Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Calotropis gigantea (L.) W.T.Aiton

Family : Asclepiadaceae

Synonym(s) : Asclepias gigantea Linnaeus, Periploca cochinchinensis Loureiro, Streptocaulon cochinchinense (Loureiro) G. Don.

English Name : Giant Milk Weed, bowstring hemp, calotrope, crown flower, crownplant, madar

Origin : India

Large, milky shrub,1-5 m in height. Stems woody and round; bark thick, light yellow or ash-grey, soft, corky, eeply fissured. Leaves fleshy, cuneate- obovate or obovate-oblong, 10.0-20.0 cm x 2.5-7.5 cm, smooth above, cottony below. Flowers purplish-lilac or white and are borne in axillary pedunculate - corymbs; corolla lobes spreading or reflexed. The follicles are 8.0 to 10.0 cm long, recurved and turgid. Seeds are numerous and broadly ovate.

Wastelands and fallow land on Indian plains; also in Java and Ceylon. It is found growing up to an altitude of 900 m.

Parts Used : Root and its bark, leaf, flower, stem and latex

Herb Effects
Antiarrhythmic and alleviates spasms (root); anticancer (root and leaf); hypotensive (latex); laxative (plant juice); digestive, stomachic and tonic(flower); emetic, diaphoretic, alternative and purgative (root- bark and juice).

Active Ingredients
Giganteol and iso-giganteol (root bark); sapogenins (leaf); calotropins DI. DII. FI and FII (latex).

Medicinal Use
Toothache and laxative (plant juice); altering secretion of stomach acids, in the treatment of skin diseases, asthma, elephantiasis and leprosy (flowers); paralysis, arthralgia, swellings and intermittent fevers (leaves). The tribals of South Rajasthan apply latex in the treatment of Guinea worm disease (Joshi, 1991).

Do not use while pregnant.


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