Important Uses of Arka (Calotropis procera Linn) in Indian System of Medicine with Pharmacological Evidence
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Herbal drugs constitute a major share of all the officially recognised systems of health in India viz. Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy. More than 70% of India's 1.1 billion populations still use these drugs. Calotropis procera Linn. is one of the herb mentioned in all ancient scripts of Ayurveda. It is known as Arka in Ayurveda. Botanical texts of Ayurveda like Dhanwantari Nighantu, Madana pala Nighantu and Bhavaprakash have mentioned details about the plant. The various parts of the plant are being used in various traditional systems of medicine for the treatment of variety of ailments like in worms infestation, strangury and ulcer etc. The root bark has been used for cutaneous disease, intestinal worm, cough, ascites and anasarca. The root powered is useful in bronchitis, dyspepsia, gastroenteritis, dysentery, piles, boils, scrotal enlargement, filariasis, and cancer. Considerable efforts have been made by researchers to verify its utility through scientific pharmacological screenings. Pharmacological studies have shown that Calotropis procera Linn. possesses a wide range of biological activities such as anti-diabetic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-oxidant, anthelmintic, anti-candidial, wound healing, anti-convulsant, anti-tumor, anti-asthmatic, hepatoprotective and cytotoxic. This reviews presents pharmacognostical, pharmacological and uses of Calotropis procera Linn. in Ayurveda.
Calotropis procera (Arka), Ayurveda, Pharmacological action.