Regulating the Nervous System 

by CHWB Team
March 4, 2024

Regulating the Nervous System

In a recent Community Education program, Herbs for the Nervous System, presented by ACE Certified Health Coach Julie Ward, program attendees learned how to regulate their nervous systems with the aid of herbs and intentional lifestyle habits.  
Here’s more from Julie Ward’s presentation.  

Part 1: What is the Nervous System? 

There are two divisions to the nervous system – central and peripheral. The central nervous system is made up of the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system is made up of the autonomic and somatic nervous systems with afferent (sensory) and efferent (motor) nerves. The autonomic nervous system has two branches – parasympathetic (calming) and sympathetic (fight-or-flight). 

Part 2: Signs of a Dysregulated Nervous System 

Understanding the nervous system empowers you with the information to learn how to care for yourself when it’s dysregulated or in fight-or-flight mode. Feeling overwhelmed when things aren’t going well, overreacting to false alarms, feeling spaced out or on autopilot, and being tired but not able to relax are all signs of a dysregulated nervous system. Now that you know the basics and signs of a dysregulated nervous system, how can you regulate it with herbs and lifestyle habits?  

Part 3: Adaptogens for the Nervous System 

Adaptogens are non-toxic herbs that help the body regulate stress, support metabolism and restore balance. Adaptogens are mainly used for fatigue and chronic stress. A few of the “holy grail” adaptogens and their uses are: 

  • Asian Ginseng: Regulates the central nervous system 
  • Ashwagandha: Calms the nervous system 
  • Holy Basil: Lowers blood sugar, is an anti-tumor and opens the heart & mind 
  • Licorice: Fights bacterial infections, and strengthens stomach and spleen function 
  • Rhodiola: Enhances alertness, and reduces fatigue and improves memory 

While these adaptogens are safe to take daily, it’s important to first consult with your doctor before starting any herbs as many can affect medications and pre-existing conditions.  

Part 4: Herbs to Compliment Adaptogens  

Certain herbs can enhance the effects of adaptogens and are calming, nourishing and relaxing. Nervines are teas, tonics and tinctures to use in addition to adaptogens, and some might be already stocked in your pantry.  

  • Chamomile Tea: Relieves anxiety, upset stomach, IBS and some headaches 
  • Lemon Balm Tea: Mood elevator and enhances cognitive function 
  • Fresh Milky Oats Tincture: Nourishes tissue and calms shattered nerves   

Chamomile and lemon balm teas are common and can be found in your local grocery store. It’s important to consult with your doctor before starting a new wellness regime as it may interfere with current medications and pre-existing conditions. 

Part 5: Lifestyle Habits to Regulate the Nervous System 

Outside of herbs and adaptogens, there are additional ways to regulate the nervous system with lifestyle habits. Spending time in nature, staying grounded with a weighted blanket, eating healthy fats, getting good sleep and making time to give yourself space by doing activities that make you happy are all lifestyle habits that can help regulate your nervous system.  

Julie Ward demonstrated her expertise and passion for preventive, holistic care by sharing the uses of herbs and lifestyle habits to regulate the nervous system, allowing attendees to try a nervine tea and showing how to look for respectable and reliable companies to purchase herbs, tonics and teas from. It’s important to always consult with your doctor before adding herbs and tonics to your daily wellness regimen.  

The Community Education programs hosted at the Center for Health & Wellbeing are designed to support participants on their journey to whole-person health through Wholeness, Fitness and Medicine-focused classes, seminars and cooking demonstrations. On Tuesday, March 19, from 11 AM – 12 PM, Julie Ward will host Tea Meditation, a program that focuses on learning to be in tune with what you feel in your body and following that intuition in the real world. Participants taste a series of herbal teas designed to increase energy and relax the mind. Register for Tea Meditation HERE 

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