Herbal Remedy: Gotu Kola

If you're feeling fuzzy-brained, agitated, or anxious, check out gotu kola. A staple herb in Ayurveda, India's ancient health system, this brain-friendly plant stimulates nerve function and keeps stress hormones level. 

It takes about a month to work, notes Rosemary Gladstar, author of "Herbs for Reducing Stress & Anxiety," but isn't a mind that's alert but relaxed worth the wait?

Where To Find It
Look for organic sources of gotu kola, available in tea blends and tinctures, at natural-food stores. Find dried organic gotu kola at frontiercoop.com or mountainroseherbs.com.

Do It Yourself
For a brain-balancing beverage, mix 2 parts gotu kola with 1 part holy basil and 1/8 part ginger. Pour 8 ounces of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of the blend; steep for 20 minutes and strain. Drink up to 2 cups daily.

Safety First
In high doses, gotu kola may cause headaches and heart palpitations, and it can increase the effects of painkillers, sedatives, and barbiturates.

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