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Naturopathic Support During Times of Stress: Herbal Allies to Nourish the Nervous System.

Stress;

A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.

Stress is something many of us have suffered from over the past 2 years, and with everything going on in the world our resilience to stress continues to be tested.

Our body is built to experience stress and naturally lives in a balance between Rest and Digest controlled by our Parasympathetic nervous system and fight or flight (Stress), controlled by our Sympathetic Nervous System.

However, when we experience high levels of stress, our body can shift into Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) dominance, leaving our Parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) functions to be left to the wayside. Considering our PNS helps with so many things; including digestion, sexual arousal, urination and sleep, without this system functioning optimally a range of symptoms can begin to appear.

From a holistic standpoint, as Naturopaths we view the nervous system as being connected to all other systems of the body, both physically and emotionally.

Therefore, any disturbance to the nervous system; such as high levels of stress, can be the cause of a multitude of symptoms in every system. Including but not limited to: anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure, weight gain/ weight loss, insomnia, fatigue, lowered immunity, low libido, irregular periods, eczema and acne.

Naturopathic Support during times of stress:

Naturopaths can support during times of stress through a variety of interventions, including nutrition (dietary and supplemental), herbal medicine, lifestyle and flower essences.

Through these interventions we seek to bring you back to a healthy balance of parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system activity, replenish any systems weakened by stress, such as your adrenals, and to improve your resilience to stress so that your body is better equipped to deal with stress in the future!

Herbal support for stress:

Stress support is definitely where herbs can shine! We have an array of herbs and herbal actions to support the nervous system during times of stress and these include Adaptogens, nervine tonics, and adrenal trophorestoratives. 

Adaptogens

Adaptogens help our body adapt to stress, enabling us to better cope with stressors and increasing the threshold which we all have to the damages of stress.

Adaptogens often also have a restorative action, which can extend to all systems or be more specific. For example, Withania is considered a ‘Rasayana’ herb in Ayurveda; Rasayana herbs are thought to have a restorative action on all systems both mental and physical, therefore they bring the body and mind back to homeostasis or balance. Whereas Schisandra is another adaptogen which has an additional specific action of restoring and stimulating the liver.

Herbal examples:

  • Withania somnifera (Ashwaghanda)
  • Schisandra chinensis
  • Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng)
  • Rhodiola rosea
  • Panax ginseng (Korean Ginseng)
  • Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi)

Nervine tonics;
Nervine tonics have a restorative, strengthening and feeding action on the nervous system, building it up to be strong and resilient to stress and anxiety. These herbs are often also calming, cognition enhancing and or mood uplifting.

Herbal examples:

  • Avena Sativa (Oats)
  • Bacopa monniera (Brahmi)
  • Hypericum perforatum (St. Johns Wort)
  • Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola)
  • Ocimum tenuiflorum (Tulsi or Holy Basil)
  • Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm)
  • Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi)
  • Verbena officinalis (Vervain)

Adrenal Trophorestoratives:

Adrenal trophorestoratives as the name suggest; nourish, restore and tonify our adrenal glands, which can become depleted after long periods of stress.

Herbal Examples:

  • Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice)
  • Rhodiola rosea
  • Rehmannia glutinosa.

As always herbs should always be taken under the guidance of a qualified practitioner to avoid contraindications, and ensure the most indicated herbal medicine is chosen for you.

Book in with one of our experienced Naturopaths today to get a personalised herbal blend made up to help support and nourish your nervous system.

Malvern Natural Health Care,

03 9572 3211

info@mnhc.com.au

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