Nervine Herbs: What They Are And How They Can Help You

Aug 26 2022

Nervine herbs are beneficial for the nourishment and support of the central nervous system, including the brain and nerves. They also work to restore balance and restfulness in the body. In the same way that healthy food provides nutrients and energy to our body, nervine herbs help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety in the nervous system.

The nervous system is responsible for sending messages from the brain to the rest of the body, and vice versa. All the other parts of the body are dependent upon the nervous system for proper functioning.

Nervine herbs are often consumed with other herbs or medications that support different systems and structures of the body. This is known as a complementary medicine and can be used as a more natural alternative to medications for treating symptoms such as anxiety or insomnia.

What are nervine herbs

What are nervine herbs?

Nervine herbs are plants employed to maintain the nervous system. There are various categories of nervines, which are nervine stimulants and nervine relaxants. Nervine relaxants issue comforting backup for the nervous system and comprise Californian Poppy, Catnip, Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Passionflower, and Valerian.

These herbs can relieve muscle tension, nourish the nervous system and ease the body are called nervine stimulants. It works by directly invigorating the nervous system and even aids digestion. However, during times of hyperactivity, depression, or tension, it is best to avoid these herbs as they may intensify these feelings and emotions.

How do nervine herbs work?

The hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands are all important in regulating stress responses in the body. When we experience stress, these glands work together to help us cope with the stressor.

Nerve herbs work at the molecular level to help regulate the balance in these glands, which in turn helps to intercept stress responses and manage stressors. This can help us feel more energized, think more clearly, and focus on the task at hand.

Normally, we would enter a state of exhaustion after experiencing stress, but the effect of nerve herbs is to stretch the “sweet spot” and allow us to perform at our best for longer.

The benefits of nervine herbs

Nervine herbs can be used to treat conditions like anxiety, stress, insomnia, and nervousness. Nervine herbs can be taken as supplements, teas, or tinctures. Some of the most popular nervine herbs include ashwagandha, chamomile, lemon balm, and passionflower.

Nervine herbs have a wide range of benefits, both for the mind and body. They can help to improve mental clarity and focus, while also reducing stress and anxiety levels.

They can also help to improve sleep quality and duration and reduce restlessness. In addition, nervine herbs can also help to protect the nervous system from damage and improve nerve function.

10 best nervine herbs for anxiety and stress relief

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

Chamomile may look fragile and gentle, but it is a strong nervine and one of the most useful plants in the herbal repertoire. Chamomile is an aromatic annual in the aster family (Asteraceae) whose name comes from the Greek for “ground apple,” alluding to the apple-like scent of the plant.

Chamomile Extract is often used to help ease anxiety and tension and to encourage sleep. Its neutral to cooling energetics and mild flavor make it a good addition to many tea blends. No wonder it is such a beloved herbal tea!



The lavender plant has long been known for its calming and relaxing properties. Recent studies have shown that lavender can help to reduce anxiety and promote feelings of well-being.

Lavender contains a natural compound called linalool, which is responsible for its mood-lifting and anxiety-reducing effects. You can use lavender oil in a diffuser for aromatherapy, or add it to your tea or baking.

Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)

Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)

As we all know, Skullcap is a nervous system tonic as well as a nervotrophorestorative that can help calm an overexcited or strained nervous system. Additionally, its mildly sedative properties make it a great option for those who have trouble sleeping due to an overactive mind or spinning worrying thoughts.

Skullcap’s antispasmodic action can relax twitching muscles and ease muscle tension. Besides, a skullcap is often used to ease withdrawal symptoms when quitting any substance. Its calming effect on the nervous system is due to its action on GABA receptors. This herb als

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

Lemon balm has a cooling, calming effect on the nerves with a pleasing lemony smell and flavor. It is usually used fresh to take advantage of its light, uplifting taste, but can also be used dried. It can be infused in teas or honey or added to formulas to improve compliance by disguising other flavors.

Lemon balm is especially helpful for those who tend to be anxious and nervous, as it tones and restores the nervous system.

Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)

Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)

The ancient Ayurvedic tradition has used Gotu Kola for thousands of years to help improve mental clarity. Gotu Kola can rejuvenate nerve and brain cells that calm the spirit. It is an adaptogen, which means it helps the body cope with stress. Gotu Kola is useful for anxiety, depression, exhaustion, mental and physical fatigue, and drug withdrawal.

Gotu Kola’s mechanism of action is similar to Skullcap’s. As it affects the neurotransmitter GABA, which inhibits nerve cells and slows down overactivity in the nervous system.



No matter how rude catnip may seem to be for the cats, it is actually a blessing in disguise for people with anxiety. It is a strong-smelling herb that has been thought to possess many medicinal properties for quite a long time.

Most commonly, catnip is used to treat anxiety, nervousness, and insomnia. It contains nepetalactone, an active ingredient, which helps in improving relaxation, anxiety, mood, restlessness, and nervousness.

St. John’s Wort

St. John's Wort

Hypericum perforatum, otherwise known as St. John’s Wort, is best known for its ability to treat depression. However, it can also be useful in treating a variety of other conditions. When taken during times of stress, it can help to calm anxiety, tension, insomnia, discouragement, chronic fatigue, and mental burnout.

To get the most benefit from St. John’s Wort, the flowers or flowering tops of the plant should be used fresh to make tinctures, oils, and salves. The flowers are generally harvested early in the morning, as they face the sun, and have a more concentrated amount of mood-elevating compounds. To avoid damaging the plant, only one-third (or less) should be removed per season to ensure its survival.

Milky Oat

Milky Oat

Milky Oat is not necessarily noticeably relaxing to the physical body, but it’s an incredible superfood for the nervous system. For one week out of the common oats growing cycle, the immature oat seed is filled with white “milk.” It is harvested quickly and made into a fresh tincture, becoming an excellent trophorestorative — a deeply nourishing food that brings about deep restoration.

This remedy has been crafted for over 150 years by eclectic physicians as an excellent tonic remedy that calms shattered nerves. This makes it an excellent choice for those who are looking for a natural way to manage their stress levels and promote overall peace and tranquility.



Passionflower is a gentle herb that can ease anxiety, spasms, and inflammation while also having sedative effects. It was traditionally used by Native Americans for bruises and easing muscle pain.

Studies have shown that one of the compounds in passionflower (quercetin) is very effective in getting rid of harmful free radicals and inhibiting enzymes that cause inflammation. This compound has also been found to relax the nervous system and help relieve pain related to nerves.



Valerian is a substance derived from the root of the valerian plant. For hundreds of years, valerian has been used by people for a variety of purposes, most notably for reducing anxiety, stress, and depression.

Some people believe that valerian can improve sleep quality. A 2004 study showed that valerian is able to decrease anxiety and improve sleep by increasing levels of GABA in the brain. This herb is available in supplement form, as an extract in powder or liquid form, and as a dried herb in tea form.

Herbal Tea For Stress Recipes

There are many herbal tea recipes that can help reduce stress.  These herbs work by calming the nervous system and reducing stress levels. They can be taken in tea form, capsule form, or tincture form.

Teas made from herbs and flowers are often more gentle than when taken as a tincture. Teas are a great way to start using herbs for stress relief and are easy to make. Chamomile, Catnip, and Holy Basil make delicious teas and are quite effective in this way.

Herbal Tea For Stress Recipes

Rosemary Gladstar’s Stress-Relief Tea Recipe

This tea recipe is from renowned herbalist Rosemary Gladstar. It is a simple and effective way to reduce stress and promote relaxation. The goal of this tea is to both calm the mind and relieve symptoms of stress-induced ulcers.

  • 3 parts Green Oat Tops
  • 1 part Licorice Root
  • 1 part Marshmallow Root
  • 1 part Purslane or Chickweed

Take 2 teaspoons of the herb mixture per cup of water. Heat the water to nearly boiling and then pour over the herbs. Let it steep for 30-40 minutes before straining. Drink two to three cups per day.

Rosemary Gladstar’s Evening Repose Tea

Rosemary Gladstar’s Evening Repose Tea is a herbal tea blend that is said to promote relaxation and aid in sleep. The tea contains a variety of herbs such as chamomile, lavender, and peppermint, which are all known for their calming properties. The tea is caffeine-free, so it can be enjoyed in the evening without worrying about keeping you awake.

This is a relaxing tea perfect for unwinding in the evening after a stressful day.

  • 2 parts Spearmint
  • 1 part Chamomile
  • 1 part Lemon Balm
  • 1/2 part Rose Petals
  • Stevia or Honey to taste

You can mix the dried herbs together and store them in a hermetically sealed container for future use. Use the equivalent of 1 Tablespoon of dried herb or 2-4 Tablespoons of fresh herb chopped per cup of hot water. Let the mixture steep for 45 minutes. Sweeten to taste.

To wrap things up

Nervine herbs are a great way to ease anxiety and stress. There are many different nervine herbs available, each with its own unique benefits. If you are interested in trying nervine herbs, focusherb can help you find the perfect herb for your needs.

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