Gardenias prevent Alzheimer’s disease
03/19/2019 // Janine Acero // Views

A study published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine investigates the protective effects of the gardenia fruit (Gardenia jasminoides) against cognitive impairment and neurotoxicity on amyloid-beta-induced mouse models.

  • Alzheimer's disease is a prevalent neurodegenerative disease worldwide, yet its exact causes have not been fully explained in scientific data.
  • Some of the recognized key drivers of Alzheimer's include nerve cell (cholinergic) dysfunction, mitochondrial damage, oxidative stress and inflammation of the central nervous system (neuroinflammation).
  • The researchers looked at Chinese herbs, which have been used extensively for medicinal purposes, as a good source for potential medicines against Alzheimer's.
  • The researchers used G. jasminoides, a common Chinese herbal medicine with tranquilizing effects, which is an important component of widely used traditional Chinese medicine for dementia.
  • Crocin (GJ-4), a carotenoid found in G. jasminoides, was extracted and evaluated for its effects on learning and memory injury in mice injected with amyloid-beta 25-35.
  • The findings revealed that treatment with GJ-4 dose-dependently enhanced the memory and cognitive ability of the injected mice.
  • Preliminary mechanistic studies indicate that the protective effects of GJ-4 target neurons and cholinergic dysfunction. Furthermore, GJ-4 was found to enhance antioxidant capacity and reduce neuroinflammation.

The researchers conclude that the compound GJ-4 found in G. jasminoides might be a promising source of potential drug that may improve cognitive and memory injury, with multiple targets.

Read more studies on medicinal plants with cognitive-enhancing compounds at

Journal Reference:

Zang CX, Bao XQ, Li L, Yang HY, Wang L, Yu Y, Wang XL, Yao XS, Zhang D. THE PROTECTIVE EFFECTS OF GARDENIA JASMINOIDES (FRUCTUS GARDENIA) ON AMYLOID-BETA-INDUCED MOUSE COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT AND NEUROTOXICITY. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2018;46(02):389–405. DOI: 10.1142/s0192415x18500192

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