available to primary care physicians and gynecologists in the U.S.
Despite some limitations — e.g., it’s unable to detect tiny amounts of calcium that may indicate precancerous cells — the tool’s sensitivity is equivalent to a mammogram. For women showing early warning signs, the standard (and proven) mammo would likely be the next step. But for women with healthy indicators, this might be all that’s needed.
Good news indeed for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Cold and flu season is upon us. And although experts note that “strengthening your immune system” isn’t a quick fix — after all, it is a system with multiple components — there are common sense things that can help.
- Get your flu shot. It’s never a guarantee, but studies have shown it can lessen the severity of illness if you do get sick.
- Wash your hands often, and use antibacterial wipes when you’re out and about.
- Regular chiropractic adjustments can relieve compression in nerve pathways.
- Reduce your intake of sugar, caffeine, alcohol and processed foods.
- Eat plenty of colorful fruits and veggies to boost vitamin C and other nutrients.
- Get extra sleep.
- Identify causes of chronic stress in your life, and try to address them.
- Drink plenty of water, more than normal.
- Take in more Vitamin D. 15 minutes of daily sun exposure on unprotected skin is all you need; then apply that sunblock!
- Apple cider vinegar thins out mucus in the throat, moving it out of your respiratory system. Hate the taste, or worry about direct contact of acid with your teeth? It’s available in capsules (Amazon has a lot of options) and may help with weight loss.
- Exercise regularly.
- Don’t smoke. (Did you really need another reason?!)