For ages, the earliest known civilizations have had a history of co-existing in accordance and harmony with mother nature. Based on holistic concepts, the traditional or herbal medicinal system has been the oldest and most effective approach to managing and curing mild to chronic diseases.

Unani system of medicine also called Islamic medicine is an alternate healing science that involves the use of natural drugs, primarily herbal formulations to diagnose, alleviate and rectify physical, mental, and emotional, causes of illness. Amongst bounteous herbs that these traditional sciences have widely acknowledged, one such herb is Malkangani which goes by the botanical name Celastrus Paniculatus Wild. A large woody climbing shrub, an important medicinal plant widely used in Unani Medicare System as well as in Ayurveda, Malkangani is enriched with remarkable nervine, cognitive, and therapeutic properties. Popularly called the Tree of Life, Malkangani is an endangered medicinal plant distributed throughout India, in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and across the Himalayan Mountain ranges. Consisting of powerful antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and memory boosting properties, the extracts of this herb such as seeds, oil, and leaves are used to treat various health anomalies and reduce severe pain and inflammation.

Malkangani also possesses strong wound healing activity and cure disorders caused by nerve or the ones that originate from the brain. It also helps lower elevated cholesterol and prevents sudden heart attacks and other cardiac diseases.

Also Read: Heart Attacks, Cardiac Arrests At Young Age! 5 Ways To Prevent These Fatal Events

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How To Identify Malkangani Plant?

Malkangani is a thick large woody climber, that takes a height of up to 18 meters with a stem diameter reaching up to 20 centimeters. The bark is thin and brown, and has hairless branches, with tiny white lenticels. Leaves are slender, ovate to oblong with a round base, with lateral nerves consisting of 6-8 pairs Th leaf stalks are about 3 cm long. Malkangani flowers are unisexual with a yellowish to a greenish hue. The capsules are about 2 in diameter transversely wrinkled and become yellow upon maturing. The Flowering period of Malkangani starts in November and fruiting happens in March.

Synonyms Of Malkangani

Known by many vernacular names, some of the common English names of Malkangani are Intellect Tree, Black Oil Tree, Staff tree, and Tree of life. In different parts of India, it goes by the following common names in the following regional languages:

Hindi: Jyotishmati, Malkakni

Sanskrit: Amruta, Jyotishmati, Jyotishka  swarnlata, Mati  Priya, Vanhiruchi   

Urdu: Malkangani

Kannada: Karigane

Telugu: Malaerikata

Marathi: Kanguni

Bengali: Lataphatki

Malayalam: Palulavam

Panjabi: Samphu, Sankhu

Gujrati: Makngana, Malkangani

Tamil: Atiparichcham, Valuluwai

Sinhalese: Duhudu
Malkangani seeds

Chemical Composition

The main chemical constituents of Malkangani include celapagin, paniculate, and several other alkaloids. It is also rich in bi-cyclic sesquiterpenes, tricyclic sesquiterpenes, terpene alcohols, saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, ketones, and esters. The main component identified in its essential oil is palmitic acid and the seeds also contain terpene compounds, and flavonoids, and are highly rich in antioxidant constituents.

Medicinal Properties Of Malkangani

Considered to be an extremely powerful and wellness benefits-laden herbal plant in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine, Malkangani has the following medicinal properties:

  • Neurotronic
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Appetizer
  • Expectorant
  • Digestive
  • Laxative
  • Thermogenic
  • Emmenagogue
  • Diaphoretic
  • Thermogenic
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Analgesic
  • Diuretic

Therapeutic Indications

Malkangani is helpful to cure the following health problems:

  • Memory Loss
  • Cognitive Problems
  • Concentration Problems
  • Rheumatic arthritis
  • Insomnia
  • Opium addiction
  • Bradycardia
  • Impotence
  • Facial paralysis
  • Sciatica
  • Gout
  • Secondary Amenorrhea

Ayurvedic Properties

Malknagani is Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter) in taste. It has Tikshna Guna (acrid) and the potency of this herb is Virya (hot) and its Prabhava (potent effect) is Medhya (brain booster). It also has Ishteha guna which is its appetite-enhancing property.

Health Benefits Of Malkangani

Enhances Memory

According to Ayurveda, one of the biggest health benefits of Malkangani extracts and oil is its ability to augment weak memory. Poor memory is due to inactivity of Kapha or aggravation of Vata dosha. Due to its Medhya, (intelligence boosting) property, consuming Malkangani stimulates the intellect, and sharpens memory power, besides preventing cell deterioration of the brain.

Also Read: Ginkgo Biloba: Amazing Brain Boosting Benefits Of This Herb- Infographic

Curbs Anxiety Attack

Malkangani is useful to manage the symptoms of anxiety. According to ayurvedic science, Vata majorly governs most of the actions of the nervous system. Anxiety is mainly due to an imbalance in Vata in the body. Malkangani extracts or powder help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety due to its Vata balancing properties.

Maintains Sexual Wellness

Loss of libido is not inclined towards a sexual act, a low erection time or semen expelled soon after sexual activity. They are all symptoms of sexual dysfunction in men. Due to its Vajikarana (aphrodisiac) property, Malkangani improves stamina and cures problems like early discharge or premature ejaculation thus helping correct male sexual dysfunction.

Augments Bone Health

Malkangani is loaded with anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties that are beneficial for protecting bone health. According to Ayurveda, osteoarthritis occurs due to an aggravation of Vata dosha. This is known as Sandhivata causing pain, swelling, and difficulty in movement. Malkangani has Vata balancing property and gives relief from the symptoms of osteoarthritis and alleviates pain along with honey or water to help manage pain and swelling due to osteoarthritis. It also reduces inflammation of the joints and combats severe knee pain.

Also Read: Gout: 5 Incredible Foods To Ease Joint Pain And Swelling

Boosts Hair Health

Malkangani has been used as a hair tonic since age old times. The oil made from its seeds is beneficial for hair growth and cures various hair-related problems. Due to its antifungal property, the application of Malkangani on the scalp helps reduce persistent dandruff. It also fights hair fall and boosts the growth of hair.

Protect Against Fatty Liver Disease

Malkangani is one of the best Ayurvedic herbs for treating patients suffering from fatty liver issues also called hepatic steatosis. The build-up of fats in the liver can cause damage to other organs of the body further leading to serious health complications. The extract from the seeds helps to decrease fat deposition in the liver and strengthens the liver thus preventing liver cirrhosis, fatty liver syndrome, or hepatitis.

Also Read: Hepatomegaly: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment

Ayurvedic Properties

Malknaganu is Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter) in taste. It has tikshna guna (acrid) and the potency of this plant is virya (hot) and its prabhava (potent effect) is Medhya (brain booster). It also has Ishteha guna which is its appetite-enhancing property.

Effect On Doshas

Malkangani herb extracts are used for various medicinal purposes. According to Ayurveda, primarily, it is the best herbal for Vata but it also pacifies Kapha doshas. Malkangani helps in balancing Vata very effectively so it is most suitable for individuals with VATA and KAPHA dominant problems


Malkangani Powder - 4-6 pinch once or twice a day

Malkangani Capsule - 1-2 capsules once a day

Malkangani Oil - 2-5 drops once a day

Side Effects

Generally, a low dosage that is lower than 500 mg is likely safe for all kinds of patients. However, it is hot in potency and acrid in nature increases Pitta in the body. People with Vata and Kapha dominant symptoms should consult a physician before consuming it. Sometimes it can lead to the following side effects:

  • Restlessness
  • Giddiness
  • Heat in the body leading to profuse sweating
  • Burning sensation


In the case of pregnant and lactating women and with people on high medication it is advisable not to consume Malkangani. It may lead to miscarriage in pregnant women. Hence it is contraindicated if you are trying to conceive, at the time of pregnancy, lactation, and through the postpartum period.