Medicinal herbs for the nervous system exert notable actions on both the central, on which our mental functions are based, and on the autonomic nervous system, which regulates and coordinates the activity of the body’s diverse organs. Unlike most psycho-pharmaceutical products (medicines that act on mental functions), plants exert their stimulating and soothing effects on the nervous system in a physiological, gentle, and safe way.
Moreover, it is implausible that the medicinal herbs for the nervous system we recommend may cause any physical or psychological dependence, unlike stimulants, sedatives, narcotics, and other chemically synthesized medicines.
Chemical medicines have a more powerful effect than medicinal herbs, although they present higher side effects and risks. In the case of acute nervous excitation, for instance, a psycho-pharmacological product with sedative or anxiolytic action (which eliminates anxiety) may produce an immediate and even spectacular effect. However, it will likely be accompanied by undesirable side effects, such as uncoordinated motor skills and drowsiness.
On the other hand, natural nervous system depressants act on the body by regulating and balancing its vital processes rather than stopping or combating specific symptoms. Thus, they have a natural balancing effect on the complex nervous and mental systems and prevent disorders and unstable mental conditions.
Herbs for The Nervous System
Fatigue and Asthenia
Fatigue and asthenia (excessive tiredness) are two of the most frequent illnesses in Western society, strongly conditioned by concepts such as productivity and work. The nervous system acts as the “director” of biological tasks and maintains the vital tone that enables us to perform everyday behaviors.
Boosting that vital tone is one of the most urgent needs of many persons who suffer from stress, asthenia, or nervous fatigue. Therefore, they often take stimulant or excitative substances, which, besides producing a momentary effect, also cause further tiredness after their results have passed.
To treat asthenia and fatigue, two types of herbs for the nervous system should be administered:
- Nutritional plants provide essential nutrients that are generally absent in diets, and the nerve cells need for their proper functioning: vitamins and trace elements
- Invigorating plants contribute as a physiological, non-irritating stimulus to the nervous system and other bodily functions.
Those plants or substances which only excite or stimulate the nervous system (such as tea or coffee), yet neither nourish nor favor digestive functions, do not stimulate the biological reparation of the methods or organs affected by stress. What excitants or stimulants cause is a subjective sensation of vitality, which does not bring about adequate organic recuperation.
This process leads to a higher degree of stress, which leads to a nervous breakdown or mental deterioration. This is shown in such forms as a sudden heart attack, gastric ulcers, immune depression (low bodily defenses), and even cancer.
Besides using the herbs for the nervous system that we recommend, the treatment of nervous and physical fatigue demands an imperative change in a stressful lifestyle.
Ginkgo is an indigenous tree of Asia and is one of the best herbs for the nervous system. It is a cerebral vasodilator, which increases blood circulation in the brain, and thus neurons receive higher amounts of oxygen and nutrients.
It is suitable for the people who suffer memory loss and those who need to improve their intellectual performance, such as students. Though certain pharmaceutical products contain ginkgo extract, the infusion of leaves is preferred. A balanced nervous system influences favorably on the health of our bodies.
Sedative Herbs to Calm The Mind
These herbs for the nervous system can calm excitation and balance and regulate the central and autonomic system’s activities.
|Wild balm||Lady’s mantle||Wild betony|
|White willow||Hound’s tongue|
Fresh celery juice is a natural tonic, highly recommended for nervous fatigue or depression, and also has diuretic and depurating actions. It may be mixed with lemon juice. The usual dose is half a glass in the morning and noon, either before or after meals.
Ayurvedic Herbs for Nervous System
Aromatherapy is a secure and effective way of applying sedative plants to children. Some drops of English lavender on gauze on the pillow when going to bed have a mild sedative and somnolent effect, which is highly recommended for nervous and insomniac children.
Lettuce, especially wild lettuce, has a soothing effect similar to that of opium, although it lacks the latter’s side effects. Its use is so safe that it is given to children as a sedative and sleep-provoking product.
The usual dose is from a quarter to half a glass of juice of fresh leaves (not white ones) before going to bed. It may be sweetened with honey. A decoction of green leaves or lactucarium (the latex flowing from lettuce stems) may also be administered.
Antispasmodic Herbs for The Nervous System
The following are herbs that cleanse the nervous system and prevent spasms of the hollow organs. These organs are covered by the so-called soft (or involuntary) muscles controlled by the automatic nervous system. When these muscles are violently contracted, almost always to overcome an obstacle, they produce a colic ache.
|A spasm in||Provokes a|
|The stomach||Stomach ache with nausea|
|The intestine||Intestinal colic|
|The bile tract||Gall colic (improperly called liver colic)|
|The urinary tract||Kidney or nephritic colic|
|The uterus||Dysmenorrhea, uterine spasms|
The antispasmodic plants act through the autonomic nervous system, relaxing the contracted organ or tract, thus alleviating the spasms. In pharmacology, this action is known as anticholinergic.
The false acacia or robinia is another antispasmodic plant that acts by relaxing nervous stomach spasms. After each meal, an infusion of its flowers must be drunk.
Fumitory acts on the autonomic nervous system, relaxing nervous spasms of the gall bladder and bile ducts (antispasmodic action). It is pretty helpful in liver and gall bladder dysfunctions. Moreover, the herb is choleretic (augments bile production) and thus eases the function of purifying blood carried out by the liver. Its use also results in eczema and skin diseases primarily due to toxins in the blood, commonly known as “dirty blood.”
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 138, 139, 144, 145, 146, 147. Print. [herbs for the nervous system]