Our CNS, which includes the brain and the spinal cord, is our main command center. The Peripheral Nervous System encompasses the nerves that branch out from the brain and spinal cord to help your body communicate, as well as all the sensory and motor neurons.
These neurons are some of the longest living cells in your body; they are irreplaceable and can conceivably live for an entire lifetime. These durable cells need an abundance of nutrition, as much of the food you eat is used as fuel for the brain.
The PNS then further divides into the somatic and autonomic nervous systems. Our somatic nervous system —also called our voluntary nervous system—is controllable and is connected to our physical movements through our skeletal muscles.
The autonomic nervous system relates to our smooth muscle tissues, which are more or less on auto-pilot, such as the tissues in our digestive system that help move food along through the digestive tract. This system then breaks down into the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. So, you may be wondering—how do herbs fit into all this?
In Western Herbalism, we traditionally use two categories of herbs to support the nervous system: nervines and adaptogens. Nervines include herbs like valerian, chamomile, and passionflower.
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If you suffer from a taxed nervous system and need full body support, adaptogens are another useful set of herbal allies. Adaptogens like tulsi , astragalus , and ashwagandha are helpful when taken over time to build stamina and bring your body back into balance, so you can better protect your body from the negative effects of stress. Adaptogens were named after the Latin word adaptare —which means to adjust or modify. These building herbs can be infused safely into everyday rituals and foods.
Of course, herbs are only one aspect to a holistic protocol for soothing the nerves. Taking a warm bath, nourishing yourself with whole foods, meditating, and spending time out in nature are all complimentary rituals to aid in reducing stress and promoting a higher quality of life. Learn more ways to infuse healing herbs and rituals into your everyday by checking out our DIY section of our Plant Power Journal. Close Menu.
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