The Nervous System
Lesson 9, Page 17 of 19

The name Valerian comes from the Latin valere, which means to be in good health.

Passion Flower

Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata) grows widely in the eastern half of the U.S. Spanish Christian missionaries thought it resembled the crown of thorns and named it after the Passion of Christ—his suffering following the last supper until his death. The plant is also nicknamed Maypop, descriptive of the popping sound the fruit makes when mashed. It has been traditional used for insomnia, various neurologic disorders, stress, shingles, anxiety, hypertension, coughs and headaches. (Classification: Bitter herb. Cool energy.)


Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) is a popular late night herbal tea sold around the world in grocery stores and health-food stores. The plant is native to Europe and Asia, and is now cultivated in North and South America and parts of Europe. Chamomile contains the amino acid tryptophan which helps boost serotonin levels in the brain which is helpful for sleep and mood. The plant also contains flavonoids. Herbalists use the flowers. Its traditional uses include a number of disorders ranging from the common cold and flu to insomnia, diarrhea, menstrual cramps, nerves, and drug withdrawal. (Classification: Aromatic herb. Neutral energy.)


Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium)—also commonly known as Bachelor's Buttons—is a perennial plant often cultivated for ornamental purposes, and only rarely found in the wild. It is native to southern Europe and the Caucasus region of the southwest Soviet Union, and was introduced to America by early English colonists. It gives off an odor which bees steer away from due to a suspected pyrethrin content, a known insecticide. Feverfew contains niacin and iron, and provides nutrition to the central nervous system.

Feverfew was one of nature's forgotten secrets. Until recently knowledge of the herb's pain-relieving powers had all but disappeared except for the odd mention in books of antiquity. However, as if to make up for lost years, feverfew's comeback has been strong and it has not gone unnoticed by medical researchers. Since its come back there have been many laboratory tests and clinical studies which have demonstrated its effectiveness as a pain reliever for migraines and as an anti-inflammatory. Today it is mostly used as a preventive for migraine sufferers.

Feverfew has traditionally been used to reduce inflammation and pain. It dilates peripheral bloods vessels helping high blood pressure. It has also been used for menstrual discomforts and digestive disorders. Scientists have discovered that the herb contains natural chemicals called parthenolides, which are responsible for most of the herb's benefits. For migraine suffers, a concentrated form of feverfew (500 mcg of parthenolides per daily dosage) is likely to prove most helpful. Concentrated feverfew should not be taken with blood thinning medication or by pregnant women. (Classification: Aromatic herb. Cool energy.)

Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola (Hydrocotyle asiatica, also known as Centella asiatica) is a creeping marsh plant which contains no cola or caffeine, as its name would suggest. A member of the parsley family, it grows in tropical areas and is used in some places as ground cover to retard soil erosion. It grows primarily in India and in some parts of Africa. It is also found in America, where it has generally been considered only a food for wild animals. It contains many nutritional properties which support the body's vitality and feed the nervous system—such as vitamins A, B, E, G and K, and the mineral magnesium.

Gotu Kola has been called "brain food" and is said to promote energy. It has traditionally been used for insomnia, failing memory, physical and mental exhaustion, mental illness, epilepsy, fever, headache and externally for inflammatory skin conditions such as leprosy. It improves the flow of blood throughout the body by strengthening the veins and capillaries. (Classification: Bitter herb. Cool energy.)


Hops (Humulus lupulus) grows throughout Europe, Asia and North America, and belongs to the same group of plants as the stinging nettle. It is perhaps best known for its use in beer brewing. Hops gives beer its distinctive taste and prevents bacterial growth. It is also valuable as a food. The young shoots are eaten like asparagus in many countries. Hops is valuable in the world of nutritional herbology for its sedative effect and by its ability to help induce sleep. Its reputation prompted many in times past (and even today) to sleep on pillows filled with hops, including England's King George III.

Hops has traditionally been used for insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, anxiety, hyperactivity, and to decrease the desire for alcohol. Many people find it useful as a natural sleeping aid.

Black Currant Oil

Black Currant Oil has traditionally been used as a nerve tonic. It is a rich source of gamma linoleic acid (GLA), along with other important polyunsaturated fatty acids. Fatty acids are involved in many body functions, including insulating nerves (building myelinated nerve sheaths) and creating energy. These essential fatty acids are precursors of prostaglandins, which must be present for functions involved with dilating blood vessels, regulating arterial pressure, metabolizing cholesterol, normalizing T-lymphocytes, protecting against platelet aggregation, controlling abnormal cell proliferation, and other functions. Before the discovery of black currant oil, the only other known sources of GLA (gamma linoleic acid) were mother's milk and evening primrose oil. There is a lot of evidence that GLA may be helpful for people with autoimmune diseases. For people who suffer from an autoimmune disease that destroys the myelin sheath of nerves, this may be of particular interest.

Herbal Combinations for the Nervous System

Brain Protex

Brain Protex combines important herbs, antioxidants and phospholipids that help age-related memory loss, increase mental acuity and inhibit free radical damage to the brain. Ingredients include Huperzine A from Chinese club moss, a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine. It helps prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, which seems to be an indicator of overall memory function. It also contains Ginkgo, which supports brain circulation and promotes better concentration, memory and alertness; alpha lipoic acid which helps long-term memory; and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant or free-radical scavenger.

Herbal Sleep

Herbal Sleep is a combination of hops, valerian root, and passion flower that is used primarily as a natural sleep aid. It has a sedative and tranquilizing effect to relieve smooth muscle spasms, especially in the digestive and urinary systems. In addition to insomnia, it is also used for nervous headaches, stress, hypertension, menstrual disorders and flatulence.


Stress-J contains chamomile flowers, passion flowers, hops flowers, fennel seeds, marshmallow root, and feverfew herb. It is used for anxiety, stress, muscle tension, insomnia, muscle spasms, spastic colon, nervous headache and premenstrual syndrome. Relieves excess conditions. For best results use with a Vitamin B Complex.

Kudzu/St. John's Wort Combination

Introduced into the U.S. as an ornamental plant, kudzu (Pueraria pseudohirsuta) has traditionally been used in this country—particularly in the Deep South—to control soil erosion and as animal feed. It is a fast-growing vine that can turn a southern countryside into a jungle!

Kudzu is known as ge gen in China, where its roots are prepared as a tea. It is being studied at the present time for the beneficial effects of two active ingredients—daidzin and daidzein. Both are isoflavones, close relatives of the powerful and famous bioflavonoids. These compounds may act as nutritional supports to the liver in its role of neutralizing certain substances, particularly alcohol.

Kudzu has been referred to as "herbal Antabuse." (Antabuse is a prescription drug often given to alcoholics to keep them from drinking.) It does not cause a potential for nausea and vomiting, like Antabuse, but it is helpful in helping curb the craving for alcohol. Used in combination with St. John's Wort for mood, this is a powerful combination to nutritionally aid alcoholics who are desiring to quit. (See Kudzu/St. John's Wort Concentrate.)


Lobelia (Lobelia inflata) contains lobeline—chemically similar to nicotine—but without addictive properties. Also known as Indian tobacco, this famous herb was popularized by Samuel Thomson more than 100 years ago when herbs were used extensively in the U.S. Lobelia has traditionally been used for the digestive, nervous and respiratory systems. Numerous scientific evaluations have been conducted on the beneficial properties of this herb, particularly for smokers who are desiring to quit their habit. In combination with St. John's Wort for mood, this combination can help motivated smokers overcome their addiction.

Nutritional Support for ADD and ADHD

ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder) are essentially nutritional deficiencies of the nervous system—the brain is simply not getting the nutrition and antioxidants that it needs for normal function. Any nutritional program designed to support these individuals should therefore include a good high-quality multivitamin and mineral supplement along with Ionic Minerals for additional trace minerals—so lacking in the typical American diet. These individuals will also do much better if they eat a breakfast with sufficient protein (meat and eggs—no refined carbohydrates, such as cereals, and especially no sugar or fruit juices) and avoid chemical additives in their foods as much as possible.

Focus Attention is the combination specifically for this problem and is appropriate for adults and for children who can swallow capsules. It is a proprietary combination of Slippery Elm Bark (Ulmus fulva), l-Glutamine, DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol), Lemon Balm Leaves (Melissa officinalis), Grape Seed Extract (Vitis vinifera) and Ginkgo Leaves (Ginkgo biloba). This unique combination contains potent antioxidants which are utilized in the synthesis of neurotransmitters and has a positive effect on energy. For maximum benefit it should be taken with Flax Seed Oil. Focus Attention Powder is also available and is ideal for individuals who can not yet swallow capsules. The powdered form includes Flax Seed so no additional flax seed oil is needed.

Adults and older children (who can swallow tablets) should also take Super Supplemental Vitamins and Minerals and either Ionic Minerals or Mineral Chi Tonic for additional trace minerals. Young children who can not swallow capsules can take Sunshine Heroes Chewable Vitamins and Minerals. Along with this they should take Sunshine Heroes Whole Food Chewable Antioxidants.

Clinical research has shown that individuals with the symptoms of ADD/ADHD do much better with a breakfast containing sufficient protein. It is unfortunate that most children eat a breakfast very high in sugar and carbohydrates and very low in protein. For those who find it difficult to get a breakfast with sufficient protein, Nature's Harvest, a nutrition-packed vegan powdered protein drink mix, should be consumed for breakfast. The high sugar and/or refined carbohydrate breakfast that is typical for most children should of course be strictly avoided. This includes natural fruit juices which are concentrated sugars. The previously discussed herbal combination Stress-J (also available in a liquid extract) is also very effective for hyperactive individuals, especially children.

True or False:
For individuals with ADD or ADHA, a breakfast with sufficient protein is usually very helpful along with a reduction in consumption of simple sugars, including natural fruit juices, and refined carbohydrates.


(Select the best answer and click on the "Continue" button.)


Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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