There techniques that can help us manage our stress and anxiety such as emotional freedom technique (EFT), the Sedona method, the work from Byron Katie, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), compassion focus therapy (CFT), Gestalt therapy, neurolinguistic programming (NLP), mindfulness meditation, and many more. Techniques like these are the foundation for us to have peace and harmony in our lives.
However, we all have times in our lives when we need a little support from external sources to help us cope with a stressful or difficult event(s) in our lives. In such times, herbs are your best allies to help you manage stress, anxiety, depression and other emotions. The good news is that nature has provided great herbs for nerve support!
These herbs are known as nervines. Nervine herbs are nutritious and directly benefit the nervous system. Moreover, herbal nervine therapy increases our ability to cope with the stress of daily life. You may take nervines herbs as you need them.
There are 3 types of nervine herbs
Nervine Tonics. They strengthen and feed the nervous system. In cases of nervous debility, they strengthen and restore nerve tissues directly. Note that the adaptogens herbs that I covered in my last post are also considered nerve tonics due to their ability to aid the whole of the body and mind to cope with stress. Other herbs include but not limited to:
Nervine Relaxants. These are the closest natural alternative for conventional medicine’s nerve tranquilizers, they should be used moderately. Too much tranquilizing, even that achieved through herbal medication, can in time deplete and weight heavily on the whole nervous system. However, they are a healthier alternative to toxic medicine without any of the unwanted side effects. It is also, better to take these than to live with constant anxiety and stress. Some herbal in this category include:
Nervine Stimulants. They stimulate the nervous system, and they are not needed often. Especially in our times when there is already for much hyperactivity, stress, and anxiety. In most cases, it is more appropriate to stimulate the body with the help of adaptogens, nervine or even digestive tonics, which work by promoting harmony within the body and thus have a much extensive and longer-lasting effect. A problem with commonly used stimulants (such as coffee) is that they have many side effects and can cause many health issues including anxiety and tension. Some herbal examples include:
However, the goal should be for the herbs to help us become more resilient in times of stress, not to become reliant on them for the rest of our life. Acute stress will always occur, but becoming more resilient is what’s important.
Until next week,
Dr. Toni is a Best-selling author, Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP) & Registered Herbalist in San Diego, California. She holds a PhD in psychology, and a Clinical Herbalist Certificate, an HHP certificate and is a Certified Trainer in the Success Principles. In private practice as a HHP for over 14 years, she has been influenced by a variety of clinical modalities and orientations, and by the diverse life experiences of her clients. Toni’s approach to healing is holistic & transpersonal. In her work, she integrates the principles of Eastern and Western nutrition, herbololgy, energy medicine, Buddhist mindfulness and personal counseling to assist others in working through their physical or emotional blocks to attain optimal health.