Aak/Madar/Calotropis Gigantea

A species of flowering plant belonging to the Apocynaceae family is called Calotropis Gigantea, sometimes referred to as Aak, Madar, or Giant Milkweed. Various portions of Africa, Asia, and Australia are among the places where it is indigenous. The plant is well acknowledged for its unique look, cultural value, and several uses.

Aak is a sizable perennial shrub with branches and sub-branches that can reach a height of 2.5 m. Madar is its name in English. It is applied both internally and externally in Ayurveda. It is frequently used to treat neurological, respiratory, digestive, and skin diseases as well as fever. Large, oval-shaped leaves are alternately distributed along the branches of this plant, which also has thick, fleshy stems. The leaves are pale green and could feel a little waxy. The plant bears lovely clusters of star-shaped blooms, which can be any color from white to pink or purple. These flowers have a distinct look and are frequently eye-catching.

The herb is extremely potent and astringent in action, much like the sun's strong rays, which is why the name of this Aak plant is linked with the sun. It is a member of the family "Apocynaceae" of flowering plants.

Various names in different languages 

  • English name – Rubber bush or Rubber tree, Sodom apple, Apple of Sodom, Kapok tree,
  • Hindi name – Aak, Madar, Akvana
  • Sanskrit name – Vikirana, Asfota, Arka, Toolaphala, Alarka etc.
  • Punjabi name – Ak
  • Telugu name – Jilledu, Mandaram
  • Bengali name – Aaknad
  • Arab name – Ushar
  • Persian name - Kharak
  • Malayalam name – Neela Eukku

Special Note of Calotropis gigantea

The arka plant's latex has the ability to induce vomiting and purging. It is employed in the treatment of vomiting and purging.


India, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka, China, Pakistan, and Nepal are the native habitats of this species of Calotropis.


  • Kingdom: Plantae (Plants)
  • Clade: Tracheophytes (Vascular plants)
  • Clade: Angiosperms (Flowering plants)
  • Order: Gentianales
  • Family: Apocynaceae
  • Genus: Calotropis
  • Species: Calotropis gigantea

Ayurvedic Properties


Hindi / Sanskrit


Rasa (Taste)

Tikta, Katu

Bitter Pungent

Guna (Qualities)

Laghu, Ruksha

Light, Dry

Virya (Potency)



Vipaka (Post-Digestive Taste)



Effect on Dosha

It balances vata and kapha doshas due to its ushna veerya. Red flowers have a bitter and sweet flavor and are utilized to balance pitta dosha.

Charak Samhita

Sushrut Samhita

Bhedniya - Herbs for pain relief.

Arkadi, Adhobhaghara

Vamnopaga - Herbs used in the treatment of vomiting


Swedopaga - Swedan therapy uses herbs.


The following two categories are described by Vagbhata under the term Arkadi Gana:-

  • Shweta Arka
  • Shukla Arka

Chemical components in Calotropis Gigantea

Calotoxin, Giganteol, Calactin, Saccharose, Holarrhetine, Calactin, Gigantin, Clotropins D1 and D2, Holarrhetine, Calotropeols A & B, etc.

Medicinal Usages of Aak

  • Various sections of this plant have therapeutic qualities.
  • The plant's latex is used to induce vomiting as well as purgation.
  • The herb's astringent effect makes it useful in the treatment of numerous skin ailments.
  • Because of its vata pacifying characteristics, it aids in the relief of bloating, gas, and stomach distension caused by incorrect food digestion.
  • It is also useful in the treatment of ascites, which causes significant abdominal distension due to fluid accumulation in the abdominal region.
  • Arka has anti-inflammatory properties in the body. Its inherent cleansing and astringent activity aids in the healing of wounds, itching, and skin and spleen diseases.
  • Arka, due to its powerful purgative activity, aids in the removal of worm infestations in the intestines.
  • Aak is a digestive stimulant that eases the digestion process and allows each organ to work properly.
  • It stimulates appetite, hence combating anorexia and food aversion.
  • This herb's local application is widely employed in Ayurvedic therapeutic procedures to cure hemorrhoids. Its strong alkaline effect aids in the reduction of hemorrhoid tags.
  • As a kapha pacifying herb, it promotes the healthy functioning of the respiratory system, aiding in ailments such as the common cold, cough, asthma, and other related respiratory issues.
  • Calotropis Gigantea leaves and latex are used as an antidote against snake poison.
  • "Arka lavana," made by processing Arka leaves with salt, is a highly efficient herbal combination for gastritis.
  • Latex can also be used to treat diarrhea.
  • Arka calms the vata and kapha doshas.

Caution and Considerations

  • The dosage of various elements of this herb should be carefully adjusted since excessive dosage might cause severe vomiting and diarrhea in patients.
  • It must not be consumed if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • It should not be administered to youngsters.

Part used

Roots, flowers, leaves, and latex


  • Leaves juice: 1 to 4 drops
  • Root bark powder: 0.5 to 1 grams
  • Flower powder: 1 to 2 grams

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