Understanding Nervines: Herbs for Peace & Calm
Nervines are a classification of herbs known for their affinity to relax and rejuvenate the nervous system. These soothing herbs aid in reducing stress and promoting restful sleep. When we start to feel frazzled by the stressors of modern life, understanding how nervine herbs can support us makes having moments of peace and calm feel within reach. There are two categories of nervine herbs: nervine relaxants and nervine restoratives.
Disclaimer: This blog is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your health care practitioner before adding any new herbs to your wellness routine.
This category of nervine herb helps release nervous tension and calm racing thoughts. They’re perfect for helping you wind down at the end of a long day or providing a moment of calm and clarity when feeling anxious or uneasy.
Passionflower promotes relaxation through its action on the cerebral cortex. This is the area of the brain responsible for reasoning, thought, and perception. By helping to slow down an overactive mind, Passionflower nurtures feelings of calm (1). Learn more about this soothing herb here.
Herbalists often describe Hops as a plant to counter nervous exhaustion. This nervine relaxant slows us down and helps ease us into an easygoing state of mind (2). Our Co-Founder, Yarrow Willard shares the benefits of this herbal ally on his Youtube Channel here.
Find Passionflower and Hops in our Feel Calm Tincture. Feel relief from nervous tension and promote restful sleep with this soothing tincture blend.
Chamomile has been shown to ease mental stress and reduce symptoms of moderate to severe Generalized Anxiety Disorder (3). It promotes relaxation, significantly improves sleep quality and can also soothe symptoms of depression (4).
Find Passionflower and Chamomile in our Dream Artisan Tea.
This herbal ally can help relieve symptoms of nervous system exhaustion, anxiety and depression. With long-term use, studies have shown that Lemon Balm can rid folks of their anxiety entirely. It calms a racing heart, uplifts the mind and can help promote rest and sleep (5).
Find Lemon Balm in our Sea Breeze Artisan Tea.
Nervine restoratives can provide a boost of mental clarity to help you find focus and flow while still promoting relaxation. Use these herbs in the middle of your day for a gentle boost or to nourish your system through long periods of stress.
Gotu Kola is known as the “Herb of Longevity” in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. It has been shown to balance the nervous system and maintain healthy neurotransmitter function. This nervine restorative helps to improve memory and reaction time, and its ability to support those with degenerative diseases looks promising. (6)
This herbal ally is another neuroprotective brain booster. Ginkgo can greatly improve concentration and alertness while decreasing debilitating symptoms like tinnitus and dizziness. (7) Gingko can support short-term and long-term memory improvements with consistent use. (8)
Find Gotu Kola and Ginkgo in our Clarity Artisan Tea.
Looking for more ways to soothe your nervous system with plant medicine? Click here to shop our Relaxation collection.
- Lee, J., Jung, H. Y., Lee, S. I., Choi, J. H., & Kim, S. G. (2020). Effects of Passiflora incarnata Linnaeus on polysomnographic sleep parameters in subjects with insomnia disorder. International Clinical Psychopharmacology, 35(1), 29–35. https://doi.org/10.1097/yic.0000000000000291
- Effects of a hops (Humulus lupulus L.) dry extract supplement on self-reported depression, anxiety and stress levels in apparently healthy young adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover pilot study. (2017, July 24). HORMONES. https://doi.org/10.14310/horm.2002.1738
- Mao, J. J., Xie, S. X., Keefe, J. R., Soeller, I., Li, Q. S., & Amsterdam, J. D. (2016). Long-term chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) treatment for generalized anxiety disorder: A randomized clinical trial. Phytomedicine, 23(14), 1735–1742. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2016.10.012
- Chang, S. M., & Chen, C. H. (2015). Effects of an intervention with drinking chamomile tea on sleep quality and depression in sleep disturbed postnatal women: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 72(2), 306–315. https://doi.org/10.1111/jan.12836
- Cases, J., Ibarra, A., Feuillère, N., Roller, M., & Sukkar, S. G. (2010). Pilot trial of Melissa officinalis L. leaf extract in the treatment of volunteers suffering from mild-to-moderate anxiety disorders and sleep disturbances. Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 4(3), 211–218. https://doi.org/10.3233/s12349-010-0045-4
- Hamidpour, R. (2015). Medicinal Property of Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) from the Selection of Traditional Applications to the Novel Phytotherapy. Archives in Cancer Research, 3(4). https://doi.org/10.21767/2254-6081.100042
- B, S. (1997). Clinical improvement of memory and other cognitive functions by Ginkgo biloba: review of relevant literature. Advances in Therapy, 15(1), 54–65.
- Wesnes, K., Ward, T., McGinty, A., & Petrini, O. (2000). The memory enhancing effects of a Ginkgo biloba/Panax ginseng combination in healthy middle-aged volunteers. Psychopharmacology, 152(4), 353–361. https://doi.org/10.1007/s002130000533
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