COMMON NAME: turnsole

Nature's garden, not to mention your own, is chock full of little goodies that can either bring people up or take them down.

Heliotrope (Valeriana officinalis), for example, is a common garden plant that is a moderately potent sedative and tranquilizer.

It only takes about 1/2 ounce of the roots or rhizomes of this plant, boiled in a covered pot for five minutes and strained, to make a tea that is drinkable. The problem with heliotrope brew is its smell. Phew! Strong enough to make even the boldest wince, the taste of the tea is tolerable, however---particularly if a bit of artificial sweetener or honey is added.

If one's, nose still can't deal with the smell after straining, the brew can be boiled down to a thick gummy residue. Then a small amount of flour is added and the mixture is put into a gelatine capsule for ingestion.

The active constituents of heliotrope are chatinine, valeric, and valerine.