Due to the alleged cognitive effects of Celastrus paniculatus, sometimes people call it the “elixir of intelligence” or the “elixir of life” in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Evidence suggests that this plant, especially its oil, improves mental performance and memory, affects neurotransmitters, and helps with pain and inflammation.
Disclaimer: Most Celastrus studies so far are animal studies. However, we’ve found it an effective nootropic herb, especially with our proprietary extraction technologies.
What Is Celastrus Paniculatus?
Celastrus paniculatus is a tall, woody climber (sometimes known as a climbing shrub) of the Celastraceae family with yellow, corky bark . It grows throughout India and may reach heights of about 2000 meters. The plants have a variety of medicinal properties, including usage for:
- Cognitive impairment
- Joint discomfort
- And post-meal stomach discomfort
The most often utilized plant portion is oil from the seeds (known as Jyothismati oil, JO), which contains different levels of the alkaloids celastrine and paniculatin. Jyothismati has a bitter flavor and a scorching potency. However, the seeds and seed oil are highly therapeutic. The seed oil is beneficial for massage, particularly in vata disorders such as back discomfort, facial muscle weakness, and joint issues .
Note: We’re sharing this list of conditions based on Ayurvedic literature for educational purposes only. Our products contain specific extracts of Celastrus that are not intended to treat any diseases.
What Is SuperCelastrusTM?
SuperCelastrusTM are our set of proprietary extracts of Celastrus peniculatus, using a combination of:
- Sonic and ultrasonic extraction
- Lipid suspension and micronization technologies
- Combining various parts of the seed and the plant at various stages of processing
Our extraction technologies allow us to create SuperCelastrus blends that target dopamine, acetylcholine, serotonin, and GABA.
Health And Brain Benefits Of Celastrus Paniculatus
Celastrus’ Effects on Neurotransmitters
Clinical studies indicate that Celastrus paniculatus has two main effects on neurotransmitters:
- Balancing their levels
- Antioxidant and neuroprotective effect
Celastrus paniculatus increases cognitive performance by acting on the acetylcholine level in the brain. It primarily balances neurotransmitters such as serotonin, epinephrine, and dopamine to optimize memory and learning in the brain.
Celastrus paniculatus also enhances mental wellbeing and promotes a healthy stress response due to its interaction with dopamine, serotonin and GABA receptors. It increases the levels of serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline by blocking the activity of MAO-A. MAO-A is the enzyme that breaks these neurotransmitters down.
In rats, Celastrus may lower both levels and turnover of noradrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin levels in the brain. According to the researchers, these effects may aid learning and memory enhancement .
Increases Acetylcholine Levels
C. paniculatus seed extract inhibits acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine. Blocking this enzyme boosts acetylcholine levels in the brain, improving many aspects of cognitive function .
Taking Celastrus oil for prolonged periods of time can lead to increased cognitive performance and improvements in memory retention. This is due to the fact that Celastrus paniculatus increases levels of acetylcholine in the brain.
Improves Mental Performance And Memory During Stressful Situations
Chronic stress can accelerate aging and neurodegeneration . Stress can also impair some aspects of brain function .
Long-term stress can interfere with working memory, learning, and relaxation responses. According to some experts, Celastrus may help protect the brain from the detrimental effects of stress. Stressed rats that were administered Celastrus oil performed better on learning and memory tests . Another rat study discovered that Celastrus seed oil might boost mental function and memory .
Celastrus paniculatus oil increases the concentration of proteins and phospholipids in the brain leading to the belief that it possibly increases myelination around neurons.
Protects Neurons From Glutamate Toxicity
Glutamate is a chemical that can cause neuronal cell death, Celastrus paniculatus protects the brain from glutamate induced toxicity by blocking NMDA receptors.
Counteracts And Protects Neurons From Oxidative Stress
Furthermore, the antioxidants in Celastrus paniculatus reduce brain levels of the oxidative stress marker malondialdehyde. Some of its components scavenge hydrogen peroxide and superoxides inside the cells. Aside from counteracting the harmful effects of oxidative stress, it also simultaneously increases glutathione and catalase levels significantly .
Studies on Celastrus paniculatus indicate possible anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, there is some indication that Celastrus extract components (sesquiterpene esters) may inhibit inflammatory chemicals such as NF-kB, nitric oxide, IL-6, and TNF-a .
In mice, Celastrus extract had inflammation-balancing effects. In addition, Celastrus seed extract may also ease swelling and discomfort in animal studies .
We need additional clinical studies to confirm this benefit of Celastrus.
Traditional doses of Celastrus paniculatus begin with 10 seeds consumed all at once. If no adverse effects occur, raise the amount to 15, then 20, and eventually 30 seeds.
Due to a lack of clinical study, a safe and effective dosage of Celastrus is unknown. However, Celastrus supplements may contain 400-500 mg of Celastrus paniculatus powder with standard doses of 1 to 2 capsules per day.
Much more study is required to find the best dosage of Celastrus paniculatus.
Due to a lack of clinical studies, no side effects have been determined for the usage of Celastrus paniculatus.
Celastrus has non-existent toxicity in our lab, as we’ve found its LD-50 to be very high. It also doesn’t cause tolerance over time, so chronic use wouldn’t be a concern.
Celastrus paniculatus has various medical and therapeutic benefits, such as improving mental performance and memory, exerting certain effects on neurotransmitters, and potentially inflammation-balancing. Although most of these findings come from animal studies, Celastrus is a very popular herb in Ayurvedic medicine with a long history of safe use.
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- 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
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- Jin HZ, Hwang BY, Kim HS, Lee JH, Kim YH, Lee JJ. Antiinflammatory constituents of Celastrus orbiculatus inhibit the NF-kappaB activation and NO production. J Nat Prod. 2002;65(1):89-91. doi:10.1021/np010428r
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- 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
- Kothavade PS, Bulani VD, Deshpande PS, Chowdhury AS, Juvekar AR. The petroleum ether fraction of Celastrus paniculatus Willd. seeds demonstrates anti-arthritic effect in adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats. J Tradit Chin Med Sci. 2015;2(3):183-193. doi:10.1016/j.jtcms.2016.02.004
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Dr. Nattha Wannissorn, PhD, is a scientist who makes health research accessible to the general public through health and wellness blogs. She received her PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of Toronto and BA in Molecular & Computational Biology from the University of Pennsylvania.
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