Sunday, February 1, 2009

Calotropis procera R.BR.

English Name : Swallow Wart, Milkweed, Dead Sea Apple and Sodom Apple

Family : Asclepiadaceae

Origin : Native of India, but widely naturalized in the East and West Indies and Ceylon.

Erect, tall, large, much branched and perennial shrubs or small trees that grow to a height of 5.4 m., with milky latex throughout. Bark is soft and corky. Branches stout, terete with fine appressed cottony pubescence (especially on young). Leaves sub-sessile, opposite, decusate, broadly ovate-oblong, elliptic or obovate, acute, thick, glaucous, green, covered with fine cottony pubescent hair on young but glabrous later and base cordate. Flowers in umbellate-cymes and tomentose on young. Calyx glabrous, ovate and acute. Corolla glabrous, lobes errect, ovate, acute, coronal scales 5-6, latterly compressed and equally of exceeding the staminal column. Folicles are sub-globose or ellipsoid or ovoid. Seeds broadly ovate, acute, flattened, minutely tomentose, brown coloured and silky coma is 3.2 cm long.

Wastelands and along agricultural fields and railways of the warmer areas of India (up to 1000 m); also in Africa and Iran; introduced to Central America and the West Indies.

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

Herb Effects
Expectorant, stimulant and diaphoretic (root bark); anticancer and stimulates the cardiovascular system and respiration (root and leaf); induces vomiting (in large doses); tonic, appetiser, stomachic (flower).

Active Ingredients
Taraxasterol and its y-isomer, taraxasteryl isovalerate, taraxasteryl acetate, giganteol, gigantin, isogiganteol and a wax (root bark); calotoxin, uscharidin and uscharin (plant and latex); alpha and beta-amyrin and beta-sitosterol (root bark and plant).

Medicinal Use
Dysentery, diarrhea, indigestion, reducing fever, leprosy, skin diseases and eczema (root bark); cough, cold and asthma (flower and root bark); toothache (latex); rheumatism and syphilis; to relieve stomach pain (leaves); cures piles, asthma, cholera and wounds (flowers).

Tincture: 1/2 to 1 fluid drachm.
Powder: 3 to 12 grains.

Large doses cause vomiting and diarrhoea.


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