Celastrus | Intellect Tree | Jyotishmati BENEFITS



      • Supports mood
    • Supports stress response

    • Supports cognitive performance


The Indian celastrus paniculatus, or "the intellect tree," is primarily used by local healers as a brain tonic.


These uses are now recognized as nootropics. Among these benefits are "...mental acuity, support of memory and intellect, retention and recalling ability, and alleviation of mental fatigue, stress..."*[1]


This plant was thought to improve people's ability to learn new information more rapidly, and to recall that information more accurately and efficiently, later on,*[1].


Cerlastrus paniculatus seeds (and its oil) are used to support cognitive functioning. Several active compounds have been detected in the seeds, including celastrine, celapanine, celapanigine, celapagin, malkangunin and paniculatine.


In experimental studies, Celastrus paniculatus extracts have shown positive effects on cognitive function and neuroprotection.*


Brain function and cognition


  • Supports memory and facilitates learning [2,5,7]

  • Counters experimentally-induced memory and learning impairments in animals [5,8–11]

  • Supports the levels of monoamine neurotransmitters (noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin) and their metabolites in the brain [2]

  • Interacts with dopamine-D2, serotonergic, GABAB, and NMDA receptors [3,4]

  • Influences brain MAO-A levels [3]

  • Influences acetylcholinesterase activity in the brain [5]

  • Supports brain content of total lipids and phospholipids [6]

  • Supports neuroprotective functions [4,11,13,14]


Mood and stress


  • Supports positive behavioral responses to stress [3,8,12]

  • Influences plasma corticosterone (stress hormone) levels [3]


Antioxidant defenses*


  • Supports antioxidant defenses [7,11,13–17]

  • Counters oxidative stress [7,11,13–17]

  • Supports free-radical-scavenging activity [14,16,18]


Other effects


  • Supports healthy immune/cytokine signaling [17,19,20]

  • Supports relief of minor physical discomfort [19,20]

  • Supports gastroprotective functions [17]

  • Supports healthy cholesterol levels [21]


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[2]K. Nalini, K.S. Karanth, A. Rao, A.R. Aroor, J. Ethnopharmacol. 47 (1995) 101–108.
[3]R. Valecha, D. Dhingra, Basic Clin Neurosci 7 (2016) 49–56.
[4]P.B. Godkar, R.K. Gordon, A. Ravindran, B.P. Doctor, J. Ethnopharmacol. 93 (2004) 213–219.
[5]M. Bhanumathy, M.S. Harish, H.N. Shivaprasad, G. Sushma, Pharm. Biol. 48 (2010) 324–327.
[6]P.P. Bidwai, D. Wangoo, N.K. Bhullar, J. Ethnopharmacol. 21 (1987) 307–314.
[7]M.H.V. Kumar, Y.K. Gupta, Phytomedicine 9 (2002) 302–311.
[8]V. Bhagya, T. Christofer, B.S. Shankaranarayana Rao, Indian J. Pharmacol. 48 (2016) 687–693.
[9]M. Gattu, K.L. Boss, A.V. Terry Jr, J.J. Buccafusco, Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 57 (1997) 793–799.
[10]S.B. Raut, R.R. Parekar, K.S. Jadhav, P.A. Marathe, N.N. Rege, Anc. Sci. Life 34 (2015) 130–133.
[11]J. Malik, M. Karan, R. Dogra, Pharm. Biol. 55 (2017) 980–990.
[12]R. Rajkumar, E.P. Kumar, S. Sudha, B. Suresh, Fitoterapia 78 (2007) 120–124.
[13]M. Chakrabarty, P. Bhat, S. Kumari, A. D’Souza, K.L. Bairy, A. Chaturvedi, A. Natarajan, M.K.G. Rao, S. Kamath, J. Pharmacol. Pharmacother. 3 (2012) 161–171.
[14]P.B. Godkar, R.K. Gordon, A. Ravindran, B.P. Doctor, Phytomedicine 13 (2006) 29–36.
[15]G. Lekha, K. Mohan, I.A. Samy, Pharmacognosy Res. 2 (2010) 169–174.
[16]P. Godkar, R.K. Gordon, A. Ravindran, B.P. Doctor, Fitoterapia 74 (2003) 658–669.
[17]S. Palle, A. Kanakalatha, C.N. Kavitha, J. Diet. Suppl. 15 (2018) 373–385.
[18]A. Russo, A.A. Izzo, V. Cardile, F. Borrelli, A. Vanella, Phytomedicine 8 (2001) 125–132.
[19]F. Ahmad, R.A. Khan, S. Rasheed, J. Ethnopharmacol. 42 (1994) 193–198.
[20]Y.A. Kulkarni, S. Agarwal, M.S. Garud, J. Ayurveda Integr. Med. 6 (2015) 82–88.
[21]R.H. Patil, K. Prakash, V.L. Maheshwari, Indian J. Clin. Biochem. 25 (2010) 405–410.