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Adaptogens, Nervines & Hypnotic Herbs

Updated: Jan 18, 2022

Plant medicine is a wonderful tool for the energetically sensitive, empathic and light workers to have in their tool kit.

As energetically sensitive beings, empaths and light workers, we take in the world around us through energies. This energy comes in through out outer energetic fields (or auric fields) into our physical bodies and our nervous systems is what helps us to work out what we are sensing. By supporting our nervous system we are able to get a clearer read on what we are picking up on, instead of feelings overwhelmed.

Plant medicine is a gentle way in which to supported and nourish the nervous system, they can help to alleviate feelings of anxiety, low mood and insomnia; allowing you to feel grounded and centered. Herbs work together synergistically, their actions working within many systems within the body. When looking to support the nervous system we can use herbs such as adaptogens, nervines and sedatives and hypnotics.

Adaptogen herbs are defined as those that increase the body's resistance to physical, environmental, emotional or biological stressors and promote normal physical function (Bone, 2003).

Nervine herbs are those that improve the tone, vigor and function of the nervous system, relaxing and energizing the nervous system (Bone, 2003).

Sedative and Hypnotic herbs decreases nervous tension and relaxes the nervous system. They induce drowsiness and are sleep inducing (Bone, 2003).

Adaptogen herbs and nervines can be taken in the morning to help support the body coping with everyday stresses and reducing anxiety allowing calm and focus. By looking after your nervous system and adrenals during the day it will help to reduce or prevent feeling "wired" at the end of the day. Sedative and hypnotic herbs can be taken at the end of the day to help relax the body and help prepare you for sleep.

Vervain Verbena officinalis Gia Herbs (2021)

Adaptogen herbs

Ashwaganda Withania somnifera

Ashwaganda is a gentle adaptogen, helping the body to cope with everyday stresses. It can help to reduce inflammation in the body and modulate the immune system. Additionally this herb can help the body to hold onto iron (Bone, 2003).

Astragalus Astragalus membranaceus

Astragalus has a unique blend of actions that enable it to help the body cope with stress and support the immune system (Bone, 2003). It can be a wonderful support for those that are coping with everyday stresses but gets sick often.

Schisandra Schisandra chinensis

Schisandra is a nervous system herb as well as a liver herb. It helps the body to cope with stress and supports the liver with detoxification and repair (Bone, 2007). This can be of help for women who have PMS with anxiety and low mood.

Siberian Ginseng Eleutherococcus senticosus

Siberian ginseng is a gentle adaptogen. It has an adaptogenic effect on the body, improving physical and mental performance. It can help to with recovery after illness, with fatigue and insomnia (Bone, 2003).

Ashwaganda Withania somnifera

Nervine herbs

Bacopa Bacopa monnieri

Also known as Brahmi. Bacopa is able to help support cognition and memory and is what it is commonly used for. Bacopa nurtures the nervous system and reduces feelings of anxiety (Bone, 2003).

Green oats Avena sativa

Green oats is tonic on the nervous system helping to sooth and relax it. Green oats helps to reduce feelings of anxiety and help with nervous fatigue (Bone, 2007).

Motherwort Leonurus cardiaca

Motherwort is a nervine tonic helping to reduce feelings of anxiety. Many times with anxiety, heart palpitations will often accompany it (Bone, 2007). Motherwort may help to reduce these.

Skullcap Scutellaria lateriflora

Skullcap can help to reduce nervous excitability, feeling restless and wakeful. It can be helpful when you are feeling physically and mentally tired (Bone, 2003).

Sedative and hypnotic herbs

Californian poppy Eschscholzia californica

Californian poppy is both a sedating and hypnotic herb. It helps to relax the body ready for sleep. It can help to reduce feeling of anxiety and help with mental chatter. It can also help if pain is an underlying reason for insomnia (Bone, 2007).

Chamomile Matricaria recutita

Chamomile is a gentle sedative. It can help to calm an upset tummy and reduce inflammation (Bone, 2003).

Kava Piper Methysticum

Kava can to induce sleep. It is helpful to reduce muscular tension and pain (Bone, 2007)

Passionflower Passiflora incarnata

Passionflower is mildly sedating. It can be help if you are feeling anxious, restless and unable to sleep (Bone, 2003).

Peppermint Mentha piperita

Peppermint is mildly sedating and anti spasmodic (Bone, 2003).

Of Note: Sedative and hypnotic herbs should not be taken with sleeping medications.

Passionflower Passiflora incarnata

Adaptogen and nervine herbs can take from 1-6 weeks for there affects to be felt.

Sedative and hypnotic herbs have a more immediate effect on the body.


Bone, K. (2003) A Clinical Guide to Blending Liquid Herbs, St Louis Missouri; Churchill Livingstone.

Bone, K. (2007) The Ultimate Herbal Compendium, Warwick Queensland; Phytotherapy Press.

Gia Herbs (2021) Vervain References 16/8/21

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