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An Herbal Supplement, Small Smartweed, May Live Up to Its Name

Persicaria minor, also known as small smartweed, has a high antioxidant content and has been used as a supplement for mood and memory; however, very few scientific studies have critically evaluated its effectiveness. In a small clinical trial involving older adults with MCI, scientists evaluated the effects of small smartweed on cognition.  A total of 36 volunteers were randomized into either a placebo or the small smartweed treatment group. Those in the treatment group were administered a 250-mg capsule containing P. minor extract twice a day for six months.  All participants were administered mood and cognitive tests at the beginning, after three months, and at six months.  Those in the treatment group showed significant improvements in visual memory, but not decision making or processing speed.  They also exhibited an improvement in mood, reduced confusion, and less anger. The placebo group showed no improvements.  These results are a positive starting point for further investigation into a potential supplement for treating MCI.
Lau H, et al. The effects of six months Persicaria minor extract supplement among older adults with mild cognitive impairment: a double-blinded, randomized, and placebo-controlled trial. BMC Complement Med Ther. 2020;20:315. doi: 10.1186/s12906-020-03092-2.