The vagus nerve runs from the base of the brain, through the face & to the gastrointestinal tract. Essentially it is the neurological connection from the brain to the gut.
The Vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve in the body. It controls your digestion, immune system, breathing, heartbeat, saliva production, taste, speech, muscle sensation and mood. When the vagus nerve is stimulated, it allows us to relax and digest.
Vagus nerve stimulation triggers the parasympathetic nervous system. Our rest & digest system.
Your “good” gut bacteria will send chemical messengers along your vagus nerve to the brain stimulating the brain to produce more GABA.
GABA is our happy, relaxed and ‘keep calm’ hormone produced in the brain.
“Bad bacteria” &/or parasites reduce the production of GABA by inhibiting these chemical messengers.
Low levels of GABA may be linked to:
- Anxiety or mood disorders
- Chronic pain
Low Gaba is often associated with VATA disorders (Ayurvedic energy type/dosha) as Vata governs the nervous system.
How to increase GABA:
- Vata pacifying lifestyle and diet
- Diet. You cannot get GABA naturally from foods. But a variety of foods contain substances such as flavonoids that influence how GABA works in the brain. These foods include:
- Good quality sleep
- A healthy gut
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(Women’s Ayurveda & Integrative Health Practitioner)