Medicinal Plants

Celastrus Paniculatus (Jyotishmati Malkangani)

Celastrus Paniculatus (also called Jyotishmati in Sanskrit or Malkangani in Hindi) improves memory and cognitive functions. It is beneficial in neurological diseases and pain disorders including muscle cramps, backache, sciatica, osteoarthritis, facial paralysis and paralysis.

The seeds of Celastrus Paniculatus have very hot potency, which means seed powder produces heat in the body and gives feeling of warmness after its consumption. This effect generally appears with larger dosage of Malkangni.

However, smaller dosage may also increase heat in the body, but up to tolerable level. Therefore, many ayurvedic physicians use Celastrus Paniculatus in winter season in higher doses and choose lower dosage for hot season. Its lower dosage is also very effective in management of a several diseases.

Its 2 weeks consumption is sufficient to see its visible effects on memory, eyesight, cognition and mental alertness. Celastrus Paniculatus (Jyotishmati) is also effective in digestive disorders such as loss of appetite, constipation, abdominal distension etc.

Botanical Description

Celastrus Paniculatus is botanical name of Indian herb known as Jyotishmati and Malkangani. It belongs with bittersweet family named Celastraceae.

Common Names

Botanical NameCelastrus Paniculatus
English NameIntellect Tree, Black-Oil Plant, Climbing Staff Tree
Hindi NameKondgaidh, Malkangni, Malkangani, Sankhu
Sanskrit NameJyotishmati, Jyotishka, Katabhi, Kanguni

Botanical Classification (Plant Taxonomy)

Infra KingdomSTREPTOPHYTA  (land plants)
Super OrderRosanae
FamilyCelastraceae  – Bittersweet
SpeciesCelastrus Paniculatus or C. Paniculatus

Medicinal Parts

Celastrus Paniculatus Seeds and its oil are mainly used in ayurvedic medicines. Leaves are also used for de-addiction. Generally, leaf juice is beneficial for treating opium addiction.

Phytochemistry (Chemical Composition)

Celastrus Paniculatus Seeds contains around 30% oil content in which following alkaloids are present.


Medicinal Properties

Celastrus Paniculatus has following healing properties.

  1. Nootropic
  2. Analgesic
  3. Nervine Stimulant
  4. Antidepressant
  5. Digestive Stimulant
  6. Carminative
  7. Cardiac Stimulant
  8. Diuretic
  9. Aphrodisiac
  10. Erectogenic
  11. Antirheumatic
  12. Anti-arthritic
  13. Anti-inflammatory
  14. Antinociceptive
  15. Emmenagogue
  16. Diaphoretic (induces perspiration)
  17. Febrifuge
  18. Thermogenic (produces heat in the body)
  19. Intellect promoting
  20. Antiproliferative (appears in breast cancer)

In high dosage (more than 2 grams), Celastrus Paniculatus (Jyotishmati) seeds act as emetic and purgative. However, it is not used for these properties and may become harmful to patients. Therefore, the dosage should be selected carefully to avoid side effects like vomiting and severe diarrhea.

Celastrus Bark is abortifacient and acts as depurative (purifing blood). Tribal people also use it as brain tonic.

Leaves have more emmenagogue properties as compared to other parts if the shrub. Leaf juice is generally used for treating opium poisoning because the leaf sap acts as antidote against opium poisoning.

Ayurvedic Properties

Taste – RASAKATU (Pungent), TIKTA (Bitter)
Main Quality – GUNATIKSHNA (Sharp or acrid), SNIGADH or SNEHA (Unctuous or Oily)
Potency – VIRYAUSHNA (Hot)
Resultant – VIPAKAKATU (Pungent)
Therapeutic Effect – PRABHAVAMEDHYA (Brain Tonic or Nootropic)
DOSHA KARMA (Effect on Humors)Pacifies VATA & KAPHA and Aggravates PITTA
Dhatu (Tissue) EffectRASA, ASTHI, MAJJA
Beneficial for OrgansNerves, Joints and Bones

Celastrus Paniculatus (Malkangani) mainly works on VATA DOSHA and the secondary action is observed on KAPHA DOSHA. Primarily, it is best medicine for Vata. Therefore, Malkangani is most suitable for individuals with VATA and KAPHA dominant symptoms.

According to ayurvedic principles (based on its properties), it is contraindicated in Pitta disorders.

Therapeutic Indications

Celastrus Paniculatus (Malkangani) is helpful in following health conditions.

  • Memory Loss
  • Cognitive Problems
  • Concentration Problems
  • Rheumatic arthritis
  • Insomnia
  • Gouty Arthritis
  • Opium addiction
  • Opium Poisoning (acts as antidote)
  • Bradycardia (low heart rate)
  • Impotence
  • Facial paralysis
  • Sciatica
  • Secondary Amenorrhea

However, its use in digestive problems is uncommon, but it is also beneficial for chronic constipation, loss of appetite due to decreased secretion or production of gastric juices, intestinal gas and abdominal distension.

Celastrus Paniculatus (Malkangani) Benefits & Uses

Celastrus Paniculatus (Malkangani) Seeds are used in powder form and taken with milk. Its seeds have effects on brain, mind, nerves, joints and bones.

Improving Intellect

For improving intellect, Celastrus Paniculatus is mainly prescribed and it has memory enhancer action. It also improves concentration, alertness, and other cognitive functions. It may act on acetylcholine level in the brain, which enhances the cognition. (Ref.)

Memory loss & Dementia

Celastrus Paniculatus (Malkangani) is memory booster herb, which also improves recall powder and retention span. Generally, it used as brain tonic for increasing memory. Seeds and oil both are effective in forgetfulness and memory disorders. Malkangani should be used in dosage of 5 to 15 drops in milk. Seeds can be taken in powdered form in dosage of 1 gram with milk.

In dementia, it stops its progress by preventing cell damage in the brain. This action is likely to be attributed to its potent antioxidant effect.

According to research study, it increases glutathione and catalase levels and decreases malondialdehyde (reactive species) in the brain, which might be responsible for its antioxidant, neuroprotective and cognitive-enhancing actions. (Ref.)

Neurodegenerative Diseases

Celastrus Paniculatus might have neuroprotective effects, which might be due to its antioxidant action, which helps reducing oxidative damage of the neurons. (Ref., Ref.)

MEDHYA (Nootropic) effect of Celastrus Paniculatus is well-established in ayurveda and it is widely used for this purpose. Actually, it acts as nervine stimulant according to ayurveda. It induces alertness, improves concentration, reduces rate of cell death of neurons, improves ability of thinking and reasoning and helps tackling stress disorders.


Celastrus Paniculatus seeds have antilipidemic effects and reduces atherogenic index. Its use reduces total cholesterol and anti-inflammatory property helps reducing inflammation of blood vessels, which helps stopping or slowing down the progress of atherosclerotic lesions. (Ref.)

Fatty Liver

Celastrus Paniculatus seeds decrease fat deposition in liver. (Ref.)

This action can help treating people with fatty liver syndrome or enlarged liver.

High Cholesterol

Celastrus Paniculatus significantly lowers the elevated cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, which helps preventing cardiac diseases and atherosclerosis.


Celastrus Paniculatus (Malkangani) Seeds possess significant antinociceptive characteristic and anti-inflammatory property, which helps reducing joint inflammation and joint pain. In osteoarthritis, 1 grams seed powder is recommended and taken with cow’s milk. It has thermogenic action, which also induces heat sensation in the body, so its use is suggestible in winters. In other seasons, Safed Musli, Ashwagandha, Gokshura, Mulethi (Yashtimadhu), etc. are more advisable.


Celastrus Paniculatus (Jyotishmati) Seeds have potent aphrodisiac, erectogenic and stimulant action. For improving male performance, it should be used along with milk.


Jyotishmati (Malkangani) has anti-stress and calming effect, which helps inducing sound sleep. In ayurveda, the following Jyotishmati combination is used for insomnia.

Jyotishmati (Malkangani) Seeds25%
Misri (Crystallized Sugar)50%
½ teaspoon of Malkangani mixture should be taken with milk 2 hours before bedtime.
If problem is severe, then Sarpagandha powder can also be added in this mixture.

Opium Addiction & Opium Poisoning

Celastrus Paniculatus (Malkangani) acts as potent antidote for opium. It can help people opium addiction. It is unique ayurvedic medicine, which helps in opiate withdrawal. Well, it works well for opiate de-addiction, but you should also consider other supporting medicines according to the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. The symptoms like agitation, increased tearing, anxiety, muscle aches, sleeplessness and runny nose are well controlled with Celastrus Paniculatus. In addition to it, Vishtinduk Vati should also be given. Both medicines should be given together with cow’s ghee and milk.

For More Details, read: Ayurvedic Treatment for Opium Addiction & Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms


The roasted seeds of Malkangani (Celastrus Paniculatus) along with China rose (Japa Kusum/Chinese hibiscus/Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis) flower powder are used to promote easier menstruation and reduce menstrual cramps. It is good ayurvedic herbal remedy for primary and secondary dysmenorrhea.


Jyotishmati Oil (Celastrus Oil/Malkangani Oil) contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (thiamine). Beriberi occurs due to nutritional deficiency of Vitamin B1 (thiamine). Therefore, it is used in dosage of 15 drops thrice a day added in the milk.

Knee Pain

Jyotishmati (Malkangni) seeds are traditionally used for knee pain treatment. It reduces pain, joint crepitation (sounds in joints), inflammation and stiffness. It also improves joint movement and strengthens the joints. It is best to use during the winter season it has very hot potency.

Its optimum dosage (500 to 1000 mg twice daily) can be used during winters. It has very hot potency and one can experience excess heat sensation in the body. Its lower dosage with milk is suggestible in summers.

If you want to use it in summers, then its dosage should be reduced to 250 mg twice daily. With high dosage, some patients may experience vertigo (a reeling sensation) after taking Malkangni in summers.

Malkangani can be continued for 3 months.

Dosage & Administration

The dosage of Celastrus Paniculatus (Malkangani) seeds and oil is discussed below.


The general dosage of Celastrus Paniculatus (Malkangani or Jyotishmati) seeds is as follows.
Children10 mg per Kg weight *, but dosage of Malkangani seeds should not exceed from 500 mg
Adults500 mg to 2 grams
Maximum Possible Dosage4 grams Per Day (in divided doses)
* Twice a day with cow’s ghee and milk.
When to Take: After Food


The general dosage of Celastrus Paniculatus (Malkangani or Jyotishmati) Oil is as follows.
Children1 to 5 drops *
Adults5 to 15 drops *
Maximum Possible Dosage45 drops Per Day (in divided doses)
* Twice a day with milk.
When to Take: best use is 2 hours after food.

Safety Profile

Generally, low dosage (around 500 mg) of Celastrus Paniculatus seeds is well tolerated and likely safe in all kinds of patients. According to ayurveda, Celastrus Paniculatus (Jyotishmati or Malkangani) has very hot potency and acrid in nature, which is likely to increase Pitta in the body. Therefore, it is recommended in patients with Vata and Kapha body type or having Vata and Kapha dominant symptoms.

Side Effects

Inappropriate dosage or wrong use in Pitta dominant people of Celastrus Paniculatus seeds or oil can lead to following side effects

  1. Restlessness
  2. Giddiness
  3. Heat sensation
  4. Burning sensation
  5. Excessive sweating

Inducing perspiration or diaphoretic is its natural property, but if it accompanies with other side effects, it should be avoided.

Pregnancy & Lactation

Celastrus Paniculatus (Jyotishmati/Malkangani) can also act as abortifacient and may lead to miscarriage in pregnant women. Therefore, it is contraindicated if you are trying to conceive, during pregnancy, and postpartum period.


Celastrus Paniculatus (Jyotishmati or Malkangani) is contraindicated in following health conditions:

  1. Hyperacidity
  2. Bleeding disorders
  3. Pregnancy
  4. When you trying to conceive
  5. Postpartum period (1st month)
  6. 30 days before and after surgery
  7. Uterine heavy bleeding
  8. Heavy menstruation

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  1. Very detailed and thorough article. Best of what available on whole Internet. Thank you, Doctor. I have bought very tiny seeds of jyotishmati and oil as well, can you please tell me what numbers of seeds would constitute one gram? Can I chew seeds and drink milk (or water) or boil seeds in milk? Can I take oil with milk before sleeping or morning empty stomach is necessary for it to show effect? I want it for memory, concentration, intellect.

    1. Please measure yourself. Currently, we don’t have seeds with us. So, we will be unable to provide idea regarding how many seeds will constitute 1 gram.

      The best way to eat Jyotishmati seeds:
      1. Crush them to make powder.
      2. Mix it in cow’s ghee and take it with milk.
      In some cases, chewing seeds without mixing it in cow’s ghee may results in mouth ulcer due to its very hot potency.

      Yes, oil should always be taken after mixing it in milk. You can take it before sleeping or after dinner. It can also be taken in the morning on an empty stomach unless you don’t have any acid peptic disorder (hyperacidity, gastritis etc.). The best time to consume it is after food, which helps to lower its side effects on the digestive system.

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