A few weeks ago I wrote about immune supporting herbs; I will continue on the topic of herbs, focusing here on nervous system support and reducing anxiety.
Going into Winter, our immune systems and nervous systems can always use a little extra support and love. Please refer to our last blog to read about immune supporting herbs.
There are several ways to give our nervous system support and reduce anxiety. Every body is so different that you may need to experiment until you find what resonates best for YOUR body.
Here are a several herbs that I have directly worked with for nervous system support:
- Ashwagandha – as an adaptagen, it helps your body manage stress. It is also used for reducing blood sugar levels, reducing cortisol levels, may reduce symptoms of depression, reduces inflammation, lowers cholesterol and lastly is used for fertility support in men.
- Chamomile – lowers cortisol levels (stress hormone), treats diabetes and lowers blood sugar, reduces menstrual pain in women, slows or prevents osteoporosis, reduces inflammation, helps with sleep and relaxation, treats cold symptoms, and treats mild skin conditions.
- Valerian – commonly used for sleep disorders, especially the inability to sleep. Relieves anxiety and psychological stress. And lastly, minimizes hot flashes in menopausal woman.
- Lavender – like valerian, it is used for improved sleep. It also reduces blood pressure and heart rate, relieves asthma symptoms, natural remedy for pain, treats skin blemishes and bug bites, relives headaches, anxiety and stress.
- Passionflower – treats anxiety and sleep problems, as well as pain, heart rhythm problems, menopausal symptoms and nervous disorders.
- Kava Kava – used to treat anxiety disorder, stress, trouble sleeping, PMS, relieves pain, prevents seizures and relaxes muscles. One thing to note: kava works much like alcohol on your brain and it is best to avoid alcohol while taking this herb. In addition, if taken for long periods of time it can be taxing for your liver.
- CBD – relieves anxiety and depression, reduces pms, protects against neurological disease, relieves chronic physical pain, eases diabetic complications, treats epilepsy, high blood pressure, glaucoma and alleviates ALS symptoms.
- Lemon Balm – improves mood and cognitive function, helps relieve stress, reduces anxiety, eases insomnia and sleep disorders, used to treat cold sores, relieves indigestion, treats nausea, minimizes menstrual cramps, eases headaches, and may reduce toothache pain.
- Hops – (yes, the same herb that make beer from!) used for anxiety, inability to sleep, restlessness, tension, nervousness and irritability, alleviate hot flashes and reduce the risk of heart disease. May also reduce swelling and prevent infections.
- Reishi – not an herb, but rather a mushroom; I wrote about its immune supporting properties in the last blog, but it is an adaptogen, helping the body manage stress. It fights fatigue and depression and supports heart health and blood sugar control.
- St. Johns Wort – reduces symptoms of depression, stress, tension, menopausal symptoms and may assist with wound healing (when applied topically).
- Rhodiola – treats anxiety, fatigue and depression, improves brain function, may improve exercise performance, and may help manage diabetes.
- Oatstraw – improves brain function and induces feelings of wakeful relaxation. This herb appears to change brain-wave patterns and enhance mental focus. It also improves prostate health and is loaded with minerals and b vitamins.
- Hawthorn – primarily benefits the heart, used often for grief, sadness, heartache and loss. Also used for heart disease, digestion and kidney ailments.
- Mimosa – often referred to as the “happiness” bark, grows wildly in Asheville (a native tree). It calms anxiety, and can also be used for irritability, depression, mood swings, poor memory and excessive anger.
Other supplements to consider as anti-anxiety/nervous system support:
Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, L-theanine and magnesium
At the Salt Cave, we offer two blended teas for sale: Immunity Booster which contains: echinacea, marshmallow root, chamomile, oatstraw, tulsi, dandelion root, elderflower, and lavender. Our Humble Heart blend which contains: hibiscus, rose, lavender, lemon balm, oatstraw and chamomile.
Again, every person is unique and the herbs that work for you may not work well for another person. Always consult your naturopath or doctor concerning any questions or possible contradictions.
What are some other techniques you release anxiety? Or herbs you have worked with that are not listed above. Feel free to comment and share below!