Brain Health Comes to the Fore in September, Along with a Natural, Traditional Herb

BY SANDRA GUY

With anxiety, depression, and alcohol and marijuana use soaring amid the coronavirus pandemic, September’s designation as “Healthy Aging® Month” seems appropriate for everyone.

Besides focusing on improving one’s physical well-being, the theme also applies to the start of a school year, rejuvenating one’s mind and meeting new people — even if it’s virtual.

The observation’s creator, Carolyn Worthington, publisher of Healthy Aging magazine, has described the initiative as aiming to help everyone “move forward mentally, socially, physically and financially.”

Besides the wealth of self-help resources online, natural remedies may be worth a try, too. One is Gotu Kola, a staple in traditional Chinese, Indonesian and Ayurvedic medicine known as a “herb of longevity.” It’s also known as Centella asiatica.

One study, though not scientifically proven, showed a water extract of Gotu kola improved learning and memory in old and young mice, but the older mice had greater cognitive enhancements.

For people, experts recommend taking Gotu kola no more than six weeks because of its potential for liver damage, and to check with your doctor before using it more extensively.

It comes in dried leaf for tea, in capsules as a powdered herb and as a tincture that can be taken as 30 to 60 drops, three times daily.

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