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Dead Sea Apple or Aak

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Latin Name(s): Calotropis Procera

English Name(s): Dead Sea Apple, Milkweed, Sodom Apple, Swallow-Wort

Sanskrit / Indian Name (s): Aak, Alarka


Cure for: This genus plant produces a milky sap which is poisonous and have digitalis-like compounds that affect the heart. It said to have a mercury like effects on the human body, hence is some times referred to as vegetable mercury and is used in place of mercury in aphrodisiacs.

Medicinally, the acrid sap latex is used to treat boils, infected wounds and other skin problems in people, and to treat parasitic skin infestations in animals. Traditionally, aak is used alone or with other medicinal plants to treat common disease such as fevers, rheumatism, indigestion, cough, cold, eczema, asthma, elephantiasis, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. According to Ayurveda, dried whole plant is a good tonic, expectorant, depurative, and anthelmintic. The dried root bark is febrifuge, anthelmintic, depurative, expectorant, and laxative. The powdered root is useful in asthama, bronchitis, and dyspepsia and the leaves are useful in the treatment of paralysis, arthralegia, swellings, and intermittent fevers. The flowers are bitter, digestive, astringent, stomachic, anthelmintic, and tonic in nature. Calotropis is also a reputed Homoeopathic drug. It also yields ash for making gunpowder, and extremely strong fiber.

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