JYOTISHMATI – Celastrus paniculatus – Ayurvedic Herb







‘Katabha’ stems are mentioned among the ritual items in the vedic literature (A.Pa.26/5/1-5). But its identity with Jyotishmati is doubtful. Charaka quoted it among shirovirechana dravyas.  Jyotishmati is considered as Medhya rasayana as well Sushrutha and Charaka indicated Jyotishmati taila for unmade and apasmara. Among the adhobhagahara dravyas, latex of   Jyotishmati is used as a purgative agent. Vagbhata emphasized the utility of Jyotishmati in the management of sidhma, kustha and bhagandara. Dalhana considered it as kakamardanika which possess round and red seeds yielding yellow oil.



  1. Jyotishmati /jyotishka: because of medhya property, stalk bears white spots.
  2. Kakandaki: fruit is similar to crow’s egg.
  3. Peeta taila: extract of yellow oil
  4.  Vega: grows very fast
  5. Paravathapadha: plants having white/grey spot which resembles the foot of a pigeon.
  6. Kanguni: seeds resemble that of a variety of dhanya called kanguni. Dhanya which enhances agni and intellect.
  7. Katvika: katu rasayukta
  8. Deeptha: agni deepaka
  9. Jyotishlatha: improves intellect
  10. Agnimasha: agni deepaka
  11. Swarnalatha: flowers are yellow in colour
  12. Saraswathi: gives intellect
  13. Vrusha:
  14. Matida: it causes necrosis
  15. Medhya: promotes intellect
  16. Kshipra
  17. Thejasvini: promotes intellect
  18. Panya: they are articles of trade
  19. Latha: it is a climber
  20. Lavana: alleviate many disorders
  21. Sukshamaphala: fruits are small
  22. Spudatwacha: causes blebs on the skin or broken skin
  23. Durjara: prevents senility
  24. Durmada: it causes necrosis
  25. Agnibha: flowers are yellow




Sanskrit                    : Jyotishmati

English                     : climbing staff plant, staff tree

Hindi                         : Malkangni, Malkunki

Malayalam                : Cherrupunnari, Paluruvam, Vzhinja

Kannada                   : Kariganne, Malkangni

Local                          : Kaunya, Malkangni

Tamil                         : Valuluvai

Telugu                       : Malkangni, Peddamaveru





Susruta used the term ‘Alavana’ twice in his work (su.su.38/14 & ci.17/34). Both Dha.Ni & Ra.Ni have given it as the synonym for Jyotishmati while Kai.Ni mentioned it as Salavana. Bapalaji did not accept the concept and equated ‘Alavana’ as Haritaki. Kaviraj Vinodalal Sen described another synonym ‘Rakta Phana/ Raktaphala’. The kavirajs of Bengal believe Cardiospermum helicacabum Linn.as Jyotishmati which is considered as Kakadani by Thakurji. Bapalal Vaidya concluded that :

  1. Kakamardanika – Cardiospermum helicacabum Linn.
  2. Jyotishmati – Celastrus paniculatus.
  3. Tejovati – Zanthoxylum budrunga wall.




  1. Seeds
  2. Bark
  3. Leaves
  4. Roots
  5. Taila




Seeds contain 62.2% oil which is thick, reddish yellow coloured, bitter and having smell. Besides it also contains bitter resin, 5% salts.

Oil is extracted by 2 methods:

1)    In oil mills by crushing seeds- oil is yellow in colour.

2)    Patala yantra- oil is blackish in colour and contains kriosotes. Application of heat in this process could be responsible for the black colour. It contains paniculatine, celestrol, celestrine, tannin, other alkaloids.

Root, bark and stem- pristimerin

Seeds-celapagine, celapanigine, celapanine, celastrol, celastrine, paniculatine, malkanguinol, malkangunin, paniculatadiol, β-amyrin, β-sitosterol, acetic, benzoic, formic, linoleic acids etc.




Rasa                      : Katu, tikta

Guna                      :Teekshana, ruksha,sara, snigdha

Veerya                  :Atyushna

Vipaka                  : Katu

Doshagnatha     :Kkapha-vata shamaka

Prabhava           : Medhya






  • Medhya
  • Madipratha
  • Deepana
  • Vatanulomana
  • Vamaka
  • Mridhurechaka
  • Shirovirechana
  • Hridaya uttejaka
  • Vajeekarana
  • Aarthava janana
  • Kushtagna
  • Shothahara
  • Mootrala
  • Vedanasthapana
  • Jwaragna
  • Buddhivardhaka
  • Smrtivardhaka
  • Svasagna
  • Kaphagna



  • Masthishka daurbalya
  • Vatavyadhi
  • Agnimandhya
  • Aruchi
  • Vibhandha
  • Shiroroga
  • Vedanayukta vatavyadhi
  • Hridaya avasadha
  • Klybya
  • Kashtarthava
  • Kushta
  • Shotha
  • Mutra krucchra
  • Jwara
  • Udara
  • Gulma




Seeds are considered as alterative, anti-rheumatic, aphrodisiac, emetic, laxative and nervine tonic and decoction of them is given in gout leprosy and paralysis. The oil obtained from its seeds are rubifacient and stimulant and is considered effective in beriberi and oedema and also used to improve memory. In the doses of one or two drugs, internally it is used for pneumonia in children and externally in scabies. The bark of plant is used as abortifacient and its roots and leaves as a poultice in headache. Besides, the seeds are crushed and are used to treat ulcers and leucoderma.



  • Beeja kashaya or beeja taila given internally by adding aromatic drugs like lavanga,ela etc which acts as stimulant and believed to promote intelligence.
  • In udara roga, Jyotishmati oil with sarjakshara, hingu with ksheera given internally.(su.ci.14)
  • In anarthava, Jyotishmati leaves boiled with kanji given internally.(C.D)
  • In sannipadhodara, Jyotishmati taila given internally along with cow’s milk.(vangasen)
  • In shirovirechana, Jyotishmati taila is used.
  • Used in unmada and apasmara.(charaka and susrutha)
  • Artava ksaya, consumption of Jyotishmati leaves (fried) along with japa flowers and kanjika relieves amenorrhoea.(C.D)
  • Sidhma, Jyotishmati oil processed with apamarga ksara jala for 7 times may be applied locally.(A.H.Ci.19)



i.            The oil obtained from the seeds of the plant produced sedation in rats in a dose of 1g/kg i.m. on i.p administration,the same dose of oil produced sedation but the effect was not so marked. The oil showed anti-convulsant activity in rats. 50-100mg/kg of oil (as emulsion) produced gradual fall in B.P of cats. 20mg/kg of oil produced fall in cardiac output, bradycardia and marked increase in pulse pressure on isolated heart lung preparation (Gaitonde 1957).

ii.            An active fraction (Mal 3rd A) had a tranquillizing effect in rats, mice, monkeys and cats in a dose of 200 mg/kg. It potentiated the effect of hexabarbitone and produced hypothermia in mice. Diminution of carotid occlusion reflex and hypotension was observed in anaesthetized cats. Fraction Mal 3rd and Mal 3rd/B produced salivation, vomiting, defecation and tremors in cats and dogs.(sheth 1963).

iii.            A polyster prepared from oil also decreased amphetamine – induced hyperactivity and group toxicity in albino rats (Joglekar and Belwani, 1967).

iv.            Aerial parts of the plant were found to possess anti-viral activity against Ranikhet diseases virus (Bhakuni 1969).

v.            Root bark chloroform extract showed significant anti-malarial activity against Plasmodium falciparum invitro (phytotherapy res.1989).

vi.            Methanolic extract of Celastrus paniculatus shoed analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities (Ahmed 1994).

  1. Its anti-spermatogenic effect is also reported (Wangoo 1988 and Bidwai 1990).




Seed                          :5-15

Oil                             :5-15 drops

Seed powder            :1-2g

Used for vamana    :2-4g




If it is given in higher doses, it may cause:

  • Vamana
  • Virechana


Godugdha/ Gogritha given internally.



  • Lavanga taila



Jyotishmati is confounded with the seeds of Cardiospermum helicacabum Linn. (Sapindaceae) in west Bengal and other parts of eastern India. The seeds of this plant are broadly flattened and heart shaped.The market samples are sometimes found adulterated with the fruits of Duranta species (Verbeneceae). The seeds in this case are ovalate and the arillus is absent.




Jyotishmati taila

Smrtisagara rasa

Jyotishmati Choorna



Celastrus paniculatus is an important ayurvedic medicinal plant gaining popularity in the primary healthcare systems and in herbal drug formulations. Its seed oil is reported to be beneficial in stimulating intellect and sharpening the memory. It has also been reported as nervine tonic, rejuvenant, anti-depressant, anti-oxidant, free radical scavenger,etc. over exploitation of the plant has put this species in endangered category. Work was initiated on its cultivation and the results obtained are presented in paper. Maximum seed germination of 74.75% was achieved after Gibberellic acid treatment (350mg/l) and survival rate of seedlings was 73-72%. Plants rose from seeds flowered and set fruits in the 3rd year. The cytological study confirmed chromosome number of species as 2n=46.

Meiotic studies revealed regular formation of 23 bivalents per PMC. The species however, exhibited seed shattering character. Chemical analysis of seeds of 6 accessions raised at experimental farm was also done to compare percentage of oil yield and other properties of wild and cultivated samples. The seeds on solvent extraction yield 55% thick, pinkish red coloured and faintly aromatic oil. The cultivation practices, procedure developed will serve as a reliable and reproducible protocol for cultivation of this species.


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