Polygonum multiflorum: Brain Friendly Plant

Polygonum multiflorum is a medicinal plant that is used in traditional Chinese medicine. Extracts of the plant are high in antioxidants, and this may explain some of the therapeutic effects of the plant. An anti-ageing effect has been reported for Polygonum multiflorum which may protect cognitive function and brain health. The cognitive effects of the plant may result from its ability to inhibit the enzyme acetylcholinesterase in brain tissue. Inhibition of this enzyme has been shown to have potential cognitive benefits through raising brain levels of acetylcholine, and this may be useful in the prevention or treatment of dementia. In addition to the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase, Polygonum multiflorum may also have neuroprotective effects. The neuroprotective effects may relate to the ability of the plant to raise brain levels of acetylcholine, or may relate to the high number of antioxidants in the plant tissue. Antioxidants are neuroprotective, particularly the flavonoids which are present in the plant in high amounts. 

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Lin, L., Ni, B., Lin, H., Zhang, M., Li, X., Yin, X., Qu, C. and Ni, J. 2015. Traditional usages, botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology of Polygonum multiflorum Thunb.: a review. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 159: 158-183

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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