Family • Celastraceae - Celastrus paniculatus Willd. - BLACK OIL TREE - Deng you teng

Scientific names

Celastrus paniculatus Willd.
Celastrus dependens Wall.
Celastrus multiflorus Roxb.
Celastrus polybotrys Turcz.
Celastrus serrata Blanco
Diosma serrata Blanco

Common names

Bilogo (Tag.)
Lagete (Tag.)
Lañgitñgit (Tag.)
Black oil tree (Engl.)
Intellect tree (Engl.)
Climbing-staff plant (Engl.)
Oriental bittersweet (Engl.)
Deng you teng (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

BENGALI: Malkanjri.
CHINESE: Dian nan she teng, Da you guo, Hong guo teng, Xiao huang guo, Huan zhui nan she teng.
HINDI: Malkakni, Malkamni, Malkangni.
MALAYALAM: Polulavam.
SANSKRIT: Jyotishmati, Kanguni, Sphutabandhani, Svarnalota.
TAMIL: Valuluvai.


Bilogo is a smooth woody vine, reaching a length of 4 to 10 meters. Branches are pendulous. Leaves are ovate to elliptic-ovate, 5 to 12 centimeters long, toothed at the margins. Flowers are numerous, greenish or greenish white, borne on lax, pendulous panicles, 7 to 18 centimeters long and about 5 millimeters in diameter. Fruit is ovoid or subglobose, 7 to 9 millimeters long, yellow, three-celled and usually three-seeded. Seeds are red and surrounded by a fleshy aril.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Nootropic activity of Celastrus paniculatus seed / M Bhanumathy, M Harish, H Shivaprassad, G Sushma / Pharmaceutical Biology, March 2010, Vol. 48, No. 3 , Pages 324-327 / (doi:10.3109/13880200903127391)

(2) Cognitive enhancement and Neuroprotective effect of Celastrus paniculatus Willd. seed oil (Jyothismati oil) on male Wistar rats / George Lekha, Bhagya Kumar et al / Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology Vol. 2 (2), 2010, 130-138

(3) Chemical investigation of the seed fat of Celastrus paniculatus / A Sengupta, H N Bhargava / Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Volume 21 Issue 12, Pages 628 – 631 / Publ OnLine May 2006

(4) Antioxidant property of Celastrus paniculatus willd.: a possible mechanism in enhancing cognition / Kumar M H, Gupta Y K / Phytomedicine. 2002 May;9(4):302-11.

(5) Phytochemical screening and antimicobial activity of leaf extracts of Cordia wallichii and Celastrus paniculata / H K Makari, H S Ravikumar and M Abhilash / Free Library

(6) In vitro anthelmintic property of various seed oils against Pheritima posthuma / SS Jalapure, KR Alagawadi et al / Indian Journ of Pharmaceutical Sciences / 2007 | Volume : 69 | Issue : 1 | Page : 158-160

(7) Effects of Celastrus paniculatus on passive avoidance performance and biogenic amine turnover in albino rats / K Nalini, K S Karanth, A Rao, A R Aroor / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 47, Issue 2, 7 July 1995, Pages 101-108 / doi:10.1016/0378-8741(95)01264-E

(8) Common Indian Names / Pankaj Oudhia / Society for Parthenium Management (SOPAM)

(9) ANTI- INFLAMMATORY ACTIVITY OF CELASTRUS PANICULATUS SEEDS / Sudha Parimala, Gh. Shashidhar, Ch.Sridevi, V.Jyothi and R.Suthakaran* / International Journal of PharmTech Research, Vol.1, No.4, pp 1326-1329, Oct-Dec 2009

(10) Ethnomedicinal Uses of Celastrus paniculatus Willd. Known to Four Tribal Communities of Wayanad District of Kerala, India / Sujana K A et al / IJRAP 3(4), July-Aug 2012

(11) Evaluation of immunomodulatory activity of petroleum ether extract of seeds of Celastrus paniculatus / Kallakunta Ruth Salomi*, S.Saba Shafeen, C.Roopesh, Y.Chandra Kalyan Reddy, L. Sandya, S. Nagarjuna and Y.Padmanabha Reddy / Der Pharmacia Lettre, 2011: 3 (5) 87-93

(12) New Sesquiterpenes with Intestinal Relaxant Effect from Celastrus paniculatus / Francesca Borrelli et al / Planta Med 2004; 70: 652±656 / DOI 10.1055/s-2004-827190

– In thickets and second-growth forests at low altitudes in Cagayan, Isabela, Ilocos Norte, Nueva Viscaya, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Bataan, Rizal, and Cavite Provinces in
Luzon; and in Mindoro, Palawan, and Mindanao.
– Also occurs in India through Malaya to New Caledonia.

– Seeds yield an oil, a bitter resinous principle, tannin and ash.
– Oil from seeds yield alkaloids celastrine and paniculatin in varying amounts.
– Destructive distillation of seeds yield oleum nigrum – an empyreumatic black oil.
– Fatty oil contains colasterol and a coloring matter, chromagen.
– A study of the leaves suggested a small amount of scarcely poisonous alkaloid and a glucoside.
– Analysis of the percentages of individual acids in seed fat showed: formic, 1.5; acetic, traces; benzoic, 3.4; palmitic, 31.2, stearic, 3.5; oleic, 22.5; linoleic, 15.7; linolenic, 22.2.


– Oil considered a nerve-stimulant and brain tonic, alterative, stimulant.
– Seeds considered aphrodisiac, appetizer, anti-inflammatory, brain tonic,expectorant, intellect- and memory-promoting, emetic, expectorant, liver tonic, stimulant, sudorific.

Parts used
Seeds, leaves, oil.

– Pulverized seeds used as antirheumatic; also used for cases of paralysis.
– Leaves used for dysentery.
– Decoction of seeds, with or without aromatics, used for rheumatism, gout, paralysis and gout.
– Boiled seeds used for body and mind purification and blood cleansing.
– Oil, with benzoin, nutmegs, cloves and mace, used as a remedy for beriberi; also used as a powerful stimulant.
– Oil used as ointment for malarious rheumatic pains and for paralysis.
– In Ayurveda, bark considered as abortifacient; the leaves and leaf sap used as antidote to opium poisoning. Also used as brain tonic, appetite stimulant, and emetic.
– In Greco-Arabic Yunani medicine, seed oil used to treat physical weakness, mental confusion, asthma, headaches, joint pains and arthritis. Also used as a sexual stimulant.
– In India, used for memory difficulties, to improve memory recall and retention.
– In Kerala, India, plant widely used for many human diseases and health disorders. Roots used for purifying the blood, eradicating stomach parasites; root paste for skin disease, ground roots for burns and boils; mixed with C. asiatica as an intellect enhancing tonic. Crush bark stem used as antidote to cobra venom; bark decoction used as abortifacient. Leaves used as anthelmintic; leaf juice locally for earaches; leaf juice for memory power; fried leaves with flowers of H. rosa-sinensis to induce menstruation. Seed oil used for skin diseases, rheumatism, arthritis and various inflammatory conditions; also used for diabetes, beri-beri, asthmatic cough and chest pains.

Study Findings
• Phytochemicals: Analysis of seeds yielded terpenes, carbohydrates, saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids and glycosides.
• Antioxidant: Study of aqueous extracts have shown antioxidant activity, augmented endogenous antioxidant enzymes and decreased lipid peroxidation in rat brain.
• Nootropic Effect / Memory Enhancing: In a rat study of an aqueous extract using elevated plus maze and passive avoidance test, results showed a statistical improvement in memory processing compared to control. The mechanism of cognition enhancement may be due to increased acetylcholine level in the rat brain.
• Cognitive Enhancing / Antioxidant / Seeds: Study evaluated various extracts of seeds for their effect on cognitive function in rats. Results showed the aqueous extract of C paniculatus seed has cognitive-enhancing properties and an antioxidant effect might be involved.
• Learning and Memory / Oil: Study data indicates CP oil causes an overall decrease in the turnover of all three central monoamines and suggests involvement of these aminergic systems in the learning and memory process.
• Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory: A study on the methanol extract of flowers showed C paniculatus had both analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities.
• Cognitive Enhancement / Neuroprotection: Study evaluated the seed oil of Celastrus paniculatus on its effect on the learning process in adult male Wistar rats. Results showed decrease in AChE activity in treated animals leading to increased cholinergic activity in the brain. There was significant decrease in AChE activity assayed from the hypothalamus, frontal cortex and hippocampus of the rat brain.
• Neuroprotective / Neuroprotection: Study on neuronal cultures from rat forebrain to evaluate CP neuroprotective effects showed the water soluble extracts protected against glutamate-induced toxicity by modulation of glutamate receptor function.
• Antibacterial / Antifungal: Study on different leaf extracts showed CP possesses remarkable microbial toxic activity against human and agricultural pathogens.
• Anthelmintic / Oil: Study of the four seed oils from four medicinal plants, including C paniculatus, on the anthelmintic activity against Pheritima posthuma, showed all of them exhibited moderate to significant anthelmintic activity. Piperazine was the standard reference drug.
• Anti-Inflammatory / Seeds: Study of seeds by carrageenan-induced paw edema method on albino rats. showed anti-inflammatory activity. Seeds yielded two alkaloids: celastrine and paniculatine.
• Immunomodulatory / Seeds: Study evaluated the immunomodulatory property of a petroleum ether extract of seeds on immunological, hematological, and oxidative stress parameters in a pyrogallol-induced immunosuppression model in rats. Results showed significant immunomodulatory and antioxidant activity.
• Intestinal Relaxant Effect / Sesquiterpene / Seed Oil: Study evaluated a methanol seed extract for in vivo effects on isolated preparations of rat intestine. Three new sesquiterpene polyol esters were isolated. Results showed a relaxant effect. Three new sesquiterpene polyol esters were isolated, which in synergy with yet undetected compounds, may be responsible for the relaxant effect.
• Neuroprotective / Cortico-Hippocampal Salvage in Chronic Aluminium Induced Neurodegeneration / Seed Oil: Study of C. paniculatus seed oil showed a significant prevention in the onset of aluminum-induced neural insult and overall systemic oxidative stress in an animal model of senile dementia of Alzheimer’s type in male Wistar rats. Study concludes that C. paniculatus is a putative decelerator of A1-mediated Alzheimer’s like pathobiology.

Oil, seeds, tinctures, and extracts in the cybermarket.