The nervous system controls our body. As a complex system of messages between cells, muscles, and glands, it is an essential communicator between the brain and the body. The nervous system enables us to move and experience our environment consciously (touch, hear, smell, taste, or see) but also to function unconsciously, for example, by breathing, having a heartbeat, healing wounds, or digesting. It is a complex system in which information is constantly in motion to keep the body machine running.
In a high-paced society where a lot of information has to be processed quickly, overstimulation can cause the nervous system to be permanently alert and obstruct important bodily functions that usually help regeneration (i.e., insomnia, disturbed digestion, unfocussed ness, skin eczema).
Herbs can help the brain to calm down by having an appeasing effect on the nervous system. When engaging in relaxing and calming practices, herbs enhance these benefits and thus support regeneration and reduction of stress. However, if you have a physical or mental illness, you should consult your health specialist to verify risk-free consumption and to clarify the compatibility of any medication you may be taking.
Ashwagandha is an apoptogenic herb that helps cope with stress and anxiety and boosts energy levels. Thanks to its compounds that can have a calming effect on the nervous system, including annelids and withaferin A. It can also reduce inflammation, cortisol level, improve sleep, and support the immune system.
The recommended daily dose for reducing cortisol levels is 300-500mg of standardized extract two to three times daily. Still, individual dosages may vary depending on age, weight, and health status.
St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort is a medicinal herb used to treat depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. Its active ingredients, hypericin and hyperforin, are believed to increase neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine levels in the brain, which help regulate mood and improve overall mental health.
The recommended dosage varies, but generally, a daily dose of 300mg of standardized extract three times a day is suggested for treating depression.
Lemon balm is widely known in the culinary industry, but not many know its ability to calm the nervous system, promote relaxation and reduce stress and anxiety. The reason lies in the compounds found in Lemon Balm, including rosarian acid and eugenol, that can help increase GABA levels, reduce stress and inflammation, and have anxiolytic and sedative properties. However, more research is needed to understand their effects on the brain entirely.
Generally, a daily dose for a healthy person of 300-500mg of dried leaves or 1-2 ml of oil three times a day can promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.
Lavender contains several compounds that have calming effects on the nervous system, including linalool and linalyl acetate. These compounds are believed to interact with neurotransmitters in the brain, such as GABA, responsible for regulating anxiety and promoting relaxation.
Lavender can be inhaled through aromatherapy or absorbed by the skin through natural skin care or a massage using oils containint lavendel.
Rosemary contains compounds that can reduce inflammation and support digestion. One of the main compounds in Rosemary is rosmarinic acid which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and may help calm down the nervous system. Furthermore, rosmarinic acid may also have neuroprotective effects that can help promote brain health.
Another important compound is Ursolic acid, which may help support healthy digestion and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Chamomile is a well-known herb mainly used for teas and in the form of essential oils and scented candles. Its calming effects can be linked to its compounds apigenin, bisabolol, and chamazulene, promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety and stress.
Chamomile also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which can help with digestion help and, in general, reduce your body's stress level.
Kava is a plant native to the South Pacific islands, where it has been used for centuries in cultural ceremonies. It is often consumed as a drink to promote relaxation, reduce stress, relieve pain, and promote sleep. The Kava drink is obtained from the root, which contains kavalactones, which are believed to have sedative and anxiolytic properties.
However, some people may not react well to Kava, resulting in liver damage. Therefore, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before using Kava as a supplement.
In traditional natural medicine, valerian root is a natural remedy for insomnia, headaches, and nervousness. In addition, it is believed to have sedative properties that help calm the nervous system and may improve sleep quality by reducing the time it takes to fall asleep.
Its compounds, valeric acid and isovaleric acid are believed to directly affect the nervous system and help relax and reduce anxiety. It is important to note that valerian root can interact with certain medications and may cause side effects in some people.
The Skullcap flower's taste can be described as earthy with a slightly bitter undertone, which is why people may find it unpleasant, while others may find it tasty when consumed as tea.
Skullcap is believed to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which help calm down the vegetative nervous system. The compounds found in Skullcap are flavonoids, including baicalin and wogonin, which are also believed to have sedative properties that may help sleep. Most people consume it in teas with honey as a sweetener due to its slightly bitter undertone.
Passion flower is often consumed in teas and has a sweet and floral taste. In natural medicine, it is used to calm the vegetative nervous system as it is believed to increase the amount of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, a neurotransmitter responsible for calming down. This effect is believed to be linked to the compounds found in the Passionflower, such as flavonoids and alkaloids.
When consumed in moderation, the Passionflower is considered safe to use.
All the herbs and plants mentioned above can help to calm the nervous system. There are many ways to use them to benefit from their calming effect. If they are organically grown, they can be taken orally (spices, tea, food supplement). But it is also possible to let them have an effect through the sense of smell in aromatherapy, especially lavender, valerian, and chamomile. The plants and herbs are distilled as oils to concentrate their scent. As oils, they can then be further processed for bath oils, perfumes, room fragrances for diffusers, or also found in scented candles. Every person reacts differently to the various compounds in the plants. You can choose from the variety of herbs and plants offered by nature to find the one soothing you the best. For treating health issues, we advise you to contact your healthcare specialist.