Botanical Name

Calotropis procera, (Aiton) Dryand.




Asclepias patula Decne, Asclepias procera Aiton, Calotropis busseana K. Schum, Calotropis heterophylla Wall. ex Wight, Calotropis inflexa Chiov, Calotropis syriaca Woodson.

Regional Name

English : Madar Tree, Hindi : Aak, Madar, Akavana, Sanskrit : Ravi, Bhanu, Tapana, Punjabi : Ak, Urdu : Madar, Aak, Assamese : Akand, Akan, Bengali : Akanda, Akone, Gujrati : Aakado, Kannada : Ekka, Ekkadagida, Ekkegida, Kashmiri : Acka, Malayalam : Erikku, Marathi : Rui, Oriya : Arakha, Tamil : Vellerukku, Erukku, Telugu : Jilledu.

Part Used

Root bark, flowers, leaf, latex, seeds.


Aak is probably native to India, globally distributed in China, Southeast Asia, Middle East, and North Africa, Tropical Africa and Asia. Within India, it is found growing wild throughout in comparatively drier and warmer areas, up to an altitude of 1050 m. It occurs in open habitats such as cultivated fields, roadsides, grazing lands and other disturbed or degraded sites. It is a shrub or small tree, generally up to 2.5-4 m (max. 6) high. Stem round, usually simple (rarely branched), pale green, thickly covered with hoary pubescence which readily rubs off. Leaves decussate, obovate, acuminate 10-20 cm long and 4-10 cm wide. Inflorescence a dense, multiflowered, umbellate cyme arising from the nodes and appearing axillary or terminal. Corolla slightly campanulate, with 5 sepals that are 4-5 mm long; segments ovate, acute, rather concave, dull purple bordered with white on the upper side, silvery on the underside. Fruits sub-globose, ellipsoid or ovoid, recurved follicle, 7.5-10.0 cm. Seed light-brown, broadly ovate, flattened, 3.2 cm with silky hairs. A white milky sap is exuded from any wound on the plant.


The plants contain the cardenolide, proceragenin, while the root bark contains benzoylinesolone and benzoylisolinelone, α-amyrin,β-amyrin , lupeol, β-sitosterol and flavanols like quercetin-3-rutinoside . .In the leaves, mudarine is the principal active constituent as well as a bitter yellow acid, resin and 3 toxic glycosides calotropin, uscharin , calotoxin and calotropagenin. Flower contains calotropenyl acetate, and multiflavenol and the latex contains uzarigenin, and terpenol ester. The latex contains a powerful bacteriolytic enzyme, a very toxic glycoside calactin (the concentration of which is increased following insect or grasshopper attack as a defense mechanism), calotropin D I, calotropin D II, calotropin-F I, calotropin F II and a non-toxic protealytic enzyme calotropin (2 %-3 %).

Ayurvedic Properties

Rasa (taste) - Katu (pungent), Tikta (bitter), Guna (qualities) - Laghumn (lightness), Ruksha (dryness), Teekshna, Vipaka - Katu, Virya -Ushna.

Ayurvedic Applications

Gulma, Svasa, Kustha, Krmiroga, Kandu.

Medicinal Uses

It is used in the diseases like Asthma, Ear ache, Stomach ache, Arthritis, Skin disease, Haemorrhoids, useful in anorexia, Root bark is useful in cough, cold and constipation.

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