liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

Herb Vocabulary: Nervines, Sedatives, Hypnotics

sedative = A substance that reduces nervous system activity hence reduces mental activity including irritability, excitement, or nervousness, and the physical actions that result from such mental states. Sedatives do not act directly to suppress bodily movements, and are hence different from tranquilizers. Sedatives may be classified according to which organ systems are most affected, ie: circulatory, respiratory, digestive, reproductive, musculoskeletal, etc. Aka: calmative. Some herbal sedatives include: Valerian (Valeriana officinalis), lady's slipper (Cyripedium pubescens), Wild Lettuce (Latuca virosa).

nervine = A plant remedy with beneficial effects on the nervous system. This term is a bit of a catch-all, and includes nervine relaxants, stimulants, and tonics. Favorite nervine tonics include oats (Avena sativa), St. John's Wort (Hypericaum perforatum), Vervain (Verbena officinalis), Damiana, Skullcap, and Wood Betony. Skullcap is favored for the treatment of stress, and is also listed as a nervine relaxant. Pasque flower (Anemone pulsatilla) and Lavendar (officinalis) are nervine relaxants, and Kola (Cola vera) is a nervine stinmulant.

hypnotic = soporific = A herbal remedy that helps induce a deep healing sleep. There are many degrees and mechanism of actions, and some are illegal (opioids) because they are highly effective and but also possibly addictive. Some mild hypnotics include: chamomile, lime blossom, Vervain, and other relaxing nervines. Stronger hypnotics may induce coma and relieve pain, and may also be called narcotics. Narcotics according to Nagle include Hyoscyamus niger (Henbane), Opiun Poppy, and Gelsemum. Others include: Cowslip, Hops (Humulus), Skullcap, Valerian. Stronger options include: Jamaican Dogwood, Passion Flower (Passiflora), Wild Lettuce, Califorinia Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) and Lady's Slipper

know for class:
--Valeriana officinalis, rats & cats
--Avena sativa, oats, neuro tonic, trophorestorative, mild sedation
--Passiflora incarnata (southern US) Maypop, hypnotic, decr spasm/convuls
--Piper methysticum (Kava)
--Passiflora edulis var. flavicarpa: Lilikoi (Hawaii) yellow passion fruit
--Hypericum perforatum (nerve tonic) St. JW
--Viburnum opulus/prunifolium, Cramp Bark, sustainability issues
--Melissa officinalis, Lemon Balm, CI: low thyroid fx
Tags: herbs, nervines, nervous system, st john's wort, vocabulary

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