Celastrus Seed (Celastrus paniculatus)

Celastrus paniculatus is a treasured medicinal herb that is revered for its effects on the brain and has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic Medicine for sharpening the memory, increasing intellect, and improving concentration. It has great potential as a study aid for students and is also perhaps the most effective memory enhancer available for all ages. In recent pre-clinical trials with rats and mice, those treated with injections of Celastrus oil were able to not only learn skills involving memory retention in far less time, they also retained this information for longer periods of time.

Forget Ginkgo biloba; there’s a new sheriff in town! Further pre-clinical studies of Celastrus seed extract have conclusively shown an improvement in learning and memory in both physical and mental tests. These studies demonstrate that the cognitive-enhancing properties of Celastrus paniculatus seed are now being pursued as memory aids by pharmaceutical companies. It may only be a matter of time before a “smart pill” appears that is far more effective than the Ginkgo biloba that has been used for many years as an aid for memory and clarity of thought.

Celastrus TreeCelastrus seeds yield a dark brown oil known as Celastrus oil, which possesses the medicinal properties of the seeds. The seeds and oil are reported to contain the alkaloids celastrine and paniculatin, which constitute the active principles of this natural herbal product.

There are a few forms of Celastrus products appearing in shops these days, and the number one question we get asked is what form is the best and most potent? In our personal experience we have found that the liquid extracts are the most potent, probably because liquids have fast absorption rates in to the bloodstream. Second to the liquid form, we like the whole seeds, which can easily be made in to a tea. The last on the list is capsules or memory pills which, like any other pill, have to make their way through the stomach before they are absorbed into the body.

We offer a full discussion about this topic HERE.

Scientific Evidence

Celastrus paniculatus has reportedly shown good results in treating mental depression and in hastening the process of learning and memory in experimental animals. It also gave excellent results in treating panic attacks without any side effects.

In one experimental study, the effect of Celastrus oil on learning and memory in a two-compartment passive avoidance task in rats was studied. The effects on the contents of norephinephrine (NE), dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT) in the brain and on the levels of their metabolites both in the brain and urine were also assessed.

Significant improvement was observed in the retention ability of the medicine-treated rats compared with the saline administered controls. The contents of NE, DA and 5-HT and their metabolites in the brain were significantly decreased in the medicine treated group. These studies clearly indicate that Celastrus oil causes an overall decrease in the turnover of key chemicals that directly support learning and memory.

Celastrus has documented use in the following applications:

  • as an aphrodisiac
  • as a powerful brain tonic to stimulate intellect
  • as a medicine to increase cognitive recognition (helps with dreams)
  • as a way to sharpen memory
  • as a way to promote intelligence (it is known as Mags-zudi or “brain clearer”)
  • as a brain tonic
  • as a stimulant

Where to Buy Celastrus Products:

The best place we have found to purchase an excellent Celastrus paniculatus product is the website called Cognihance. From personal experience, not only do they offer reliably potent all-organic Celastrus in a pure liquid extract form, they also offer a no questions asked guarantee. Celastrus that has been sitting on a shelf for ages as it loses all of its volatile oils and desirable properties, so it is very important to find a reliable supplier! We also really enjoy the encapsulated product called Cognitol available from OmChi Herbs.

Celastrus Capsules

Celastrus FAQ:

Q: How do I use it?

A: In folk medicine, the seeds are boiled and taken for purification of body and mind through the cleansing of blood. The seeds are slightly bitter, and hence  are best taken with a natural sweetener like Licorice root (which enhances the effects) or Stevia leaves. To use whole seeds effectively, simply chew 10-12 of them at a time, or steep 1 tsp of seeds in 4 cups of boiling hot water for 3 hours. Then, sweeten to taste, and drink throughout the day to enhance mental capabilities and cognitive function.

Q: Are there side effects?

A: There are no known side effects, but most of the research has involved using Celastrus when needed, and not as a dietary supplement that is used day after day for long periods of time. We know of several anecdotal reports of people using this wondrous seed for several years at a time with no ill effects. One report states that it was given to a parent suffering from Alzheimers and that it markedly slowed the onset of the disease.

Q: What form is the best and most potent?

A: We answer that question HERE.

Q: What options are there for herbal memory enhancers?

A: We answer that question HERE.