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Phytotherapy is the treatment of disease by the use of plants and plant extract; herbalism.

The nervous system responds rapidly to variation in your external and internal environment. It works with the endocrine system and together they control major homeostatic functions (maintenance of a stable internal environment in the body). There are three basic functions of the nervous system:

  1. It receives stimuli from the external and internal environments.
  2. It will analyse and interpret information.
  3. It initiates an appropriate and co-ordinated response.

There are two principal parts

1. The central nervous system (CNS) is the brain and spinal cord. Incoming sensory information reaches the brain via spinal and cranial nerves. The brain then sorts it all out and stores memories and issues instructions. Thoughts and emotional responses originate in the CNS, but recent research suggests that hormonal responses are more significant in emotional development and experience. The CNS controls most muscle contraction and glandular secretions.

2. The peripheral nervous system (PNS) receives information from the periphery of the body, such as the skin, as well as deeper organs and tissues and the special senses such as sight and hearing. There are input and output routes. Parts of the nervous system are under voluntary control, but most nerve responses are involuntary.

Natural healing

A freely functioning body is one that is not congested, overheated or inoperative. Rest is vitally important for the nervous system and this comes best of all in the form of sleep. Going to bed early enough improves the quality of sleep; indeed sleep taken between the hours of 10pm and 2am actually doubles its value in terms of quality, relative to that taken after 2am.

It is easy for the nervous system to get out of balance, whether due to injury, inflammation, ongoing stress, oxidative damage, or imbalances in neurotransmitters. Any sort of imbalance or damage in the nervous system will result in it not functioning optimally. And when that happens, it impacts both our physical and mental states.

The excessive electrical charge can build up in the body during the course of each day if we live predominantly on concrete and are constantly exposed to synthetic materials such as nylon carpets, man-made shoes, and so on. The famous remedy of walking barefoot when feeling hyper-nervy, unable to sleep or “nerved-out” really does work and many a patient has found relief and benefits with a bare-footed night foray in the garden! If you have difficulty sleeping, try barefoot walking. 

Skin brushing will stimulate the nerve endings and is a great rejuvenator, especially for those who are low, depressed and sluggish.

7 Herbs for nervous system health

There are a large number of all-natural herbs that can be used to support nervous system health. Some are great for protecting your brain and nerves from damage, some help calm things down when you need it, and some keep your mental game sharp.

Valerian root:

This herb has been used since ancient Greek and Roman times for treating insomnia and calming people down. It is still commonly used today for conditions like sleep disorders and anxiety.

Valerian root helps calm the nervous system when it is overactive. It can do this by affecting levels of neurotransmitters involved in rest and sleep.

Lemon balm:

Lemon balm can modulate the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the body, such as GABA. It can positively impact factors related to mood and cognitive performance, helping conditions like anxiety. 

Ashwagandha:

Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine. It is one of the most popular adaptogenic herbs (herbs that help the body respond to stress and help it maintain balance).

Rhodiola:

Rhodiola is a plant that is thought to be able to help people recover better from physical or mental strain and exhaustion.

Passionflower:

Passionflower is another great herb for the nervous system, because it has calming effects. It is traditionally used for things like sleep problems, anxiety, concentration issues, and even pain.

Ginkgo biloba:

Extracts from the ginkgo biloba tree have long been used for medicinal purposes. Ginkgo can be helpful in improving things like anxiety, memory, cognitive function, and more.

Chamomile:

Chamomile tea. It is a popular, soothing tea to sip on at bedtime. And for good reason. Chamomile tea actually impacts the nervous system in a way that helps support a healthy sleep cycle.

The Power of Herbal Medicine

Herbs are considered food for the body. Throughout history extracts from herb plants, roots, tree bark, leaves and flowers have proven effective in restoring and maintaining health. FOR EVERY DISEASE WE KNOW, GOD PROVIDES A HERB TO GROW!

Extracts are one of the simplest ways to enjoy the goodness of herbs.

What Are Herbal Tinctures?

Tinctures are concentrated herbal extracts that have alcohol as the solvent. An acetum is sometimes defined as “a vinegar tincture” in the tomes, but this is a pretty rare exception.

WHAT DEFINES A TINCTURE?

  • Tinctures are concentrated herbal extracts.
  • All tinctures are extracts, but not all extracts are tinctures! Alcohol must be the solvent used to extract the herbal properties. If you are using vinegar, glycerine, only water (water used to dilute alcohol is fine), or any menstruum (solvent) other than alcohol, your preparation is an extract, but it is not a tincture. Any spirit may be used, but many herbalists prefer something neutral like vodka so the taste of the herb comes through.
  • They can be made with fresh or dried flowers, leaves, roots, barks, or berries. Examples include: dried stevia leaf, vanilla beans, and dried mushrooms.

Herbalists spend from 30 months to three years studying the pharmacology, therapeutics and physio medicine of Western herbal medicine. Constituents found in plants include alkaloids, tannins, astringent properties, glycosides, anthraquinones, resin, volatile oil, mucilage, saponins, triterpenoids, berberine, asparigin, phytosterol and bitter principles just to name a few.

Herbs are metabolised easily by the body, especially the liver, unlike pharmaceutical drugs which interfere with digestion and liver function, creating toxicity and stress on many organs.

The entire physiology is affected by pharmaceutical drugs. Even one tiny drop can create a systemic reaction. I know this from personal experience!

 

Types of herbal medicine philosophies

  • Traditional Western herbal medicine (WHM)
  • Traditional Chinese herbal medicine (TCM)
  • Traditional Ayurvedic herbal medicine (AHM)

There are many other cultures which have their traditional ways of using herbs but these three philosophies are the best known in our society.

 

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