Celastrus Paniculatus: Nootropic Benefits, Dosage, & Side Effects

Overview of Celastrus Paniculatus's nootropic benefits, dosage, and side effects

Celastrus Paniculatus, the “Intellect Tree,” has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to enhance cognitive function.

This potent nootropic herb is known to improve memory, focus, and overall brain health.

This article will dive into the benefits, mechanisms of action, precautions, and practical user guidelines of Celastrus Paniculatus as a cognitive enhancer.

What is Celastrus Paniculatus?

Celastrus Paniculatus is an evergreen climbing shrub that belongs to the Celastraceae family. It’s commonly known by various names such as Black Oil Plant, Intellect Tree, and Malkangni, or Jyotishmati in Ayurveda.

This plant, native to tropical and subtropical regions of India and Southeast Asia, is dioecious, meaning it has separate male and female plants, and can grow up to 10-15 meters in height.

What are the Traditional Uses of Celastrus Paniculatus?

In Ayurvedic medicine, Celastrus Paniculatus is considered a potent “Medhya Rasayana,” or brain tonic. It’s used to:

  • Enhance memory and cognitive function
  • Reduce mental fatigue and stress
  • Promote overall brain health and longevity

Apart from its use as a nootropic, Celastrus Paniculatus has been traditionally used to:

  • Treat inflammation and pain
  • Support healthy digestion
  • Boost the immune system
  • Alleviate skin disorders

What are the Active Compounds in Celastrus Paniculatus?

The efficacy of Celastrus Paniculatus largely stems from its rich profile of bioactive compounds.

Here are some of the key active compounds found in Celastrus Paniculatus that contribute to its nootropic and other health benefits:

  1. Alkaloids: Celastrus Paniculatus contains several alkaloids, which contribute to its cognitive-enhancing effects. These compounds can affect neurotransmitter activity, potentially improving mental clarity and cognitive processes.
  2. Sesquiterpenes: These are a class of terpenes that are found in the seeds and oil of Celastrus Paniculatus. Sesquiterpenes are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, which could help protect brain health and function.
  3. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: The seed oil of Celastrus Paniculatus is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, including linoleic acid and oleic acid. These fatty acids are crucial for maintaining the fluidity of cell membranes and are essential for normal brain function.
  4. Ecdysteroids: These are a group of naturally occurring steroids that promote protein synthesis and can enhance learning and memory.
  5. Triterpenoids: They have neuroprotective properties, helping to safeguard neurons against various types of damage.
  6. Phytosterols: These compounds are like cholesterol and are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. They help in reducing brain inflammation and improving cognitive function.(1)

What are the Cognitive Benefits of Celastrus Paniculatus?

cognitive benefits of Celastrus Paniculatus nootropic supplement

Celastrus Paniculatus offers a wide range of cognitive benefits, backed by both traditional knowledge and modern scientific research, such as:

  • Improves Memory
  • Enhances focus
  • Reduces Mental Fatigue
  • Supports Neuroprotection

How Can Celastrus Paniculatus Improve Memory Retention and Recall?

Celastrus Paniculatus is reputed for its memory-enhancing effects. The active compounds like alkaloids and sesquiterpenes in Celastrus Paniculatus facilitate neurotransmitter release, particularly acetylcholine, which is critical for learning and memory.

Memory BenefitMechanism of Action
Improved memory formationIncreases acetylcholine levels
Enhanced memory consolidationPromotes neurogenesis in the hippocampus
Better memory retrievalEnhances synaptic plasticity

Studies have shown that extracts from Celastrus Paniculatus improves the retention and recall capabilities in experimental models.

For example, a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology demonstrated that rats treated with Celastrus oil showed improved performance in maze tests, suggesting enhanced memory function.(2)

How Can Celastrus Paniculatus Help Enhance Concentration and Attention?

The seeds of Celastrus Paniculatus are used traditionally to increase mental alertness and concentration.

The mechanism behind this benefit is related to the modulation of dopamine and serotonin pathways, neurotransmitters that are vital for focus and attention.

Research indicates that the neuroprotective effects of the plant’s extract helps maintain cognitive function, attention spans and mental clarity, even under stress.(3)

How Can Celastrus Paniculatus Reduce Mental Fatigue?

The anti-fatigue effects of Celastrus Paniculatus are another significant cognitive benefit. The plant’s ability to enhance endurance in mental tasks is attributed to its impact on mitochondrial efficiency, promoting better energy metabolism in brain cells.

This action helps to combat mental fatigue and maintain cognitive performance over prolonged periods.

An experimental study found that subjects given Celastrus oil experienced prolonged time spans of concentration without the typical symptoms of fatigue.(4)

How Can Celastrus Paniculatus Support Neuroprotection?

Celastrus Paniculatus has neuroprotective properties, safeguarding neurons against oxidative stress and potential damage from neurotoxic substances.

The sesquiterpenes and phytosterols in the plant contribute to reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain, which are associated with neurodegenerative diseases.

Research has highlighted the ability of Celastrus-derived compounds to inhibit oxidative damage and promote the survival of neural cells.(5)

How is Celastrus Paniculatus Used as a Nootropic?

Celastrus Paniculatus supplement bottle for improving memory and focus

Celastrus Paniculatus is commonly used in various forms, including capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts. It’s a popular compound and can also be used as an added ingredient withing a nootropic supplement.

What are the Typical Dosages of Celastrus Paniculatus for Cognitive Enhancement?

The recommended dosage of Celastrus Paniculatus for cognitive enhancement varies depending on the form and concentration of the supplement. Generally, the following dosages are considered safe and effective:

Form of Celastrus PaniculatusRecommended Dosage
Seed Powder1-3 grams per day
Seed Oil5-10 drops per day
Standardized Extract (20:1)100-300 mg per day

Are There Any Precautions or Side Effects of Celastrus Paniculatus?

Celastrus Paniculatus is generally well-tolerated when used in recommended doses. However, some precautions and potential side effects include:

  • Gastrointestinal discomfort (rare)
  • Allergic reactions in sensitive individuals
  • Interactions with certain medications (e.g., blood thinners, diabetes medications)

Warning: Pregnant and nursing women should avoid using Celastrus Paniculatus due to limited safety data.

For safety and best results:

  1. Always consult a qualified healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.
  2. Start with the lowest effective dose and gradually increase if needed.

Sources, Studies, and Scientific Research
  1. Kulkarni, Yogesh A., Sneha Agarwal, and Mayuresh S. Garud. “Effect of Jyotishmati (Celastrus paniculatus) seeds in animal models of pain and inflammation.” Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine 6.2 (2015): 82.
  2. Kumar, M. H. V., and Y. K. Gupta. “Antioxidant property of Celastrus paniculatus Willd.: a possible mechanism in enhancing cognition.” Phytomedicine 9.4 (2002): 302-311.
  3. Shen, Yue, et al. “Traditional uses, secondary metabolites, and pharmacology of Celastrus species-a review.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 241 (2019): 111934.
  4. Kandikattu, Hemanth Kumar, et al. “Phytochemical analysis and exercise enhancing effects of hydroalcoholic extract of Celastrus paniculatus Willd.” Industrial Crops and Products 55 (2014): 217-224.
  5. Bhagya, V., Thomas Christofer, and BS Shankaranarayana Rao. “Neuroprotective effect of Celastrus paniculatus on chronic stress-induced cognitive impairment.” Indian journal of pharmacology 48.6 (2016): 687-693.

Jacob Kovacs is a cognitive neuroscientist and author at WholisticResearch, specializing in nootropics and neuroactive peptides. His expertise in neuroscience and psychopharmacology bridges cognitive science with drug development. Kovacs’ work focuses on enhancing cognitive functions and brain health through innovative, efficient neuroactive compounds that overcome traditional pharmacokinetic challenges. His contributions are pivotal in advancing the understanding and treatment of neurological diseases.