JYOTISMATI (Celastrus paniculatus)
The Sanskrit word jyotismati is formed by jyoti teja or fire of mind and mati – intelligence; meaning it increases, mental faculties such as intelligence and memory. It has various synonyms in ancient scriptures of Ayurveda, portraying its peculiarities viz. katvika having pungent taste, pitataila – yielding yellow oil, kakundaki – whose fruits resemble the eggs of the crow, amrta – ambrosia, medhya – augments intelligence etc. Maharsi Caraka has caegorsied jotismati as sirovirecana – cleansing nasal therapy. Susruta and Vagbhata have mentioned it as a remedy for mental illnesses.
Jyotismati grows throughout India, on sub – Himalayan slopes and the hilly regions of Punjab, South India, up to an altitude 200-600 meters . It is a large climber, frequently reaching the tops of large trees. The stem approximately is 25 cm in diameter and the branches are long, slender, reddish brown in color. Bark pale brown, rough and cracked, exfoliation in small scales. The leaves are 6-10 cm long, elliptic and glabrous. The flowers in terminal panicles, 5-20 cm long, green. The fruits, capsules 1-1.2 cm in diameter, tri-lobed, bright yellow in color, 3-6 seeded, enclosed in orange aril.
The botanical name of jyotismati is Celastrus paniculatus and it belongs to family Celastraceae. The main components are celastrine, paniculatin and aromatic oil. Isolation of malkanguniniol and its structure elucidated. Isolation and structure elucidation of a new sesquiterpene estermalkangunin – and of two new sesquiter penoid tetra esters – celapanine ande celapanigine. A new triterpene diolpaniculatadiol – isolated along with amyrin, sitosterol and fatty acids from seed oil. Zeylasterone and zeylasteral have been identified in root bark of Sri Lankan plant.
Jyotismati is pungent and bitter in taste pungent in the post digestive effect and hot in potency. It alleviates kapha and vata doshas. It possesses tiksna – sharp, sara – laxative and sthira – stable attributes. It stimulates intellect and promotes the memory with its special potency – prabhava. It is a rejuvenative, nervine, appetizer and aphrodisiac in properties and is used in the diseases like anorexia, erysipelas, wounds, minor memory disturbances and anxiety neurosis.
The seeds and seed – oil have great medicinal value. Externally, the seed oil is used for massage with great benefit, especially in vata diseases like sciatica, lumbago, paralysis, arthritis and facial palsy. As a stimulant, the oil is applied externally by itself, on penis in erectile failure. It is also beneficial in glandular swellings like cervical adenitis. In scabies, the seeds mashed in cow’s urine are applied in the form of a paste. The seed oil is useful to hasten the healing in non healing wounds and ulcers. It is said to prevent suppuration in such conditions. The seeds mashed in water are applied on the piles for relief. The seed oil is extremely beneficial as a sirovirecana cleansing nasal therapy, wherein the drops instilled into nostrils, ward off mucous secretions in colds and cough.
Internally, jyotismati is used in vast range of diseases. It is one of the best nervine and its seed oil is given along with ghee (prepared from cow’s milk) to stimulate intellect and to promote memory. The leave’s juice, daily 50 ml. relieves the opium addiction. The seed oil tackles the digestive problems of anorexia and flatulence. Being hot and sharp in properties, jyotismati is rewarding in cough and bronchial asthma to alleviate kapha dosa. It also is stimulant to kidneys, hence useful in dysuria to augment the urinary output. In males, it works well as an aphrodisiac and in females it is salutary to regulate the menstrual cycle, In arthritis, the seeds are given along with sunthi and ajamoda in equal quantity, with honey. Jyotismati works well as anti pruritic in skin diseases. It is also used as a tranquilliser in anxiety neurosis. It is diaphoretic and also digests ama, hence benevolent in fever. Jyotismati stimulates the heart, improves circulation and alleviates the edema. The leaves, cooked as vegetables, are recommended in dysmenorrhea to alleviate the pain.
Classical Ayurvedic Preparations
- Jyotismati taila
- Jyotismati curna etc.