We’re always on the lookout for the latest natural remedies to help us live longer, healthier lives. Of course, more often than not, the discoveries we make are more “new to us” than actually new. For example, an herb known as gotu kola has been used for thousands of years to treat everything from memory loss, varicose veins, and joint pain!
Also called the “herb of longevity,” gotu kola was originally used in Chinese, Indian, and Indonesian traditional medicines. According to the health experts at Mount Sinai, these cultures relied on it to heal wounds, increase mental clarity, and treat skin conditions like psoriasis.
Today, there are studies to back up those anecdotal ancient remedies. Research from 2016 observed that ingesting extract of gotu kola on a daily basis helped restore memory loss and boost overall cognitive function in patients who had suffered a stroke.
In fact, it worked better than folic acid, a nutrient also known for its ability to protect our brain health as we age. Another study found it to have great potential as a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, but more research needs to be done.
As wonderful as that is, the most popular use for gotu kola is its ability to get rid of varicose veins. Research shows it may improve circulation, which is often what causes them in the first place. The better blood flow is also helpful for reducing fluid retention and ankle swelling. When gotu kola extract is applied topically, it’s been found to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, too.
Lastly, though definitely not least, your achy joints might thank you for taking the herb as a supplement. One animal study found it reduced inflammation, cartilage erosion, and bone erosion.
The amount you take (or apply topically) will vary based on the brand you buy — and you should always talk to your doctor before adding a new supplement to your daily regimen. If you get the OK, you can easily find plenty of highly rated options online, like Nature’s Way Premium Herbal Gotu Kola (Buy on Amazon, $13.49) and iUNIK Centella Calming Recovery Gel Hydrating Cream (Buy on Amazon, $14.99). Here’s hoping it helps keep your brain, blood flow, skin, and joints in tip top shape!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.
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