Plant Description/ Introduction
Malkangani (Celastrus paniculatus Willd.) belongs to the family “Celastraceae” is a woody climber, a most widely used medicinal herb in Unani Medicare System. It is a large climber, height up to 18m with stem diameter up to 23cm.
Stem of the plant is woody and bark is thin and brown. Branchlets are hairless, with many distinct minute white dots called lenticels. Leaves are simple, alternate, ovate to oblong-elliptic, about 5-15x 2-8 cm; apex acute, acuminate or obtuse; base round, shortly acuminate, margin toothed with rounded teeth, hairless; lateral nerves 5-8 pairs, slender; leaf stalks about 3 cm long.
Flowers of the Malkangani (Celastrus paniculatus Willd.) unisexual in terminal pyramidal panicles, about 6mm across, yellowish or greenish white, collected in terminal paniculate cymes; panicles 5-30cm long, pendulous. Capsules sub-globose, 1.0–1.5 cm in diameter, smooth, yellow when mature, transversely wrinkled, dehiscing by three valves; seeds 3-6, ellipsoid or avoid, about 6x3 mm, yellowish brown enclosed in crimson-red aril.
Flowering period of Malkangani (Celastrus paniculatus Willd.) is from November to February and fruiting is from March onwards.
It is endangered medicinal plant distributed throughout India, mostly in tropical forests and the subtropical Himalayas, ascending up to 1400 m. The genus is distributed in the sub-Himalayan tract from the Jhelum eastward, up to 6000 ft. It is extensively distributed in Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Bombay, Orissa, Western Ghats, Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Jammu Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.
Parts used (Ajza-e- Musta’mla)
Temperament of the seeds is hot and dry in 3rd degree
Action and Uses
The survey of classical literature of Unani medicine reveals that, the seeds and its oil have been used as Memory tonic (Muqawwi-e- Haafiza), Neurotonic (Muqawwi-e- A’saab), Aphrodisiac (Muqawwi-e- Bah), Digestive tonic (Muqawwiy-e- Hazm), Muḥarrik-e- Ishtiha (Appetizer), Hazim-e- Ta’ām (Digestive), Kāsir- e- Riyaḥ (Carminative), Appetizer (Mushtahi), Expectorant (Munaffis-e- Balgham), Khafeef Mushil (Mild Laxative), Eye tonic (Muqawwi-e- Chashm), Emmenagogue (Mudirr-e- Haiz), Diaphoretic (Mu’arriq), Thermogenic (Daafe’ Humma), Muqawwi-e- Dimagh (Brain Tonic), Muqawwi-e- Jigar (Liver Tonic), Munaffith-e- Balgham (Expectorant), Muḥallil-e- Waram (Anti- Inflammatory), Musakkin-e- Alam (Analgesic), Mudirr-e- Baul (Diuretic), Muwallid-e- Hararat (Thermogenic), Muqi (Emetic), Mumsik (Retentive), Tiryaaq Samoom-e- Afiyoon (Antidote of Opium Poisoning) etc.
Seeds and oil of Malkangani (Celastrus paniculatus Willd.) are used locally as well as internally to stimulate intellect and appetite (Ishteha), to sharpen memory and to reduce headache (Suda’) and joint pain (arthritis). Specially it is used to cure disorders which are caused by cold humours and nerve or brain origin like, Laqwa (Facial Paralysis), Falij (Hemiplegia), Dard-e- Zanoo (Thigh pain), Sud’a (Headache), Waja’ -al- Ṣadr (Chest Pain), Niqris (Gout), Irq -al- Nisa (Sciatica), Tashannuj (Spasm), Waja’-al- Warik (Hip Pain), Zat-al- Riya (Pneumonia), Zat -al- Janb (Pleurisy), Ḍafi’-Haafiza (Amnesia), Barṣ (Leucoderma), Ḍiq-al- Nafas (Asthma) etc.
Malkangani (Celastrus paniculatus Willd.) seeds and its oil are used for the treatment of Sciatica, Amnesia, Leprosy (Juzaam), Pneumonia, Pleurisy, Anaemia (Su -al-Qiniya), Ascites (Istisqa), Loss of appetite, Flatulence, Sexual weakness, Amenorrhea, Leucoderma and Gout etc.
In various disorders its uses are as follows:
Doses (Miqdaar-e- Khurak):
Seeds 500mg- 01gm, Leaves juice 20- 40 ml and oil is used in the quantity of 10- 15 drops.
Adverse Effects (Mazarrat): It is harmful in younger age person having a hot temperament in the hot season and hot places. It is contraindicated in pregnancy due to its abortificient property. It also causes headache.
Correctives (Musleh): Due to the 3rd degree of temperament Malkangani (Celastrus paniculatus Willd.) produces some toxicity and adverse effects. In such conditions cold materials like cow milk and cold regimens are used to correct its toxic or adverse effects.
Substitute (Badal): Sometimes in absence or unavailability of one drug another drug is used as a substitute in Unani system of Medicine, Roghan Qaranful (Clove oil) is used as a good substitute of the Roghan-e- Malkangni.
Various Unani compound formulations are prepared in which Malkangani (Celastrus paniculatus Willd.) is used as an important ingredient such as: