There are several traditional uses which are in need to be tested on medical grounds before making their use widespread. Plesae use all medicines from Calotropis procera for topical or external applications and avoid any contact to eyees as its latex is highly damaging to the eyes. The author only presents here what is written already and does not endorse its use without scientifically testing it.
Calotropis is used as a traditional medicinal plant (Rastogi and Mehrotra 1991; Oudhia and Dixit 1994; Oudhia 1999a,b,c,d) with unique properties (Oudhia and Tripathi 1998, 1999a). Traditionally alotropis is used alone or with other medicinals (Caius 1986) to treat common disease such as fevers, rheumatism, indigestion, cough, cold, eczema, asthma, elephantiasis, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (Das 1996). According to Ayurveda, dried whole plant is a good tonic, expectorant, depurative, and anthelmintic. The dried root bark is a substitute for ipecacuanha. The root bark is febrifuge, anthelmintic, depurative, expectorant, and laxative. The powdered root used in asthama, bronchitis, and dyspepsia. The leaves are useful in the treatment of paralysis, arthralegia, swellings, and intermittent fevers. The flowers are bitter, digestive, astringent, stomachic, anthelmintic, and tonic (Agharkar 1991; Warrier et al. 1996). Calotropis is also a reputed Homoeopathic drug (Ghosh 1988; Ferrington 1990).
Calotropis yields a durable fiber (commercially known as Bowstring of India) useful for ropes, carpets, fishing nets, and sewing thread. Floss, obtained from seeds, is used for stuffing purposes. Fermented mixture of Calotropis and salt is used to remove the hair from goat skins for production of “nari leather” and of sheep skins to make leather which is much used for inexpensive book-binding (Singh et. al. 1996). Fungicidal and insecticidal properties of Calotropis have been reported (Ganapathy and Narayanasamy 1993).
Allelopathic effects of Calotropis on different agricultural crops have not been well studied. Extracts of different plant parts viz. root, stem, leaf ,and stem+leaf of Calatropis affect germination and seedling vigor of many agricultural crops have been reported (Oudhia and Tripathi 1997, 1999; Oudhia et al. 1997, 1998a,b). However, extracts of Calatropis failed to produce any detrimental effects on weeds such as Chenopodium album Melilotus alba, Melilotus indica, Sphaeranthus indicus, and Phalaris minor (Oudhia and Tripathi 1997).
The work in our laboratory falls into two categories : the role of receptors in disease; and pharmacological properties of latex of Calotropis procera.
The levels and integrity of receptors are important determinants in mediating the action of various hormones, growth factors and their antagonists. We have been studying the in vivo regulation of receptor transcripts for androgens, basic fibroblast growth factor and epidermal growth factor, their role in diseases of the prostate namely, benign hyperplasia and carcinoma. We are investigating the role of these receptors in the pathogenesis and management of the above conditions. Our present research is focussed on investigating the role of estrogen receptor splice variants in breast cancer. We are cloning different exons of human estrogen receptor and trying to express them in order to develop screening methods for breast cancer patients. Besides, we are investing the prognostic value of other tumour specific genes in the management of breast cancer.
Calotropis procera is a wild growing plant which has been advocated in the treatment of various diseases. We are studying the phamacological properties of latex of C.procera, especially those related to the inflammatory processes. We have reported its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic properties. Further, we have also developed a model of inflammation to screen various anti-inflammatory agents.
1. Kumar S, Dewan S, Sangraula H and Kumar VL. Anti-diarrhoeal activity of the latex of Calotropis procera. J Ethnopharmacol 76:115-118, 2001.