Celastrus Paniculatus Seed Extract

Celastrus paniculatus is an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine with nootropic and neuroprotective effects. It contains several bioactive compounds including sesquiterpenes such as celastrine, celapanine, celapanigine, celapagin, malkangunin and paniculatine. Celastrus paniculatus has been shown to enhance cognitive function by improving memory and learning, and to protect the brain from oxidative damage and neurotoxicity. Anxiolytic, antidepressant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects have also been described.

Scientific Name:
Celastrus paniculatus Willd


  • Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase activity in the brain. [1]
  • Reduces the concentration of monoamine neurotransmitters (noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin) and their metabolites in the brain - decrease in the turnover of central monoamines. [2]
  • Increases brain content of total lipids and phospholipids, possibly due to increased myelination. [19]
  • Decreases the brain levels of malondialdehyde (measure of lipid peroxidation and free radical generation), increases the levels of the antioxidant molecules glutathione and catalase, and superoxide dismutase. [3,10,18]
  • Free-radical-scavenging activity: superoxide anion, hydroxyl radical, DPPH (stable radical); reduces H2O2-induced cytotoxicity and DNA damage. [12,13]
  • Protects neurons against glutamate-induced toxicity, possibly through modulation of NMDA receptor activity. [9,10]
  • Antidepressant-like activity probably by interaction with dopamine-D2, serotonergic, and GABAB receptors, MAO-A inhibition and reduction in plasma corticosterone levels. [15]

Other effects

  • Hypocholesterolemic and hypolipidemic effect. [20]
  • Gastroprotective activity. [18]
  • Intestinal relaxant effect in vitro. [21,23]
  • Anti-fungal[25] and anti-bacterial activity in vitro. [25-27]

Additional Information:


  1. Bhanumathy M, Harish MS, Shivaprasad HN, Sushma G. Nootropic activity of Celastrus paniculatus seed. Pharm Biol. 2010;48(3):324-327. doi:10.3109/13880200903127391.
  2. Nalini K, Karanth KS, Rao A, Aroor AR. Effects of Celastrus paniculatus on passive avoidance performance and biogenic amine turnover in albino rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 1995;47(2):101-108. doi:10.1016/0378-8741(95)01264-E.
  3. Kumar MH V, Gupta YK. Antioxidant property of Celastrus paniculatus willd.: a possible mechanism in enhancing cognition. Phytomedicine. 2002;9(4):302-311. doi:10.1078/0944-7113-00136.
  4. Bhagya V, Christofer T, Shankaranarayana Rao BS. Neuroprotective effect of Celastrus paniculatus on chronic stress-induced cognitive impairment. Indian J Pharmacol. 48(6):687-693. doi:10.4103/0253-7613.194853.
  5. Gattu M, Boss KL, Terry A V, Buccafusco JJ. Reversal of scopolamine-induced deficits in navigational memory performance by the seed oil of Celastrus paniculatus. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1997;57(4):793-799. doi:10.1016/S0091-3057(96)00391-7.
  6. Raut SB, Parekar RR, Jadhav KS, Marathe PA, Rege NN. Effect of Jyotiṣmatī seed oil on spatial and fear memory using scopolamine induced amnesia in mice. Anc Sci Life. 34(3):130-133. doi:10.4103/0257-7941.157149.
  7. Chakrabarty M, Bhat P, Kumari S, et al. Cortico-hippocampal salvage in chronic aluminium induced neurodegeneration by Celastrus paniculatus seed oil: Neurobehavioural, biochemical, histological study. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2012;3(2):161-171. doi:10.4103/0976-500X.95520.
  8. Malik J, Karan M, Dogra R. Ameliorating effect of Celastrus paniculatus standardized extract and its fractions on 3-nitropropionic acid induced neuronal damage in rats: possible antioxidant mechanism. Pharm Biol. 2017;55(1):980-990. doi:10.1080/13880209.2017.1285945.
  9. Godkar PB, Gordon RK, Ravindran A, Doctor BP. Celastrus paniculatus seed water soluble extracts protect against glutamate toxicity in neuronal cultures from rat forebrain. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004;93(2-3):213-219. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2004.03.051.
  10. Godkar PB, Gordon RK, Ravindran A, Doctor BP. Celastrus paniculatus seed oil and organic extracts attenuate hydrogen peroxide- and glutamate-induced injury in embryonic rat forebrain neuronal cells. Phytomedicine. 2006;13(1-2):29-36. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2003.11.011.
  11. Lekha G, Mohan K, Samy IA. Effect of Celastrus paniculatus seed oil (Jyothismati oil) on acute and chronic immobilization stress induced in swiss albino mice. Pharmacognosy Res. 2010;2(3):169-174. doi:10.4103/0974-8490.65512.
  12. Godkar P, Gordon RK, Ravindran A, Doctor BP. Celastrus paniculatus seed water soluble extracts protect cultured rat forebrain neuronal cells from hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative injury. Fitoterapia. 2003;74(7-8):658-669. doi:10.1016/S0367-326X(03)00190-4.
  13. Russo A, Izzo AA, Cardile V, Borrelli F, Vanella A. Indian medicinal plants as antiradicals and DNA cleavage protectors. Phytomedicine. 2001;8(2):125-132. doi:10.1078/0944-7113-00021.
  14. Rajkumar R, Kumar EP, Sudha S, Suresh B. Evaluation of anxiolytic potential of Celastrus oil in rat models of behaviour. Fitoterapia. 2007;78(2):120-124. doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2006.09.028.
  15. Valecha R, Dhingra D. Behavioral and Biochemical Evidences for Antidepressant-Like Activity of Celastrus Paniculatus Seed Oil in Mice. Basic Clin Neurosci. 2016;7(1):49-56. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27303599.
  16. Ahmad F, Khan RA, Rasheed S. Preliminary screening of methanolic extracts of Celastrus paniculatus and Tecomella undulata for analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities. J Ethnopharmacol. 1994;42(3):193-198. doi:10.1016/0378-8741(94)90085-X.
  17. Kulkarni YA, Agarwal S, Garud MS. Effect of Jyotishmati (Celastrus paniculatus) seeds in animal models of pain and inflammation. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2015;6(2):82-88. doi:10.4103/0975-9476.146540.
  18. Palle S, Kanakalatha A, Kavitha CN. Gastroprotective and Antiulcer Effects of Celastrus paniculatus Seed Oil Against Several Gastric Ulcer Models in Rats. J Diet Suppl. August 2017:1-13. doi:10.1080/19390211.2017.1349231.
  19. Bidwai PP, Wangoo D, Bhullar NK. Effect of Celastrus paniculatus seed extract on the brain of albino rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 1987;21(3):307-314. doi:10.1016/0378-8741(87)90106-1.
  20. Patil RH, Prakash K, Maheshwari VL. Hypolipidemic Effect of Celastrus paniculatus in Experimentally Induced Hypercholesterolemic Wistar Rats. Indian J Clin Biochem. 2010;25(4):405-410. doi:10.1007/s12291-010-0050-x.
  21. Borrelli F, Borbone N, Capasso R, et al. New sesquiterpenes with intestinal relaxant effect from Celastrus paniculatus. Planta Med. 2004;70(7):652-656. doi:10.1055/s-2004-827190.
  22. Borbone N, Borrelli F, Montesano D, et al. Identification of a new sesquiterpene polyol ester from Celastrus paniculatus. Planta Med. 2007;73(8):792-794. doi:10.1055/s-2007-981543.
  23. Borrelli F, Borbone N, Capasso R, et al. Potent relaxant effect of a Celastrus paniculatus extract in the rat and human ileum. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009;122(3):434-438. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2009.02.003.
  24. Vonshak A, Barazani O, Sathiyamoorthy P, Shalev R, Vardy D, Golan-Goldhirsh A. Screening South Indian medicinal plants for antifungal activity against cutaneous pathogens. Phytother Res. 2003;17(9):1123-1125. doi:10.1002/ptr.1399.
  25. Panda SK, Mohanta YK, Padhi L, Park Y-H, Mohanta TK, Bae H. Large Scale Screening of Ethnomedicinal Plants for Identification of Potential Antibacterial Compounds. Molecules. 2016;21(3):293. doi:10.3390/molecules21030293.
  26. Jyothi KS, Seshagiri M. In-vitro activity of saponins of bauhinia purpurea, madhuca longifolia, celastrus paniculatus and semecarpus anacardium on selected oral pathogens. J Dent (Tehran). 2012;9(4):216-223. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23323183.
  27. Sankar Ganesh P, Ravishankar Rai V. Attenuation of quorum-sensing-dependent virulence factors and biofilm formation by medicinal plants against antibiotic resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa. J Tradit Complement Med. 2018;8(1):170-177. doi:10.1016/j.jtcme.2017.05.008.