Stress and nervousness are constant companions in our times. On the one hand, our brain has to process many things simultaneously. On the other hand, many people do not take care to give their organism the necessary rest. The consequences are irritability, bad mood, depressive moods, difficulty falling asleep and excessive demands. Nature has some interesting medicinal herbs that help to relieve for the soul and mental health the symptoms of stress and nervousness.

The causes of stress and nervousness

Before we deal with such important medicinal plants as valerian, St. John's wort, helmet herb, balm or passion flower, it is not unimportant to deal with the reasons for stress and nervousness. Often, people only try to reduce the symptoms of stress without paying attention to the actual causes. Even if it does not always work, care should be taken to always provide the body with sufficient rest periods. Many herbs can especially help to give the body a break when the body does not want to switch off by itself.

 

Origin of stress

The main place where stress occurs is the autonomic nervous system, which is located partly in the spinal cord and partly in the brain. This is divided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are involved in the control of our organ systems and act as antagonists. For example, while the sympathetic nervous system can increase the activity of an organ, the parasympathetic nervous system can decrease the activity again.

 

For example, if someone is attacked and takes flight, the sympathetic nervous system sends out so-called neurotransmitters (messenger substances) via numerous nerve pathways, which increase blood pressure, muscle activity and heart activity. If the escape is successful and the danger is averted, then again neurotransmitters are sent out, which lower the heart pressure and the blood pressure and in response again increase the activities of before neglected organs (stomach, intestine, eyes). The sympathetic nervous system thus increases our attention, whereas the parasympathetic nervous system puts us back into the resting mode.

When we are permanently in performance mode, whether physical or mental, we are permanently in a stress reaction. The reason is that the sympathetic nervous system is overactive all the time and sends out more messenger substances. If there are no rest and no recovery phases, the parasympathetic nervous system can only be used to a limited extent. If there are no longer any rest and recovery phases, we perceive this as stress. The stress symptoms can have different effects from person to person. Typical stress symptoms are:

 

General exhaustion

Tiredness

Insomnia

Irritability

Concentration disorders

Excitement

Speech disorders

Stomach and intestinal disorders

Increased sweating

Important note: If you suffer from unhealthy stress, medicinal herbs can certainly help to reduce typical stress symptoms. In principle, long-term relief can only be achieved if the current life circumstances are also thoroughly analyzed and you can deal with the stress factors or, if necessary, eliminate them.

Important medicinal herbs against stress

The naturopathy and scientific medicine knows numerous medicinal plants or herbs that can help against different forms of stress. It is not surprising that many of these plants can often also help with sleep disorders, since in many cases the ingredients act on the same or at least similar receptors. Some plants that help against stress and verbosity are also often used as medicinal plants to promote memory. There are a number of herbs for mental health and Wellbeing but the most 3 common medicinal herbs are:

 

  1. Ashwagandha
  2. Valerian
  3. Passion flower

1.     Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), also known as the sleeping berry or Indian ginseng, is a traditional medicinal plant of Ayurvedic medicine. It is mainly used as a medicinal plant against stress or sleep disorders, as well as to strengthen mental abilities or the immune system. In our latitudes, the root extracts and occasionally the leaf extracts of Ashwagandha are used mainly as superfood.

 

In naturopathy as well as in science-based medicine Ashwagandha is used today for the following diseases and ailments:

 

Anxiety disorders

States of exhaustion

Stress

Insomnia

Diabetes type 2

Hair Loss

Strengthening of the immune system

Stabilization of blood lipid values

Supporting with cancer

Ashwagandha or sleeping berry is mainly used as a so-called adaptogen. In naturopathy, this refers to substances and agents that can reduce acute and chronic stress. It is used in a relatively similar way to taiga root (Eleutherococcus sentiosus). In science-based medicine, it is hoped that extracts and isolated individual substances from the root can be used against neurodegenerative diseases and some types of cancer.

2.     Valerian

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is probably the most important and best known medicinal plant for a variety of stress symptoms and nervousness. The more than 150 ingredients of the plant work synergistically, i.e. not only one specific area can be treated, but several at once. Above all, the alkaloids and essential oils contained in the plant have an anxiety-relieving, sleep-promoting and relaxing effect and target directly the central nervous system. Only the root of the plant is used. Besides valerian tea, many people also take tablets or capsules.

 

Valerian is particularly helpful in cases of stress-related difficulties in falling asleep, high nervous strain before, for example, final exams or job interviews, or nervous restlessness that hits the stomach or intestines.

 

Valerian should always be taken only in acute problem cases and never for longer than four weeks in a row.

3.     Passion flower

The passion flower, especially the species Passiflora incarnata, which is native to the USA, has become increasingly well known as a medicinal plant in recent years. In American folk medicine, teas made from the leaves of the plant are drunk mainly for nervous restlessness, insomnia and hysterical anxiety.

Whether and to what extent Passionflower actually has an effect is still being scientifically researched. Some scientists have already discovered that the plant contains numerous flavonoids, phytosterols and some alkaloids that may have a direct effect on the GABA receptor. GABA receptors are proteins in our nerve cells that mainly act as messengers. The quantity of GABA-receptors determines, among other things, whether excitation or attenuation takes place in our brain. Above all, stress conditions ensure that the balance of these proteins is disturbed. Some substances in passion flower may be able to act on this and cause a direct response to the GABA receptor.

 

Passion flower is therefore mainly used as a natural remedy for anxiety disorders, disturbed excitement, and nervous restlessness and as a gentle sedative. The medicinal herb is mainly given as tea and sometimes also in the form of sugar-coated tablets. Many teas contain passion flower, lemon balm and hops.

Author's Bio: 

Ikhraaf Qaiser is a blogger and renowned author on many websites. He loves to write about health, lifestyle, and travel.