Discovering Herbs: Passiflora
Passiflora is the perfect herb for nourishing the nervous system, working gently and safely to reduce anxiety.
Many people find the pace of modern life extraordinarily fast, throwing up continual challenges as to how to cope with the continual demands on their physical, emotional and mental resources. This brings up the need for remedies that can soothe and strengthen the nervous system and spare the adrenal glands.
Passiflora is the perfect herb for nourishing the nervous system, working gently and safely to reduce anxiety. Instead of sedating the nerves, which can cause other effects such as drowsiness and a feeling of being disconnected, Passiflora reduces levels of anxiety in the body. This makes it easier to deal with everyday situations that would otherwise be draining.
Passiflora works on the physical body, relaxing muscles to reduce tension and that unpleasant knotted sensation that brings your shoulders up round your ears when you're tired or stressed! It also works on the emotional symptoms of stress, lessening the feeling of being on edge with a nervous system that's continually jangling. Keeping things calmer during the day means that the body finds it easier to switch off at night, allowing a more peaceful sleep that will refresh all the systems for the morning. This is extremely important because the restorative action of sleep, both physical and mental, makes the body better able to deal with the demands of the next day. Not sleeping well makes everything far harder to deal with.
Taking this remedy for stress or nervous anxiety and tension is extremely easy because it has no contraindications or side effects. It won't create physical dependency and doesn't cause drowsiness or problems with concentration. In fact, as it promotes better sleep, it may increase energy and improve memory and mental focus.
Much of the strain of dealing with on-going pressures can be reduced if you have more confidence in your ability to cope, and this feeling is promoted by seemingly small improvements in areas such as memory and concentration, which come from a better nourished nervous system and more refreshing sleep.
Passiflora can be taken either short or long term, and can be taken alongside other medication. If you are already on tranquillising or sedating medication and feel you need something more, talk it over with your doctor instead of adding herbs on top of conventional medication - you may find that a different medication suits you better, or it is appropriate to switch to a herbal approach.
Help your body and support the action of Passiflora by avoiding artificial stimulants such as caffeine, refined sugar, nicotine and alcohol. If you find it difficult to avoid them completely, cut down and start replacing them with healthier options - drink more water and soothing herb teas such as lemon balm; eat more dried fruit instead of chocolate bars; and try a smoothie instead of reaching for coffee and biscuits.