Climbing Staff Tree, Intellect Tree,
Katabhi, Jyotishka, Kanguni
Kondgaidh, Malkangni, Sankhu
It grows almost all over India, up to an altitude
of 1,800 m. It is also found in the Middle and South
Morphology Description (Habit)
A large, woody, climbing shrub. The leaves are
ovate, oblong-elliptic; the flowers are unisexual, small,
greenish white or yellowish green; the capsules are globose,
yellow, 1-6 seeded and transversely wrinkled; the seeds are
ellipsoid or ovoid, yellowish- or reddish-brown in color,
enclosed in scarlet aril, which stains yellowish orange.
The seeds are reported to contain the alkaloids celastrine
The oil obtained from the seeds of the plant produced
sedation in the rats in a dose of 1g/kg intramuscularly. On
intraperitoneal administration, the same dose of oil
produced sedation but the effect was not so marked. The oil
showed anticonvulsant activity in rats. The oil (as emulsion
in between 80 and water), at a dose of 50-100 mg/kg,
produced a gradual fall in the blood pressure of cats. At a
dose of 20mg/kg, the oil produced a fall in cardiac output,
bradycardia and a marked increase in pulse pressure on
isolated heart lung preparation1.
The oil of Celastrus paniculatus was fractionated into polar
and semipolar compounds and these fractions were injected to
rats for one month. Serum transaminases (SGOT and SGPT),
alkaline phosphatase, calcium, creatinine, uric acid and
blood urea of treated rats were estimated. These oil
fractions were not found to be harmful in the long run2.
The seeds constitute the drug; they are bitter, and have an
unpleasant odor. They possess emetic, diaphoretic,
febrifugal and nervine properties and are used for
sharpening the memory; and also used to cure sores, ulcers,
rheumatism and gout.
- Gaitonde et. al., Curr.Med. Pract., 1957, 1, 619.
- Bidwai, P.P. et. al., Fitoterapia, 1990, v. 61(5),