Yuan Zhi extract 20:1 | Polygala tenuifolia

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Polygala, a.k.a. thin-leaf milkwort or Yuan Zhi, is an herb with nootropic properties that is commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It supports cholinergic activity effectively improving cognitive functions and intellectual endurance. It can also affect mood in a positive way providing mental comfort and less tension which is very important for sleep quality.


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Yuan Zhi extract 20:1 | Polygala tenuifolia

Properties: Thin-leaved milkwort, also known as Yuan Zhi, is a plant that has been used in traditional medicine of the Far East for centuries. Modern research confirms its efficacy as a nootropic substance and its positive impact on the nervous system. Yuan Zhi contains bioactive compounds that enhance cognitive processes, particularly associative memory, creativity, and concentration. They also influence the activity of serotonin and GABA, so it is easier to maintain a good mood as well as to calm down after a stressful day. Hereby, supplementation of thin-leaf milkwort helps to fall asleep quicker and enhances the quality of nocturnal regeneration.

The extract of thin-leaf milkwort is a rich source of saponins that exhibit anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, and restorative properties. Simultaneously, they help to reduce swelling, improve the blood flow and oxygenation of tissues which altogether makes the skin look bright and healthy. Their additional asset is the ability to increase the permeability of cellular membranes, so the absorption of nutrients into deeper layers of the skin is easier. Last but not least, saponins foam very well.

Occurrence: Thin-leaf milkwort (Polygala tenuifolia) is a perennial plant from the milkwort (Polygala) family. It comes from Asia and grows mainly in Northern China, Mongolia, and Russia. Its dried root, known as Yuan Zhi, has been used in traditional Chinese, Indian, and Japanese medicine systems for centuries. Its range of application is wide: from boosting cognitive capacities, through releasing mental tension, to making falling asleep easier. Some even say that it could prevent premature aging!

Biochemistry: The root of thin-leaf milkwort contains multiple bioactive compounds such as: tenuifolysides, tenuigenin saponins, tenuifolin, onji saponins, yuanzhi-1 triterpenoid, tetrahydrocolumbamine, polygala saponins, oligosaccharides, triterpene glycosides, macrolides, sterols, flavonoids and acid polysaccharides. Research studies that tested extract from the root as well as single compounds found in Polygala tenuifolia confirmed their beneficial impact on the central nervous system activity.

Fun fact: The Chinese name for thin-leaf milkwort is Yuan Zhi – meaning “lofty ambitions”. It relates to its positive impact on memory, intelligence, and functioning of the nervous system.

How does Yuan Zhi extract 20:1 | Polygala tenuifolia work?

Decreases nervousness: GABA is a main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. Its receptors are present in nearly all neurons as they have an important function in the nervous system. Their role is to prevent overstimulation of the mind and the whole body. It helps to cope with the stress by mitigating the physiological response to stressors. Research evidence demonstrates that active compounds of milkwort increase the activity of GABA. They stimulate the production of its gamma receptors subunit GABA-A and directly affect those receptors, similarly to their natural agonist. Therefore, Yuan Zhi supplementation helps to calm down and relax.

Improves cognitive capacity: Both traditional Chinese medicine and Japanese Kampo have used milkwort to counteract the aging-associated degradation of cognitive abilities. Results of modern research confirmed its nootropic properties. As it turns out, its active compounds stimulate secretion of nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) – hormones that are crucial for neurogenesis and neuroplasticity. These are the processes in which new neural cells and connections between neurons are formed. This is the foundation of the central nervous system that enables efficient memorizing and the ability to learn new skills. What is more, the extract of milkwort increases the available levels of acetylcholine – a neurotransmitter crucial for memory and concentration. This is achieved in two ways. First, it stimulates the activity of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) – an enzyme that transforms choline into acetylcholine. Second, it inhibits the activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) that is responsible for acetylcholine decomposition.

Counteracts insomnia: Results of multiple scientific studies show that the extract of thin-leaf milkwort efficiently induces relaxation and makes falling asleep easier. It also helps to prolong the sleep duration, while maintaining its natural properties. For instance, an EEG study confirmed that the administration of P. tenuifolia extract does not alter the physiological rhythm of REM and NREM sleep phases. Instead, it deepens sleep and brings about an increase in its regenerative properties. The source of these effects is higher GABA activity. Active compounds of milkwort take part in production and stimulation of GABA receptors. Moreover, Yuan Zhi is able to activate adenosine neurotransmission, which supports falling asleep.

Supports good mood: Research evidence points to the positive effect of milkwort’s root on mental health. Its active compounds inhibit the activity of serotonin transporter protein (SERT), thereby decreasing the reuptake of serotonin. In this way, molecules of this neurotransmitter are allowed to remain in synaptic clefts and influence their receptors longer. Additionally, Polygala has the ability to downregulate the activity of monoamine oxidase (MAO) – an enzyme that decomposes molecules of dopamine and serotonin. These two neurotransmitters are crucial for maintenance of a positive mood and the feeling of inner contentment. Yuan Zhi effectively supports their activity, which benefits psychological well-being.

Yuan Zhi extract 20:1 | Polygala tenuifolia product specification


  • powdered raw ingredient
  • extract 20:1 from the root of Polygala tenuifolia
  • steel measuring tool 0.10 ml ~75 mg
  • airtight ALU-PET bag
  • nutrition, neuroregulation, herbal medicine
  • ingredient admitted to trading in the EU and the US

How to use Yuan Zhi extract 20:1 | Polygala tenuifolia?


  • 100 – 200 mg
  • 1 – 2
  • with food
  • before bedtime
  • 6 weeks of using – 2 weeks of break

How to stack Yuan Zhi extract 20:1 | Polygala tenuifolia?

To improve stress resilience:
To improve cognitive functions:
To improve sleep quality:
To improve general mood:

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The above information about products should be considered a historical and scientific facts, not a recommendation on how to use a specific substance. Dietary supplements should not be treated as an alternative to a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet. The above information is not medical advice. Every use of a dietary supplement or herbal/nootropic compound should be consulted with a doctor or a specialist. Dietary supplements as well as nootropic and herbal compounds should not be mixed with medication. Our products should not be used by breastfeeding women and by the people under the age of 18.