Understanding Our Vagus Nerve

with Karen Vaughan

The vagus nerve is arguably the most important of the cranial nerves as it dips deep into the torso and controls the heart, liver, gut and other parts of the visceral body.  As well as controlling fight, flight and playing dead, due to its significant control over the autonomic nervous system, the vagus nerve affects sociability and emotions.  It even provides a scaffold for alpha synuclein to misfold, eventually controlling Parkinson’s disease… We will learn about the nerve and how it works, why dietary factors affect both the physical body and the emotions, about the gut/brain axis, why emotions and other memories turn into physical peptides to be stored on the brain, and how to tune up your vagus nerve. Finally, we will discuss the influence of herbs and the vagus system.

Karen Vaughan has been a clinical herbalist for over 25 years. She first was trained in Western herbalism but then studied Chinese Medicine to improve her diagnostic and formulation skills. She graduated with a Masters of Oriental Medicine from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, New York in 2004.  She has taught for the David Winston Center for Herbal Studies, the Swedish Institute, New York College of Health Professions in the Oriental Medicine program and for Arborvitae.  She has a special interest in neurological diseases and endocrine disorders and has lectured on them nationally. She has a practice in Brooklyn, NY.

Recorded on August 20, 2020