The present study aimed to determine whether Nicotiflorin, a natural flavonoid extracted from coronal of Carthamus tinctorius, has a protective effect on cerebral multi-infarct dementia in rats. The multi-infarct dementia model rats were prepared by injecting man-made micro-thrombi into the right hemisphere. The administration groups were treated once daily with 30, 60 and 120 mg/kg Nicotiflorin (i.g.) from 5 days before ischemia operation to 3 days after the operation for biochemical examination, 10 days for Morris water maze study and morphological observations and 20 days for eight-arm radial maze task. 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining showed that infarct volume of each Nicotiflorin administration group was much smaller than that of vehicle-treated multi-infarct dementia group, and hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining showed that histopathological abnormalities of each Nicotiflorin group were also much lighter than that of vehicle-treated multi-infarct dementia group. Each Nicotiflorin group showed much better spatial memory performance in Morris water maze tests and eight-arm radial maze task compared with the vehicle-treated multi-infarct dementia group, significantly attenuated the elevation of lactic acid and malondialdehyde (MDA) contents and the decrease in lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), Na(+)K(+)ATPase, Ca(2+)Mg(2+)ATPase and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in the brain tissue which was composed of striatum, cortex and hippocampus of the ischemia hemisphere at day 3 after ischemia operation. These results suggest that Nicotiflorin has protective effects on reducing memory dysfunction, energy metabolism failure and oxidative stress in multi-infarct dementia model rats.