Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Anxiety, Stess, and The Nervous System

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No, this is not a science class. Yesterday I spent two hours in the dentist office while the 17 year old had a root canal and crown put on. I just want to say I love this dentist, the teen had an infection and he wanted to put him on an antibiotic. Of course I made a face as if I just tasted something awful, he noticed this. He allowed me to heal the infection my self without batting an eye lash, we need more like him. Okay enough with that.

I knew I was going to be there awhile so I grabbed a book on the way out Rosemary Gladstar's "Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health". I have had this book for awhile and use it to just look things up. My 22 year old daughter suffers from horrible anxiety and panic attacks, and then I have these tremors. Rosemary dedicates a whole chapter to "Taming Anxiety and Stress." This section also covers the nervous system extensively. This is the chapter I focused on for two hours, and let me say it is very interesting how the nervous system effects our mental health.

By treating the nervous system we are treating our whole body along with our minds. When we use pharmaceutical drugs to treat depression, anxiety or panic attacks we are stifling the nervous system from doing the job it was created to do. So, what I got from my readings is that lack of various things in our lives is what is causing our problems.

Stress puts tension on the nervous system which many times ends in sleepless nights. While others may fall asleep and wake up feeling like they have had no sleep, both are caused by stress on the nerves system.

Exercise is important, but did you know it is important for a healthy nervous system? No? Neither did I.

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Oh ladies you are going to like this one, massages, yes, massages are excellent for the nervous system. Having your feet our hands massaged is particularly important because they contain the nerve endings that extended through our bodies.

How about a footbath or bath to not only relieve the stress and tension of the day, but also help our nervous system.

And the dreaded one what not to eat, foods that stress the nervous system such as, chocolate, caffeine, processed refined foods, sweets, and sugars, and alcohol. Then there are the ones we need to add to our diet such as, alkalizing foods, sprouts, high quality protein, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, root vegetables, cultured milk products such as kefir, yogurt, and buttermilk, lemons, grapefruit, seeds, and nuts. Also include spirulina, bee pollen, and nutritional yeast. All of these help our nervous system.

I'm going to buy some bee pollen and nutritional yeast next month, oh she also mentions adding calcium essential for healthy nerve function. There is so much more in just this one chapter, and I encourage anyone to buy this book who suffers from nerve disorders, anxiety, stress, insomnia, tension, or panic attacks.
I thought it was interesting that I also learned about nerve demulcents, herbs that aid in healing irritated, and inflamed nerve endings. Just what my teen needed after that root canal, while there are various herbs mentioned the one I have is marshmallow root. Marshmallow root has a gel like consistency which coats and protects the nerve endings. 

This is an awesome chapter in this book, and it was hard for me to believe that I was looking just for ways to strengthen my nervous system. Instead I can also help my daughter with her panic attacks and anxiety. Rosemary includes various herbal recipes in this book for nerve tonics, teas, an herbal footbath, a sleep pillow, a nerve formula for insomnia, and recipes for reducing anxiety and panic attacks. She also includes a guide to flower essences for stress and anxiety, these are not essential oils.

I will share the footbath recipe with you, Rosemary says this is great if you have a headache. While soaking your feet place a cold compress on your head, it will stop a migraine in its tracks.

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Herbal Footbath

2 Parts lavender
1 Part hops
1 Part sage
1/2 Part rosemary
A few drops of lavender essential oil is optional.

Place all the herbs in a pot of water, cover tightly, and bring to a low simmer. Simmer over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Pour into your footbath, adjust with cold water if necessary. The water should be as hot as it can be without burning your feet.

Once your feet our in the water cover your footbath with a thick towel to retain the heat. You might want to add a cup of soothing tea such as chamomile, or  feverfew/lavender.

What an awesome book, I'm going to have to read more instead of just looking at the recipes which there are alot of. I also used this book for the prevention of menopausal symptoms, I'm 49 if that means anything to menopause, and have no symptoms. I have to say I also believe that workingout for over twenty years plays an important role.


  1. Actually I did know that exercise helps the nervous system it helps the whole body in some way. I think its great that the dentist let you heal your son's infection yourself. Massage is great for the whole body and helps you detox too. I will have to check out that book. That sounds like a book I would love. Have a wonderful healthy day!

  2. This is such an interesting post! Stress is so detrimental to the body. I also came by to check out Real Food Friday. Sounds like fun! I love finding new recipes for real foods.

  3. We could all use more ways to take stress out of our lives! Thanks for posting on the Four Seasons Blog Hop! Sandra from Scrumptilicious 4 You!