• Supports mood
      • Supports a healthy stress response
      • Supports cognitive function
      • Supports sleep


One of the most used herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine is the Polygala tenuifolia root for brain and central nervous system support.


The traditional use of this supplement was to reduce forgetfulness and support cognitive function in aging adults (i.e., what we would call a nootropic today).


The herb was also common in formulas for supporting sleep and promoting a calmer, more balanced mood.


In preclinical research, it supports brain protection and repair procedures and molecules (such as BDNF and NGF), counteracts chronic stress, promotes sleep, and influences both GABA and adenosine signaling, two neurotransmitters involved with relaxation during sleep.


Tenuigenin, tenuifolin, yuanzhi-1, tenuifolisides, and tenuifolioses are among several bioactive substances found in the roots of this plant.


Brain function


  • Supports learning and memory [1–4]

  • Supports sleep [5–7]

  • Supports glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) activity [8]

  • Supports GABA-Glutamate signaling [6,8–10]

  • Supports adenosine signaling [11]

  • Supports adrenergic signaling [3,5,6]

  • Supports dopamine signaling [3,12]

  • Downregulates acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity [3,4,13]

  • Downregulates monoamine oxidase (MAO) [4]

  • Supports brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) [14,15]

  • Supports synaptic transmission in the hippocampus [15]

  • Supports long-term potentiation (LTP)/synaptic plasticity [13,15]

  • Supports the proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells [16,17]

  • Supports neuroprotective functions

  • Protects against neurotoxic agents [18–20]

  • Protects from cognitive impairments [15,18–23]

  • Supports antioxidant defenses [4,13,20,24]




  • Supports healthy behavioral and physiological responses to stress [7,10,14]


Gut microbiota


  • Supports the composition of the gut microbiota [25]


Immune System


  • Supports adaptive immunity [26]

  • Supports macrophage functions [27]


Healthy aging and longevity


  • Supports mitochondrial function [22]


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