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Protect Against Cognitive Decline: New Research

protect against cognitive decline

A 2021 study in BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies revealed that Polygala tenuifolia may reduce cognitive deficits and protect against cognitive decline. In the study, published on October 25, 2021, the constituent, 3,6′-disinapoyl sucrose (DISS), triggered a potent increase of hippocampal neurogenesis in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. DISS strengthened APP-neural stem cell proliferation and neuronal differentiation, and DISS treatment for four weeks showed the capability to attenuate cognitive deficits, neuronal injures, and neurogenesis disorder.

The study investigated the effects of DISS and two other active constituents of Polygala tenuifolia on the proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells to identify the potential active constituent of Polygala tenuifolia that promote hippocampal neurogenesis. The study evaluated cognitive function, neural damages, and hippocampal neurogenesis.

Polygala tenuifolia May Protect Against Cognitive Decline

Polygala tenuifolia is a traditional Chinese medicine with multiple neuroprotective properties. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common dementia worldwide, and to date the disease lacks satisfactory drug or therapeutic strategies. Further clinical research is warranted, as Polygala tenuifolia may prove helpful in helping to protect against cognitive decline and supporting Alzheimer’s disease treatment.

Polygala tenuifolia extract is traditionally consumed as a health supplement to provide mood support, improve sleep quality, and heighten creative thinking. It has the potential to calm and relax the body by easing restlessness and anxiety. Its Chinese name, Yuan Zhi, translates to “high aspirations.”

Beyond cognitive support and mood support, Polygala tenuifolia has increasingly been used to support treatment of inflammation of the throat, nose, and chest and for lung conditions including asthma, chronic bronchitis, whooping cough, and emphysema. The root is considered antibacterial, cardiotonic, cerebrotonic, expectorant, haemolytic, hypotensive, sedative, and tonic.

“Buddhist monks use Polygala tenuifolia for meditation and focus, and we call it the Will Strengthener,” says Linden Botanicals owner Michael Van der Linden. “Polygala tenuifolia provides mood support and has potential as an antidepressant. It appears to have adaptogenic action on cortisol, the stress hormone. What’s most exciting, though, is that it may also protect against cognitive decline and promote neurogenesis, the process by which new neurons are formed in the brain.”

BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies is an open access journal publishing original peer-reviewed research articles on interventions and resources that complement or replace conventional therapies, with a specific emphasis on research that explores the biological mechanisms of action, as well as their efficacy, safety, costs, patterns of use and/or implementation.

Learn More About Polygala tenuifolia

For more information about Polygala tenuifolia and links to scientific studies about herbal support to help protect against cognitive decline, read Linden Botanicals’ Polygala FAQ. Linden Botanicals sells Polygala extract in its online store in 100g sizes (50 servings) as OM! Mood Support and in larger 200g to 1,000 sizes.

Read the FAQ Buy Polygala Buy OM!


Linden Botanicals sells the world’s healthiest teas and extracts, including Polygala tenuifolia, Phyllanthus niruri, Cistus incanus, Rosa rugosa, and Cryptolepis sanguinolenta. These teas and extracts provide support for immune health, stress relief, energy, memory, mood, kidney health, joint health, digestive health, inflammation, hormonal balance, and detox/cleanse. Visit to shop the online store, find hundreds of science-based health tips and resources, and get the free Lessons from the Darkness e-book, which shares Michael Van der Linden’s lessons learned during his four-year battle with Lyme disease.

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