Indian Name: Aak
Botanical Name: Calotropics Procera
Other Names: Mudar , Sodom apple, Madar plant, Rubber bush
Calotropis Procera is a medicinal weed. It is a flowering plant species in the Apocynaceae, the dogbane family which is native to Indochina, North Africa, South Asia, North Africa, Western Asia and Tropical Africa. It grows as a weed in the wastelands in subcontinent of India, Indonesia, China and Malaysia. Apple of Sodom is the name it is known as commonly.
Since Calotropis Procera properties are distinctively medicinal it is harvested primarily for that. Milkweed, ark and swallow-wart are the common names it is known by. From various parts of the ark plant, extracts are obtained, having very high healing properties. The plant when dried proves to be an excellent expectorant, tonic and an antihelminthic. Root of the plant has laxative qualities. As per tradition the root is dried, powdered and used in treating elephantiasis, bronchitis, eczema, asthma and leprosy.
The weed Calotropis Procera belongs to the Asclepiadaceae or the Ark family. It grows rarely in colder regions, but the subtropical and tropical climate suits it. Flowers of the plant called Calotropis Procera are white and of a superior variety. Calotropis Gigantea is the weed that has flowers in lavender color. Latex is milky in nature and enriched in uscharin, lupeol, calatoxin and calotropin. Stem of the plant exudes latex which is toxic in nature and hence animals that graze do not consume this plant. Poison arrows were made using the extracted latex.
Latex of the plant is processed and used in the treatment of paralysis, vertigo, swellings in the joint, baldness, rheumatoid problems, hair loss issues, intermittent fever and tooth aches. Oil is used for heating the leaves which have medicinal value to treat swelling and pain in the joints. The latex extract obtained from the leaves is pungent. This extract and the flowers are processed and used to prepare tonics for eyes, commercially.
Anti-microbial and spermicidal properties are contained in the plant’s alcoholic extracts. In the reproductive system, simulation of the estrogenic activity takes place with consumption of Calotropis Procera extract. It encourages fertility in women. Nets for fishing, carpets, thread for sewing and ropes are made from the strong fibers of Calotropis Procera plant’s inner bark. It is best to take the advice of a medical practitioner since it could cause eruptions, blisters and lesions.
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