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Jyotishmati / Staff tree (Celastrus Paniculatus)- Ayurvedic Properties, Effects On Doshas & Dosage


Ayurvedic medicine is a traditional system of medicine that is basically derived from India and then spread to other parts of the world. Its treatment options are different and consist of various methods like medicinal use internally and panchakarma procedures that help to detoxify and purify the body. Herbal manufactured medicines are also as potent as pharmaceutical drugs but if taken as advice or guidance of a good ayurvedic physician. Jyotishmati has various health benefits that we are going to discuss below in this Article writing.

Jyotishmati, Staff tree, Celastrus Paniculatus

General Information

Herbal medicinal plants play a major role in the traditional system of treatment which is used in various pathologies like Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha, with the lesser or minimal adverse effects of herbal medicines. This herb belongs to the medhya group that helps to enhance memory power and deals with various mental disorders, and various vata vyadhis like Pakshaghat, Katishul, Sandhivat, Gulma, Medhya, and Rasayana and is mainly used in the treatment of Mastishka daurbalya. Its leaves have strong wound healing activity and may reduce inflammation and reduce pain. It has a vata balancing property, helps in enhancing memory, managing pain and swelling due to osteoarthritis, Carminative, Aphrodisiac, Antidepressant, Emmenagogue, Antiproliferative in nature, etc.

Special Note About This Plant

Celastrus paniculatus belonging to the family Celastraceae, commonly known as Jyotishmati or Malkangani. This herb is very useful in some conditions like a fistula or various vataj disorders and in many more diseases. This herb’s seed is used with butter for promoting mental health, treating nervous health, and improving intelligence power. It also helps in managing headaches, severe depression, and excessive sleepiness with its popular medicinal properties. Malkangani also helps to treat premature greying of hair. Intellect tree, staff tree, or black oil plant are the other names of this herbal medicine.

Systemic Classification

  • Botanical Name - Celastrus paniculatus
  • Family - Celastraceae
  • Genus - Celastrus
  • Species - C. Paniculatus

Ancient Verses

Shloka - 1

पक्वरक्तफला गुच्छा पीततैला च वर्त्तुल।
पंक्तिपत्रा रक्तबीजाऽणुपुष्पा वनजा स्मृता।।

Reference - Shivdutta nighantu

Interpretation of Shloka - Its ripened fruit is red in color, found in bunches, yellow colored base, and is oval in shape, aligned leaves, seeds are of red color and consisting of tiny flowers that help to increase the memory power.

Shloka - 2

ज्योतिष्मती कटुस्तिक्ता सरा कफसमीरजित्।
अत्युष्णा वामनी तीक्ष्णा वन्हिबुद्धिमतिप्रदा।।

Reference - Bhavprakash

Interpretation of Shloka - Jyotishmati is Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter), and is said to be good for the pacification of Kapha and Vata dosha. Its hot potency is helpful in assisting the Vaman (medicated vomiting), and sharpness, as well as is good for increasing the digestive fire, memory power, and retention capacity.

Shloka - 3

कटु ज्योतिष्मतीतैलं तिक्तोष्णं वातनाशनम्।
पित्तसन्तापनं मेधाप्रज्ञाबुद्धिविवर्धनम्।।

Reference - Raj Nighantu

Interpretation of Shloka - The oil of Jyotishmati is Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter), and is said to be good for the pacification of Vata dosha. It is used for the elimination of pitta dosha plus is good for enhancing memory power, and thinking capacity effectively.


  • Jyotishmati - this is medhya, hot in potency and is filled with small spots on the stem.
  • Paravatpadi - who have climbers like pigeons.
  • Kakhandaki - this is similar to the eggs of a crow.
  • Kangunnika - this is similar to the kangani grass.
  • Peet tail - this is compiled with yellow-colored oil.
  • Katveeka - consisting of katu rasa which means pungent in taste.
  • Vega - this grows rapidly and is used as an aphrodisiac.

Other Vernacular Names

  • In Hindi - Malkangni
  • In Malyalam - malkangonni
  • In Gujarati - Malkangnni
  • In English - Intellect tree, staff tree, or black oil plant


  • This is a deciduous vine plant with stems growing up to 6mtrs long and 10 cm in diameter.
  • Its bark is brown exfoliating in colour with small, elongated lenticels.
  • Leaves are simple, broad or oval or elliptic in shape with large-toothed margins. These are 2.5 to 5 inches long and are 1.50 to 2.50 inches broad in diameter.
  • Its flowers are yellow in colour and have a sweet fragrance and are found in clusters, especially in the summer season.
  • Its fruits are pea in shape, with yellow colour, and are divided into various parts.
  • Flowers usually bloom from April to June and its fruit season is October to January.
  • It grows all over India, especially in Punjab, and Kashmir, and is usually grown at the elevation of 3000 feet from sea level. And in Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and the Philippines all over the world.
  • Seeds consisting of 30 to 40 percent of alkaloids are present such as Celapanin, Calapagin, Paniculatine, Celastrine and many more.

Classical Categorization

  • By Acharya Charak this herbal plant is categorised under the shirovirechnaeeya mahakashaya.
  • By Acharya Sushrut Jyotishmati is compiled under the adhobhaghara and shirovirechana Varga.
  • Acharya Vagbhata has mentioned it in Arkadi gana.
  • Bhavprakash nighantu and Raj nighantu have also put their eye on this herb and mentioned its benefits in their respective textbooks.

Ayurvedic Properties

  • Rasa (Taste) - Tikta (Bitter), katu (Pungent).
  • Guna (Quality) - Tikshana (sharp)
  • Veerya (Potency) - Ushna (Hot)
  • Vipaka (Post digestive effect) - katu (Pungent).
  • Karma (Action) - Balances the Vata and Kapha dosha and is medhya in nature.
  • Projyang (Part used) - Its seeds and the oil of this plant are used.

Effects On Doshas

This herb helps to balance the Vata and Kapha dosha and is medhya in nature.

Its moist properties and ushna potency is used to pacify the Vata dosha and its katu and tikta rasa with hot potency will help in Kapha pacification.

This is Sara which means relieving constipation, Vranahara which helps in quick wound healing, panduhra which means it is effective in relieving Anaemia and it is Visarpahara which means useful in eradicating the herpes virus.

Practical Uses

  • This herb balances Vata and Kapha dosha so is beneficial in Vataj disorders.
  • This herb helps to relieve the symptom of Rheumatoid Arthritis and helps in improving memory power.
  • It works as a diaphoretic, rubefacient, immune booster, nourishes the nervous system, and works as a stimulant.
  • Its seed decoction can be very helpful in managing arthritis.
  • It is also used in healing chronic ulcers, when its paste is applied on the ends of ulcers it helps them to rejuvenate and starts to heal them effectively.
  • Its oil is added to a cup of milk and given to the children to improve their intellect power and memory retention.
  • Its leaves paste is helpful in swelling and muscular pain in the body which helps in reducing the pain.


  • Powder of seeds can be taken in 1-2 grams of doses.
  • Jyotishmati oil can be used in up to 5 to 15 drops.

Ayurvedic Products from Jyotishmati

  • Jyotishmati Tail
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Author Bio:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor - Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan

Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan


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Reviewed By:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan


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