Nervousness is not so much a medical term but in common parlance covers milder forms of anxiety and fearfulness. Nervousness is divided into two levels: acute and chronic.

If the following tips do not help or the symptoms are severe enough to be disruptive, then a complementary medical opinion should be sought.

Take three times the recommended daily dose of a vitamin B complex starting three days before any event that may be causing the ‘nerves’.

Use D, L-phenylalanine (lOOmg per foot of height) with each meal starting three days before the event.

Regardless of appetite, ensure that the diet includes at least four portions of fresh fruit or vegetables and complex carbohydrates (wholegrain foods) for at least three days prior to the event. Ensure a good breathing technique, preferably by learning one in association with a relaxation technique through yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, etc.

Ensure at least six hours of sleep per night, avoid caffeine and other stimulants (the brain does not memorize as well under such adrenaline-like affects) and exercise daily for at least half an hour to reduce the build-up of adrenaline compounds.

The following homeopathic remedies can be taken at potency 30 four times a day starting three days before the event and at potency 6 every hour on the day of the event: Argentum nitricum if you are unable to concentrate or memorize and suffering from abdominal upsets such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea or abdominal pains; Lycopodium is ideal for a nervous individual who is full of bravado and has a tendency to do well regardless of the strong anticipation of failure; and Gelsemium is a master stage-fright remedy for when the body becomes weak, bordering on paralysis and the mind goes blank.

In uncontrolled cases your GP may recommend beta-blockers, which will temporarily deal with physical symptoms. Before you advance to this level of drug treatment, consider using a teaspoonful of Passiflora or Valerian fluid extract diluted in a cup of water four times a day.

Chronic nervousness

Persistent anxiety or fearfulness can be most disruptive and at its extreme can be considered a phobia. This is the case if the nervousness focuses on a particular theme or object, such as not wishing to go outside or a fear of spiders.

Longstanding nervousness arguably stems from early childhood experiences, psychological trauma such as accidents or relationship problems and may simply be a character trait that does not require treatment. If, however, the nervousness is affecting lifestyle or well-being, advice should be sought.

Nervous dispositions may be created by improper intake. Drugs (both prescribed and those of abuse), alcohol and tobacco (which are all potentially depressive) and nutritional deficiencies such as zinc, the amino acids tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylalanine and vitamin B complex may all cause nervousness.

Counselling should be sought for an initial discussion on the options available.

Hypnotherapy and neurolinguistic programming may be of benefit in isolating underlying causes at a faster rate than psychotherapeutic or psychoanalytical techniques.

A homeopathic consultation to establish a constitutional remedy treatment is essential.

Establish any nutritional deficiencies through a consultation with a nutritionist or specific blood and/or bioenergetic tests.

Embark upon’ a course of meditation. The release of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers and calmants), let alone the connection with your higher spiritual being, may be curative on its own.

Avoid tranquillizers like the plague. They cover the symptoms, encourage dependence and, from the onset, are not curative. Herbal preparations are available but should only be taken on the advice of an experienced herbalist.