Definition of nervine in English:



  • (of a medicine) used to calm the nerves.

    • ‘One particular ingredient in the Living Multi vegetable blend, oat grass, is a potent nervine tonic.’


  • A nervine medicine.

    • ‘How are these different from the pharmaceutical classification of substances as diaphoretics, laxatives, alteratives, stimulants, sedatives, nervines, emmenagogues, carminatives, etc.?’
    • ‘Melissa has a fine reputation as a calming herb and it may be that the calming action is not as a nervine, but as a very effective thyrosuppressant.’
    • ‘Medicines and herbs that are demulcent, emollient, warmly diaphoretic, nervines, antispasmodic, warming and carminative are appropriate for treating Air imbalances.’
    • ‘Common Western Skullcap is simply classified as a nervine in Western herbalism.’
    • ‘If there was a problem with a hypersympathetic nervous system, Western herbalists have tended use sedatives, nervines and perhaps anti-inflammatories.’
    • ‘Using herbal nervines and a nutritious diet, the function of the nervous system can be enhanced, and resilience to stress increased.’
    • ‘If you're feeling anxious and agitated, try a nervine such as avena, scullcap, or valerian.’
    • ‘It is an anti-inflammatory, tonic astringent, diaphoretic, stomachic, nervine, anodyne and antiseptic.’
    • ‘It is a stimulating nervine and is considered an energizer for sexual inability.’


Mid 17th century: from medieval Latin nervinus ‘of the nerves or sinews’, or suggested by French nervin.