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Toning the Nervous System
Psychological and emotional disturbances can affect physical health. Conditions such as nervous tension should not be underestimated, but addressed, just like any other ailment. Nervousness, stress, anxiety, depression — these states do have a negative impact on all body systems, affecting the skin, the circulatory, digestive, respiratory, glandular, and reproductive systems. They can be the root cause of common health problems, such as high blood pressure and digestive issues. As opposed to prescription drugs, relaxing herbs are a safe, natural method for reaching and maintaining emotional balance.
Herbs for nervousness can be used to tone the nervous system. They strengthen and fortify the nerves, thereby making it easier to deal with stressful, every day situations. They also create the foundation for overall health.
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Herbs related to the nervous system, sometimes referred to as nervine tonics, are beneficial for nervousness, as well as related conditions, such as insomnia and anxiety.
- Valerian is an ideal herb for calming over-excited states and releasing tension. It is a nervine, but also a mild sedative. With anti-spasmodic properties, it is useful for quelling menstrual cramps.
- Lime Blossom is a great herbs for nervous tension, especially when high blood pressure is an issue.
- Skullcap is an all-around excellent nervine tonic, relaxing and renewing the central nervous system.
- Chamomile is one of the most gentle relaxing herbs, safe even for children. It combines well with any of the other nervines, contributing a calming, soothing effect.
- Peppermint is another very safe, gentle herb to treat nervousness. It relaxes any tissue which it comes into contact with, settling upset stomach, and mild tension-related pain.
- Lavender is another universal herb for the nervous system. It can be used for nervous exhaustion, to promote restful sleep, and to treat headaches. Combined with rosemary, it can be used to relieve mild depression.
- Oats, or oatstraw, is excellent for fortifying nerves. Used regularly, this herb can really help with chronic stress. For depression, it combines well with skullcap and lady's slipper.
- Passion flower is ideal for insomnia, especially in conjunction with valerian and hops. It can also be useful for treating asthma brought on by tension.
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Although all of the herbs for nervousness are generally safe, it is important to use these natural remedies responsibly. Lime blossom for example can lower blood pressure, which may not always be desirable. Most act as mild sedatives, and should not be mixed with alcohol or drugs. Drinking one cup of herbal tea will only allow the body to rest and relax, but it is always wise to use caution, especially when using herbs for the first time. Do not take relaxing herbs before serious physical or mental activity, at least until you are familiar with your body's response. For pregnant women, and people on prescription medication, it is always important to talk to your doctor.
When treating nervousness, drink one to three cups per day, of any of the herbs listed above. They can be taken alone, although many are more beneficial when taken together. Use two teaspoons total of the dried herbs for one cup of boiling water. Infuse for ten minutes. Add honey if desired and enjoy. Herbal tinctures are also very effective. Take one dropperful in a cup of juice, water, or tea, two times a day.
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Hoffmann, David. "The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal: A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies." (Element Books, 1996).
Balch, Phyllis, CNC. "Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition." (The Penguin Group, 2006).
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photo by: Pallaea (CC/flickr) <http://www.flickr.com/photos/7147684@N03/3440287031/>.
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