An herb that is considered a nervine has a direct impact on the central nervous system. There are 3 different subcategories - relaxing, stimulating, tonic. Because herbs are complex and intelligent, some of them are under 2 and even all of the categories, as well as other herbal actions.
As the name suggests, these herbs have a calming, relaxing effect on the nervous system. This category of nervine also tend to be cooling. When there is tension or heat in the nervous system, such as anxiousness and stress, these are nice herbs to add to a formula.
Note: In high doses many of these herbs can act as sedatives or Hypnotics(1).
Examples of Relaxing Nervine Herbs
Again, the name of this category says it all. These herbs have a stimulating effect on the nervous system and are probably more well known than the other two nervine categories. Stimulating nervine herbs are often sought out when a person is feeling sluggish or 'drained of energy', when they really need some relaxing nervine herbs and sleep.
Note: Nervine stimulants should not be confused with Cerebral Circulatory Stimulants (eg. Ginkgo or Rosemary), which can improve blood flow to the brain and therefore aid in cognitive processes such as memory and concentration(1). *Although some herbs do bridge these two actions
Common Stimulating Nervine Herbs
Tonic Nervine Herbs
This category focuses on nourishing and strengthening the nervous system (which includes your brain and nerves), helping you build resiliency. These are typically safe for long term use and most people would benefit from working with them, especially when experienceing an overall sense of depletion, under nourished, weak, or chronic fatigue.
In cases of nervous debility, the nervine tonics strengthen and restore the tissues directly.
Note: Adaptogens should also be considered in this group due to their ability to aid the whole of the body and mind to cope with demands made upon it(1).
Examples of Tonic Nervine Herbs
•Saint Johns Wort
Rooted Remedies Products with Nervine Herbs
•Ground Down Tincture - relaxing and tonic
•Balance Tea - relaxing and tonic
•Focus Tea - stimulating and tonic
•Upliftment Tea - relaxing and tonic
•Clarity Tincture - stimulating and tonic
•Heart Connection Tincture - tonic, stimulating, relaxing
•Sunshine On A Cloudy Day Aroma - stimulating
•Easy Livin' Aroma - relaxing