Malkangani: The Super-Powerful Brain Tonic: Uses, Benefits & Side-Effects


Like many Ayurvedic herbs, Malkangani (Hindi name) has many names and forms – with Celastrus Paniculatus (Botanical name), Intellect Tree/Climbing Staff Tree (English name) and Jyotishmati (Sanskrit name) being the most common ones.

This climber shrub is typically found in India, mainly in Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, and Kashmir. Generally, Malkagini’s seeds and oil are used for a variety of health and wellness benefits. In terms of the physical characteristics, the oil is pungent-smelling and brownish in colour, whereas the seeds are yellow in appearance. In terms of Ayurvedic properties, it is pungent and bitter in taste, oily and acrid in quality and hot in potency. Note that it remains pungent even post digestion.

Malkangani Herb Benefits Side Effects
Malkangani Herb Benefits Side Effects


Interesting Facts Surrounding Malkangani


  • Celastrus Paniculatus’s bark has been in use as a brain tonic by the tribal community in Assam since ancient times – all thanks to its detoxifying properties.
  • A man in Kanpur suffered from a paralysis attack but after topical application and oral intake of the Jyotishmati oil, he would walk and speak again. (Source: The Pioneer.) The study by a researcher from IIT Delhi S N Naik claims that “If the oil is applied on a paralytic patient for one year on a regular basis, it can help them regain movements of the paralytic organs of the body.”
  • Malkangani can induce vivid and lucid dreaming and is said to produce a stimulating burst of mental energy a short while after ingestion.


Ayurvedic Medicines With Jyotishmati As An Integral Ingredient

  • Hartone Capsules: It helps in treating cardiac disorders.
  • Smriti Sagar Ras: It helps in boosting memory and enhancing concentration, especially in the elderly.
  • Jyotishmati Oil: It is extremely useful in treating leucoderma.
  • Brahmasmriti: This memory-enhancing syrup contains Mandookaparni, Shankhapushpi, Jyotishmati, Ashwagandha, Jatamansi, Yashtimadhu, and Guduchi.

Malkangani’s Multi-Dimensional Uses

The Malkangani tree belongs to the Celastraceae family. Juice extracted from its leaves are used for opium de-addiction purposes as the leaf’s sap acts as a potent antidote. Malkangani seeds contain around 30% oil which is mainly used in medicinal ayurvedic preparations.

Malkangni oil is perhaps the most multi-purpose oil available in the market. Its traditional uses range from brain-enhancing and body strengthening to paralysis-eliminating and energy-giving activities. Come winter or summer, this oil can be used to liven up your body cells, providing you with lasting energy and happiness.


Nutritional Information & Dosage

Malkangani in the oil form can be consumed twice a day with warm water or milk. It is recommended you consume it, 2 hours after eating food. Whereas, in the seed form, you can consume it twice a day with cow’s ghee or milk.

Recommended Dose:

  • Seed form: Typically, 500 mg of Malkagini seeds is considered safe for children and under 2 gm for adults.
  • Oil form: 1-5 drops for children, 5-15 drops for adults. The maximum dose is 45 drops a day in divided doses for adults.

Important: Malkangani, by nature, has hot potency and is pungent in taste. Overdosing can cause multiple side-effects and increase Pitta (body temperature) in the body. So please consult your doctor before consuming it in any form to understand the right dose for you basis your requirement and health issue.


Malkangani’s Medicinal Properties: At A Glance

  • Analgesic
  • Nootropic
  • Antidepressant
  • Diuretic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Thermogenic
  • Cardiac stimulant
  • Digestive stimulant
  • Nervine stimulant
  • Antirheumatic


Malkangani / Malkagini Benefits

Malkangini Jyotishmati Celastrus Paniculatus Fruits
Malkangini Jyotishmati Celastrus Paniculatus Fruits

Malkangani is most beneficial for the nerves, brain, and bones. Plus, in some cases, it is also used to treat chronic constipation, appetite loss, abdominal distention, and intestinal gas. That’s not all. It is useful for treating epilepsy, gout, dyspepsia, etc. Moving on, let’s look at its benefits in greater detail:


Malkangni Oil

This all-purpose oil contains vitamin B1 (thiamine) and is extremely useful for people suffering from dermal issues and dandruff, low and weak digestive system, poor eyesight, asthma and bronchitis, declining cognitive functions, pain disorders (muscle cramps, sciatica, facial paralysis etc.) among others.



Joint pain and inflammation plague millions around the world. To that end, surely you must have heard about Malkangani’s benefits for those suffering from arthritis.

Suggested Remedy: Here’s how to use it for arthritis. Acharya Balkrishna suggests you take 4-4 drops of its oil and massage the affected area twice a day (morning and evening). You can also chew 2-3 Malkangini seeds along with warm water/milk, twice a day to witness lasting benefits and get relief from inflammation and pain. Conversely, you can make a kashaya (decoction) by taking 1 tablespoon of the Malkangani powder and 2 cups of water. Boil it and let it reduce to half. Consume for arthritic pain relief.

Memory Boosting / Cognitive-Enhancing

Malkangini is considered to be a ‘Ramban’ – or God-send – when it comes to strengthening your brain’s functioning and boosting your memory. It also brings about a sense of peace and mental calm. That’s not all. If you’re looking to increase mental alertness, improve concentration levels, enhance reasoning capabilities, and tackle stress more effectively, Malkangani is for you. These qualities make it especially useful for students of all ages.

Suggested Remedy: Take 1-3 Malkangini seeds and chew on an empty stomach. Alternatively, you can take 2-4 drops of Malkangini’s oil and mix it in milk. It is recommended that you consume it on an empty stomach.


Migraines / Headaches

For those suffering from chronic headache, you can massage your head with Malkangini oil and almond oil for immediate relief. Patanjali’s Kesh Tel can also be applied as it contains Malkangini as one of the primary ingredients. Simply keep applying the oil for a couple of days and you’ll see that the headaches are lower in frequency or vanish all together. Or you can take 2-3 Malkangini seeds on an empty stomach or consume Patanjali’s Divya Medha Vati.


Seizures / Amnesia

For people (typically over 50-years-of-age) who suffer from seizures and notice that their memory is going downhill, just consume 2-3 seeds of Malkangini on an empty stomach and use its oil to do head massages.


Fatty Liver

Its seeds have been known to decrease fat deposits in the liver, making it useful for people suffering from an enlarged liver or fatty liver syndrome.


Cardiac Disorders

It also lowers cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels thereby preventing a host of cardiac issues.



Malkangani comes with aphrodisiac, erectogenic, and stimulant effects, making it ideal for enhancing sexual male performance.

Suggested Remedy: You can simply massage the oil in case of erectile failure as it acts as a sexual stimulant.



Since it calms the mind, it can aid in sound sleep.

Suggested Remedy: Take 1/2 teaspoon of Malkangani powder with a glass of milk two hours prior to bed-time.



Malkangani’s roasted seeds along with Japa Kusum/China Rose flower powder can reduce menstrual cramps and aid in menstruation.


Depression / Hypertension

Jyotishmati acts as a powerful mood elevator thereby reducing anxiety and depression-like symptoms. Brahmyadi Churna comprising Brahmi, Shankhpushpi, Jatamansi, Jyotishmati, Vacha, and Ashwagandha in equal proportions can lower blood pressure, headache, and insomnia.


Chronic Ulcer

For treating ulcers that aren’t healing, make a paste of Malkangani’s seeds dissolved in water/turmeric for at least 2-3 hours. Apply on the affected area for 5-8 days.


Jyotishmati’s Side-Effects & Precautionary Measures

  • Pregnant and lactating mothers should avoid consuming malkangani.
  • Overdosing on malkangani can cause restlessness, nausea, excessive sweating, diarrhoea, and burning sensations.



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Malkangani: The Super-Powerful Brain Tonic: Uses, Benefits & Side-Effects
Malkangani, Jyotishmati, Climbing Staff Tree, Celastrus Paniculatus Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, Jyotishmati For Depression and Anxiety
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Writer & Blogger, Entrepreneur, Co-Founder and CTO Turiya Infotainment Private Limited I am an Ayurveda enthusiast and have a deep love for everything natural. I am also a software engineer by degree and now I work as a full time blogger on Honey Fur! I have been learning about Ayurvedic principles for past 7 years now and have completed certificate courses from the Kerala Ayurveda Academy. The courses I have completed are: Ayurveda For Women Care: A course which deeply dives into women health problems like menorrhea, leucorrhea, amenorrhea. It also gives a detail study of child birth and pregnancy care, pre and postpartum. Ayurvedic Cosmetology: This is a lecture and video course which deeply dives into Skin Care, Hair Care, Eye & Oral Care & Common Issues and solutions pertaining to the same.

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