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Celastrus paniculatus belongs to the family Celastraceae. Celastrus paniculatus is a woody liana commonly known as black oil plant, climbing staff tree, and intellect tree. The plant grows throughout India at elevations up to 1800 m. The leaves are simple, broad, and oval, obovate or elliptic in shape, with toothed margins.

Listing Details

Botanical Names
Celastrus paniculatus
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Jyotishmati Bengali : Malkangani Gujarati : Malkangana, Malkankanino Hindi : Malkangni Malayalam : Palulavam Marathi : Kangani, Malkangani Kannada : Kariganne Tamil : Adibaricham, Kalambam Telugu : Gundumeda
Chemical Constituents
Major constituents of Celastrus paniculata seed oil include Fatty oil with palmitic, oleic, linoleic, and linolenic acids and their glycerol esters mainly ,- dipalmitoylglycerol. A number of sequiterpene polysters (mainly malkangunin) esterified with one or more acetic, benzoic, -furanoic and -nicotinic acids; sesquiterpene alkaloids viz., celapanin, celapanigin and celapgin; quinine- methide and phenolic triterpenoids viz., celastrol, pristimerin, zeylasterone and zeylasteral.
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs, it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying a quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content by specifying a quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the marker substances or the ‘active’ ingredient. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herb is to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E. coli which are causative agent for various gastro-intestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersensitivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
Celastrus paniculata acts as a transquilizer, sedative and anticonvulsant. Its seeds are known to possess various medicinal properties. It possess hypo lipidaemic, anti atherosclerotic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti fertility activities. C. paniculatus flowers had analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities. The Malakanguni seeds are believed to enhance the memory and learning process. Hence it is widely used in brain tonic preparations. The seeds contain fatty acids and alkaloids, and have sedative and antidepressant actions. Botanist M. Daniel states that the seeds are used to sharpen the memory, and Ayurvedic practitioners also use the seed oil as a brain tonic and as a treatment for memory loss. A scientific study has demonstrated the intellect tree's ability to improve memory loss may be due to its neuro protective actions. Oil from the seeds is used as a traditional medicine in Indian Unani and Ayurvedic medicine. The seed oil obtained from Celastrus paniculatus has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of several complaints including intestinal disorders.
Health Benefits
Celastrus paniculatus is generally known as Malkanguni or Jyotismati in India. It is a shrub widely used in Ayurdevic medicine in India. Various properties are attributed to the aerial parts of the plant, but seeds of Malkanguni and seed oil are more generally used in Indian system of medicine as found to be more beneficial as compared with the other parts. Celastrus paniculatus seeds and oil have long been regarded in India as beneficial to the intellect and memory. The seeds are hot, bitter, dry, and acrid in taste. It is said to cure joint pain, rheumatism, and weakness. The seed oil enriches the blood, cures abdominal complaints, stomachic, tonic, treats cough, asthma, leprosy, headaches, leucoderma. Aqueous extracts of Celastrus paniculatus seed have been reported to improve learning and memory in rats. In addition, these extracts were shown to have antioxidant properties, augmented endogenous antioxidant enzymes, and decreased lipid peroxidation in rat brain.
Research References
• Pubmed, a well known site has listed important studies going on around the world in various universities. These include….. The experimental administration of Celastrus paniculata in mental deficiency practice.(MORRIS JV, MACGILLIVRAY RC, MATHIESON CM.Am J Ment Defic. 1954 Oct; 59(2):235-44. No abstract available. PMID: 13197436). Celastrus paniculata in mental deficiency: a pilot experiment.MORRIS JV, MACGILLIVRAY RC, MATHIESON CM.J Ment Sci. 1953 Jan;99(414):158-61. No abstract available. PMID: 13023381. A note on the chemical investigation of the fruits of Celastrus paniculata, Willd. (n.o.Celastraceae).(SHAH MM, PHALNIKAR NL, BHIDE BV.Curr Sci. 1947 Feb;16(2):57. No abstract available. PMID: 20243382). 1. Indian Herbal Pharmacopoeia (Revised New Edition 2002). 2. Standardization of Botanicals, Volume 2- By Dr. V. Rajpal. 3.