Halenia elliptica D. Don (H. elliptica), which is also known as “heijicao” and “luanehuamao” in China, is recognised as a valuable Tibetan medicinal plant with polysaccharides as the main active ingredient. However, studies on the polysaccharides isolated from H. elliptica are few. A polysaccharide (HEPN-1) with a molecular weight of 10.80 kDa was mainly composed of Gal, Ara, Man, Glc, Rha and Fuc in a molar ratio of 25.56:24.52:4.58:3.37:2.62:1.00. Structural analysis showed that HEPN-1 had a backbone mainly consisting of 4-β-Galp, 3,6-β-Galp and 3,4,6-β-Galp and branched chains that contained two arabinan (R1 and R2) and two heteropolysaccharide (R3 and R4) side chains. The branching degree of HEPN-1 was 0.52. Within the range of doses (75-300 μg/mL), HEPN-1 increased the enzyme activity of SOD, CAT and GSH-Px and decreased the MDA level in HO-induced RAW 264.7 cells in a dose-dependent manner. After 6 weeks of intragastric administration, 300 mg/kg HEPN-1 considerably improved the learning and memory deficits in mice and the antioxidant enzyme system. Moreover, the MDA formation in D-gal-induced aging mice was inhibited, possibly partly via the activation of the PI3K/Akt and Nrf2/HO-1 signalling pathways. Therefore, HEPN-1 could serve as a potential natural antioxidant to prevent aging.Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier Ltd.