There is no shortage of stressors in daily life. Whether it’s an overwhelming job, running errands, or struggles at home, a relaxing day can be hard to come by. That’s where Nervines come in. A Nervine is the descriptor for an herb believed to effect the nervous and limbic systems of the human body1 by helping to support a healthy response to stress and relief from occasional anxiousness.*
Discover the Different Types of Nervine Herbs
Nervines are broken down into three different categories based on the reaction they are understood to produce in the nervous system. These categories include Nervine Tonics, Nervine Relaxants, and Nervine Stimulants.2
Also called Nervine Trophorestoratives, these herbs help to directly support the nervous system.* In herbalism, the term tonify (i.e. tonic) refers to the process of an herb toning the body or a specific organ to strengthen it.* Think of this process as similar to an avid gym-goer who lifts weights to tone their muscles. Nervine Tonics include several well-known herbs for managing stress including American Skullcap, Ashwagandha, Lavender, and Lemon Balm.*3
- American Skullcap, Scutellaria lateriflora, a member of the Mint family, grows right on the Gaia Farm in Brevard, NC. It is a gentle Nervine known to help restore balance.* Our certified organic Skullcap liquid extract can also help promote normal sleep patterns and relaxation.*
- Ashwagandha, is one of the most popular herbs for dealing with ongoing stress.* Our Ashwagandha Root is a best-seller and customer favorite to help cope with stress in a healthy way.*
- Lavender has an extremely recognizable scent and is often used as an essential oil or in bath products. It is also a popular Nervine. Lavender is known for helping to restore calm and provide relief from occasional anxiousness.* Our award-winning Calm A.S.A.P. includes Lavender along with other Nervines such as Chamomile, Vervain and Gaia-grown® Skullcap.
- Lemon Balm has a delightfully fragrant smell and this herb can help emotionally transport you to sunshine and summer days. Our Lemon Balm liquid extract is 100% grown on our certified organic farm.
These herbs directly stimulate the nervous system, which can help the body cope with stress and also support healthy stamina.* Many of these herbs also contain stimulant alkaloids, a class of naturally occurring organic compounds, including caffeine. Nervine Stimulant herbs include Cola, Ginseng, Rhodiola, and Schisandra,3 which are all optimal herbs for supporting healthy stamina and helping you maintain energy levels without the need to reach for a strong cup of coffee.
- Cola nut trees have been an important part of African culture for centuries, particularly in Nigeria and West Africa. The nuts are traditionally used as a stimulant and the roots to clean teeth and sweeten breath. The name for cola drinks is derived from this plant, although the cola nut is no longer used as an ingredient in most commercial drinks.
- Ginseng is an invigorating herb that helps support energy.* Our Energy Vitality formula may offer the herbal boost you need as it is made with a blend of herbs including Ginkgo, Ginseng, Green Tea, and Gaia-grown® Nettle that help the body adapt to stress and support healthy energy levels and stamina.*
- Rhodiola was popular with the Vikings to enhance mental and physical endurance. This revered herb supports the functioning of the adrenal glands and helps your body cope with stress to handle life's challenges.* It is found in Adrenal Health Daily Support, our best-selling formula traditionally for the stressed and overworked, to help sustain healthy energy and stress levels.*
- Schisandra is sometimes referred to as Chinese Magnolia Vine or Five Flavored Fruit. The five distinct flavors found in the berry correspond to the five phases or Elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Sour (Wood), Bitter (Fire), Sweet (Earth), Acrid (Metal) and Salty (Water). It is considered a Harmonizing Tonic in Chinese Medicine because of its well-balanced, energetic nature.
As their name suggests, these herbs help to produce a relaxing effect on the body.* They also help to calm an excited nervous system so they are a great choice if you experience occasional anxiousness.* Taken toward the end of the day, Nervine Relaxants help to support a smooth transition to bedtime and prepare the body for a tranquil night of sleep.* Popular Nervine Relaxant herbs include American Skullcap, Chamomile, Kava Kava, Passionflower, Lavender, and Vervain.
- Chamomile contains beautiful and delicate little flowers when in full bloom, but this herb can still make a big impact. A gentle Nervine herb, Chamomile helps to provide a sense of calm for the nervous system.* Our Sleep & Relax Herbal Tea combines Chamomile with other herbs to help you relax and wake feeling refreshed.*
- Kava can be found growing amongst the tropics in Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga, and Hawaii. We ecologically source our Kava from the tropical Islands of Vanuatu. Our Kava Liquid Phyto-Caps® help to restore equilibrium if you're feeling stressed while supporting a sense of relaxation.*
- Passionflower is a gorgeous bright purple flower that is native to the United States. Used by Native Americans for hundreds of years, this stunning flower helps you find restful sleep.* If you struggle to silence your mind and relax after a long, busy day try our Passionflower Vine liquid extract.*
- Vervain, also known as American Blue Vervain, is native to the United States and can grow up to 3-4 feet tall with beautiful purple flowers. It is mainly used today to ease tension and support a healthy mood.* Vervain can be found in our Emotional Balance™ formula, along with a synergistic blend of additional herbs designed to support a positive outlook and balanced mood.*
Stay Nourished with Nervines
When life seems overwhelming and you need some extra support to help calm your mind, manage stress your stress levels, and support a sunnier outlook, turn to Nervine herbs to help find your healthy balance. Learn about more herbs to help provide a sense of calm and simple practices that you can do to enhance your self-care routine.
1 3 Nervines to Help Soothe Stress. The Herbal Academy. https://theherbalacademy.com/nervine-herbs-help-soothe-stress/
2 What is a Nervine? The Naturopathic Herbalist. https://thenaturopathicherbalist.com/herbal-actions/l-r/nervine/
3 Herbal Actions Profile: Nervines. School of Evolutionary Herbalism.http://www.evolutionaryherbalism.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Nervines.pd…