I just love to work with the nervous system; this system receives information and sensory stimulation, it processes it (properly, we hope) and then responds to the stimuli in some way. Imagine all the ways our minds and nerves can sense and explore the world.
Much of my life’s work revolves around the central nervous system; I am a certified Integrative CranioSacral therapist, herbalist and shamanic practitioner, and I specialize in bringing the central nervous system and the unconscious mind into a state of balance and nourishment so that my client’s body can more easily self correct.
Some of my favorite herbs for the nervous system are below; please note that this is not an exhaustive list. These are some of the herbs I love to work with:
Lemon Balm (not to be used if you have hypothyroid issues)
Oat straw and milky oat tops (freshly tinctured is how I love them)
Skullcap (fresh plant material in tincture form)
Marsh mallow root (not a nervine, but so valuable in my blends)
Passiflora (passionflower vine… I am so in love with this plant)
Kava (ohmygawd you have to try this one)
Mimosa tree (leaves, stems and flowers. Truly my Happiness Tree)
I also love to work with Pedicularis, Vervain, St. John’s Wort, Solomon’s Seal, Turmeric, Cottonwood bud and Tulip Poplar for pain (in muscle salve form, but some of these I blend into an elixir).
Other ways to nourish the nervous system:
Get some bodywork. Massage therapy, Reiki, CranioSacral therapy, Shamanic work when you need a healing treatment… there are so many ways to affect your nervous system via bodywork or via body/mind healing.
Take an herbal bath. *psst. Rosemary is extremely healing here*
Watch how much stimulants you consume. Coffee, chocolate, caffeinated teas, etc. If you are already revved up, these medicinals can make things worse if you are wanting to relax.
Pay attention to your body’s signals. If you are “dropping” at 2 in the afternoon, that’s a sign that you need rest. It’s not a sign that you need caffeinated drink.
Get rest. Like, lots of it. Really. If you don’t have time, eventually your body will make time and you won’t have a choice in the matter.
Get educated about emotional shock and how everyone experiences it. And get this book (or ask the library to order it for you) Overcoming Shock: Healing the Traumatized Mind and Heart
Note: Depression and extreme episodes of sadness do not necessarily mean you need nervine stimulants to “boost” you; I feel that nourishing the nervous system is vital in these cases. Strengthen and tone your nervous system so that your body and mind can better handle stresses that come your way.
I understand that stimulants can be good for some people under some conditions; however I have found in my practice and in my personal emotional journeys that the world has enough stimulation in it. My focus is more on relaxing and tonic nervines.
Do you have nervous system challenges? If so, consider working with someone who is qualified to help you address them from a holistic perspective.