ASCLEPIAS CURASSAVICA L.

Family: Asclepiadaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Kakturi, Ban Kapas.

Tribal Name: Si Gain Da (Marma).

English Name: West Indian Ipecacuanha, Wild Ipecacuanha.

Description of the Plant:

An erect perennial herb or undershrub. Leaves opposite, lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, acute, narrowed into a short petiole, glabrous. Umbels axillary many-flowered, shortly peduncled; corolla orange-red, lobes reflexed, column stipitate. Fruits a pair of follicles, tapering at both ends.

Using Information:

Various plant parts and latex are used against warts and cancers. Leaf juice is a good anthelmintic; useful in arresting haemorrhages. The plant is recommended for phthisis. Alcoholic extract of the plant is a strong cardiotonic. The root is purgative, emetic, febrifuge and astringent; used for asthma, fever, venereal diseases, piles and gonorrhoea. It is also given in Jaundice; for this purpose, crushed root is soaked overnight in a glass of water and taken in the next morning with green-coconut water.

Extract of the plant showed anticancer properties. Extract of roots, leaves, flowers, and stems, as also alcoholic extract of the plant can destroy human cancer cells in culture; active principle is calotropin (Asolkar et al., 1992).

Chemical Constituents:

The plant contains cardiac glycosides which include asclepin, calotropin, uzarin and their free genins, calactin, coroglucigenin and uzarigenin. Leaves also contain cardioactive glycosides, asclepiaside D, asclepiadin and vincetoxin. The plant also contains oleanolic acid, ß- sitosterol, and more than six flavnoid quercetin glycosides (Ghani, 2003). Crotoxigenin, curassavicin, calotropagenin a new acylated genin-asclepin and its four glycosides H1, H2 (glucorhamnoside), I and J (glucosides) have also been isolated from the plant (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1993).

ASCLEPIAS CURASSAVICA L.
ASCLEPIAS CURASSAVICA L.

Distribution:

Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Noakhali, Pirojpur, Jessore, Khulna, Jhalakathi, Barisal, in fallow lands and canal banks (Rare).