Medicinal Use Of Malkangani Or Celastrus Paniculatus

Malkangani seeds are strong antioxidant, aphrodisiac, stimulant, digestive, cardio and brain tonic. Since these seeds are thermogenic they should not be taken in high doses. The oil extracted from seeds is bitter, thermogenic and improves memory. It is found highly beneficial in stimulating intellect and sharpening the memory. Jyotishmati oil is nervine tonic, rejuvenator and an anti-depressant. Since Oil is a powerful stimulant for neuromuscular system it is used for the treatment of rheumatism, gout and paralysis. Malkangani is strong stimulant for neuro-muscular system.

Malkangni, Jyotishmati or Celastrus is a medicinal climbing vine which is found almost throughout India up to altitude of 1800 meters. This herb is used in Ayurveda for thousands of years to treat brain related disorders and improving intellect.

General Information


Malkangni, Kangani, Jyotishmati, Sphutabandhani, Svarnalota, Black-Oil tree, Intellect tree, Climbing-staff plan are few common names of plant Celastrus paniculatus. In Ayurveda, the seeds and the seeds oil are mainly used for medicinal purpose.

The seeds are present in globose, yellow, transversely wrinkled depressed, tri-lobed, bright yellow colored capsules or seed pod. There are about 3-6 seeds in one capsule. The seeds are small and oval shaped. Initially the seeds are red and gradually turns deep red colour. The seeds are used to treat cough, and as a brain and liver tonic.

The seeds contain as much as 52% oil by weight. The seeds are cold pressed to get the oil which is known as Jyotishmati oil and used medicinally. It is stomachic, tonic, good for cough and asthma and used in leprosy, cures headache, leukoderma and improves intellect.

Scientific Classification

The botanical name of Malkangani is Celastrus paniculatus Willd. It belongs to plant family Celastraceae. Below is given taxonomical classification of plant.

  • Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
  • Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
  • Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
  • Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
  • Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
  • Subclass: Rosidae
  • Order: Celastrales
  • Family: Celastraceae – Bittersweet family
  • Genus: Celastrus L. – bittersweet
  • Species: Celastrus paniculatus Willd. – Oriental bittersweet

Status: endangered medicinal plant

Part(s) used for medicinal purpose: Stembark, Seed, Leaf, Oil

Plant type: Vine

Distribution: native to the India, also found in Australia, China, Taiwan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri-Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam

Habitat: hardy plant grows in a wide variety ofclimates and environments.

Month of Collection: May

Group: Dicot

Duration: Perennial

Unani Properties: Mizaj (Temperament): Hot2 Dry2

Vernacular Names/Synonyms

  1. Botanical name: Celastrus paniculatus
  2. Ayurvedic: Jyotishmati, Paravatpadi, Kangunika, Kanguni, Vega, Maalkanguni, Svarnalatika, Kaakandaki, Katuveka
  3. Unani: Malkanghi
  4. Siddha: Vaaluluvai
  5. Hindi name: Malkangani, Malkangni
  6. English: Celastrus, Staff Tree, Black Oil Plant, Climbing Staff Tree, Intellect Tree
  7. Assamese: Kapalphotla
  8. Bengali: Kijri, Malkangani
  9. Gujrati: Malkangana
  10. Marathi: Kanguni
  11. Malayalam: Polulavam
  12. Oriya: Korsana, Pengu
  13. Kannada: Kariganne
  14. Tamil: Valuluvai, Kuvarikuntal
  15. Telugu: Kasara­Tige, Malkangani, Peddamaveru


Malkangunin, celapanin, celapanigin, celapagin, pristimerin, zeylasterone & zeylasteral, fatty oil with palmitic, oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids.

Dosage of Seed powder and oil

  1. The recommended dosage of the freshly powdered seed is 1-3 grams twice or thrice daily. The seeds can be chewed daily in amount of 10-12 seeds to up to 100 a day without any harmful effect.
  2. The oil is taken in dose of 5-15 drops.
  3. The fresh oil is applied locally for joint pain whereas the older oil is used to treat paralysis and for muscle tone up.

Jyotishmati Oil

Jyotishmati Oil is obtained by cold pressing the seeds of Jyotishmati or Malkangni. It contains many important constituents including protein, carbohydrate, Saturated fats (0.022 of 1%), Polyunsaturated fats (0.035 of 1%), Monounsaturated fats (0.032 of 1%), Iron and Vitamin C.

Benefits of Jyotishmati Oil

  1. It is a brain tonic.
  2. It promotes intellect, sharpen memory and helps better learning.
  3. It improves intelligence quotient of mentally retarded people.
  4. It is a powerful stimulant.
  5. It improves overall health.
  6. The seed oil is effective in sciatica, lumbago, paralysis, arthritis and in facial palsy for massage.
  7. Jyotishmati Oil is safe to use. The scientific study done to known the adverse effects of this oil showed it does not produce any toxic effect even at highest dose of 5 g/kg.

Ayurvedic Properties and Action of seeds

Malkangnai seeds are bitter, acrid, drying and hot in potency. They are used in treatment of rheumatism, leprosy, gout, various fever and paralysis.

  • Rasa (taste on tongue): Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter)
  • Guna (Pharmacological Action): Tikshna (Sharp), Ushna (Hot), Sara (Unsatble)
  • Virya: Ushna (Heating), Snigdha (Oleation), Ruksha (Roughing, Healing)
  • Vipaka (transformed state after digestion): Katu (Pungent)
  • Action: Medya / good for intelligence, Shirovirechanopaga, Dipan, Kaphahar / balances Kapha, Vamak, Vatahar / balances Vata dosha, Virechak / laxative

Important Ayurvedic formulation containing Jyotishmati or Malkangani

  1. Jyotishmati Taila
  2. Smritisagara Rasa
  3. Chitrak Haritaki

Important Therapeutic Uses of Malkangani

The main Ayurvedic use of Jyotishmati is to improve intelligence, memory, and to treat diseases caused due to vitiation of Vata and leucoderma.

Important Medicinal Properties

Malkangni is rich in medicinal properties. The understanding of these properties will help us to better utilize this herb. These also indicate the conditions in which we should avoid it. For example, it has abortifacient action. The seeds are bitter, laxative, emetic, alterative, stimulant, aphrodisiac and oil is stimulant and rubefacient.

Below is given medicinal properties along with the meaning.

  1. Abortifacient: induces abortion.
  2. Antioxidant: neutralize the oxidant effect of free radicals and other substances.
  3. Anticonvulsant: prevent or reduce the severity of epileptic fits or other convulsions.
  4. Analgesic: relieve pain.
  5. Anti-inflammatory: Reducing inflammation by acting on body mechanisms.
  6. Antirheumatic: alleviating or preventing rheumatism.
  7. Antibacterial: active against bacteria.
  8. Anti-fungal: active against fungus.
  9. Antimalarial: active against malaria.
  10. Antidote: opium
  11. Anti-fertility / antispermatogenic: reduces fertility, prevents spermatogenesis.
  12. Antistress: reduces stress.
  13. Aphrodisiac: stimulates sexual desire.
  14. Carminative: Preventing the formation or causing the expulsion of flatulence.
  15. Diuretic: causing increased passing of urine.
  16. Emetic: causes vomiting.
  17. Emmenagogue: stimulates or increases menstrual flow.
  18. Hypolipidemic: lowers lipid level in blood.
  19. Nootropic: enhance memory or other cognitive functions.
  20. Wound healing: fasten healing of wounds.

Heath Benefits of Malkangani or Jyotishmati

  1. It enhances cognition, learning, concentration and memory performance. The seeds and seed oil both are nervine and brain tonic.
  2. It is thermogenic and given internally to treat swelling.
  3. It has sedative, anti-stress and tranquilizing effect and helps to induce good sleep.
  4. It is rich in vitamin b and cures beriberi.
  5. Due to richness in vitamin B, it helps to prevent horrible dreams / nightmares.
  6. It is good for liver and helps in fatty liver.
  7. It improves sexual desire, and performance in males.
  8. Massage with Malkangni oil is effective in arthritis, muscular, joint problems, hemiplegia, ulcers, skin diseases, neurological diseases and piles.

Medicinal Uses of Malkangani

Jyotishmati is used in Ayurveda to treat brain related disorders and improving intellect and memory. It helps to induce good sleep. Malkangani is hot in potency and used to treat cough, swelling and pain in body. Its use reduces stress and depression.

  • The decoction of seeds is used to detoxify body and cleansing of blood. The leaves of plant stimulates blood flow in pelvic. They are used as antidote for opium poisoning.
  • Malkangni is especially useful in Vata and Kapha disorders.
  • Here are some medicinal use of Jyotishmati

Improving memory, intellect, concentration

  1. Take Celastrus seeds (1­3) and eat empty stomach in morning. Do it regularly.
  2. Or add Malkangni oil (2­4 drops) in milk and drink empty stomach in the morning. Do it regularly.

Weakness, Migraine, Epilepsy

Chew Malkangni seeds (2­3) empty stomach in morning and drink water.

Body pain

  1. Mix almond oil and Malkangni oil and massage on affected area. This oil can also be used to massage babies.
  2. Malkangni oil can be used to massage joints.

Insomnia, stress, strain

Massage scalp with Malkangni oil. This improves blood circulation and gives relief in headache, stress and anxiety.


  1. Take Malkangni seeds (2­3) twice a day with lukewarm water or milk.
  2. Or add its oil in milk and drink.
  3. Malkangni oil can be used to massage joints.

Skin disease, Rheumatism

Malkagni seeds + Ratanjot seeds + Eranda leaves + Harsingar leaves + Nirgundi leaves + Jangali lahsun (Allium porum) are taken and decoction is prepared by boiling in one liter water till water reduces to one-fourth. This is filtered and applied externally on skin diseases and joint pain for half month.

Contraindications, Interactions, and Side Effects

  1. It is hot in potency.
  2. It should not be taken in Pitta disorders.
  3. It should be avoided in conditions that are caused due to vitiation of Pitta Dosha such as bleeding disorders, acidity etc.
  4. It has Emmenagogue action and can cause miscarriage / abortion.
  5. Take in recommended dosage.
  6. In excess dose, it may cause vomiting, diarrhea and skin rashes.
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