Ptychopetalum olacoides (PO) roots are used by Amazonian peoples to prepare traditional remedies for treating various central nervous system conditions in which free radicals are likely to be implicated. Following the identification of PO ethanol extract (POEE) free-radical scavenging properties in vitro, the aim of this study was to verify the in vivo antioxidant effect of POEE. Aging mice (14 months) were treated (i.p.) with saline, DMSO (20%) or POEE (100mg/kg body wt.), and the hippocampi, cerebral cortex, striata, hypothalamus and cerebellum dissected out 60 min later to measure antioxidant enzyme activities, free-radical production and damage to macromolecules. POEE administration reduced free-radical production in the hypothalamus, lead to significant decrease in lipid peroxidation in the cerebral cortex, striatum and hypothalamus, as well as in the carbonyl content in cerebellum and striatum. In terms of antioxidant enzymes, catalase activity was increased in the cortex, striatum, cerebellum and hippocampus, while glutathione peroxidase activity was increased in the hippocampus. This study suggests that POEE contains compounds able to improve the cellular antioxidant network efficacy in the brain, ultimately reducing the damage caused by oxidative stress.