CALOTROPIS GIGANTEA (L.) R. Br.

Asclepias gigantea L.
Family: Aaclepiadaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Akanda, Bara Akand.

Tribal Name: Angar pata (Chakma), Angorpata gaas (Tanchangya), Muru pata (Bawm), Muhurong (Rakhaing), Jijonma (Marma), Hakkon (Tripura).

English Name: Gigantic Swallow wort, Mudar, Swallow Tree.

Description of the Plant:
A tall shrub with white latex, up to 3 m high. Leaves 10-20 cm long, elliptic-oblong or ovate-oblong, thick. Flowers 3.8-5 cm diam, purplish or white, in umbellate lateral cymes. Fruits, a pair of follicles, 9-10 cm long, broad, thick, tapering at both ends.

Using Information:
Root bark is diaphoretic, emetic, alterative and purgative; useful in dysentery, asthma, elephantiasis and syphilis. It acts like digitalis on heart. The powder of the root promotes gastric secretion and acts as a mild stimulant and may be given with carminatives in dyspepsia. Milky juice is a violent purgative; cures leucoderma, tumours and ascites; used for criminal purposes for producing abortion or causing death of new-born infants; useful in scabies and ringworm of the scalp and piles.


CALOTROPIS GIGANTEA (L.) R. Br.


Leaves are used as poultice against rheumatism, chest pain due to cold, paralysed parts and in dropsy. It is also useful in piles, skin diseases, wounds and insect bits. Flowers are asrtingent, digestive, stomachic, tonic, anthelmintic and analgesic; useful in asthma, catarrh and loss of appetite. Poultice of the warm leaf is applied to relief pain.

EtOH(50%) extract of the root anticancer and spasmolytic. EtOH(50%) extract of the leaves showed antiimplantation activity in albino rats (Asolkar et al., 1992).

Chemical Constituents:
The principal constituent of the leaves and stems is milky latex, which contains protease enzymes, calotropain FI, calotropain FII, calotropisn DI and DII and uscharine, glutathione, ascorbic acid, calotoxin, calactin and caoutchouc and also a nitrogen and sulphur containing cardiac and fish poison, gigantin. Stem and root barks α- and ß- calotropeols, amyrins, taraxerols, sitosterols, triterpenes and other glycosides. Leaves contain glycolipids, phospholipids, waxes and fatty acids. Various cardiac glycosides, including calotropin, uscharin, uscharidin and calotoxin and four ursane-type triterpenoids have also been identified in the roots. Presence of a novel insect anti-feedant nonprotein amino acid, giganticine, has been reportd in the root bark (Ghani, 2003). α-amyrin, ß-amyrin, taraxasterol, ψ- taraxasterol and ß-sitosterol have also been isolated from the plant (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1990).

Distribution:
Throughout the country in road side and fallow lands.