Aak/Calotropis Gigantea


Aak is a plant that is mostly found in Africa, Asia, and China and is known for its various medicinal properties. In India, it is called as a sacred plant and is used in sun-worshipping ceremonies. It has two varieties in which one blooms white flowers and the other blooms pinkish-white flowers. Its juice is highly poisonous but has been in Ayurveda for many ages for treating various chronic diseases. But its formulation needs great care and experience. Its roots, leaves, flowers, milky fluid, and wood are very useful.

Name in different languages:

  • English Name: Crown flower, Gaint Milkweed crown, Madar
  • Hindi Name: Akavan, Madara, Aak
  • Marathi Name: Akamadar/Rui
  • Gujarati Name: Akado, Akad
  • Punjabi Name: Ak
  • Telugu Name: Mandaram, Jilledu
  • Parsi Name: Kharak
  • Arab name: Ushar
  • Tamil Name: Erukku, Pellerukku

Sanskrit name:

  • Arka- It means the sun rays and is strong, hot, and pungent in nature.
  • Vikirana- Its pollination is by air
  • Toolaphala- Its fruit has ridges
  • Asphota- The fruit gets burst and open
  • Ksheeraparna- Leaves yield milk as a latex
  • Talaphala, Arkaparna, Asphota, Vikirana, Mandara, Alarka, and Saapuspa.

Categories according to Acharyas:

  • Charak: Svedopaga, Bedaniya, and Vamonopaga
  • Sushruta: Adhobhagahara and Arkadi
  • Vagbhata: Arkadi

Medicinal Properties:

  • Rasa (taste): Tikta (bitter) and Katu (pungent)
  • Guna (Qualities): Ruksha (dry), Teekshana and Laghu (light)
  • Veerya (Potency): Ushna
  • Vipaka: Katu (undergoes pungent taste after digestion)
  • Effect on Tridosha: It mainly balances Vata and Kapha dosha

What are its medicinal uses?

  • Its latex is useful in Vamana (vomiting therapy) and virechana (purgation therapy) to include vomit ad purgation.
  • Gulmahara- Used in abdominal bloating and tumors
  • Kushtahara- Treats skin-related issues
  • Udarahara- It is useful in ascites
  • Krimihara- Treats intestinal worm infestation
  • Deepana- Increases appetite
  • Sara- Proper bowel movements
  • Kanduhara- Treats itching
  • Pleehahara- Useful in sleep-related issues
  • Shophahara- Acts as an anti-inflammatory

This herb is used as a laxative (in constipation) and also useful in cough and cold

Other uses:

Gastritis: A medicine called Arka Lavana which is prepared from the leaves of arak that are processed with Saindhava Lavana (salt). This formulation is widely used in treating gastritis and apply its latex is used in relieving toothache.

Snakebite: It has been used since ancient times in snake bite. Its latex was applied over the wound and its leaves were chewed.

Benefits of aak plant:

Every part of the plant is medicine and every part is useful.

Benefits of aak leaves for inflammation:

Since ancient times, leaves of Aak have been used to remove inflammation of the body. Apply oil on the smooth surface of the leaves (ventral side), heat them, and apply to the swelling affected part of the body. If this treatment is used regularly for 5 to 6 days it definitely helps reduce inflammation.

Benefits of aak flower to cure asthma:

Grind dried flowers of aak and make powder then mix a little bit of rock salt in it. You can eat this mixture like this or else you can drink this mixture with warm water as well. You can get relief from Asthma, cough, cold, etc. by using Aak flowers.

Benefits of aak milk for skin:

Its milk is very beneficial in skin-related disorders. Using this milk you can overcome various types of skin problems for sure. Apply this milk on the affected areas of skin and useful in ringworm, boils or sores. The antioxidants present in it are helpful in healing skin problems.

Benefits of aak Cure digestion:

If you have stomach related problems then it is a very beneficial plant as it treats abdominal tumors, abdominal bloating, acidity, and Constipation.

Aak leaves to relieve deafness:

Administered a few drops of its leaves juice into the ear which treats deafness of the ear. But consult your doctor before doing this as ears come in sensitive organs.

Benefits of aak Cure Diabetes:

Keep its leaves under the feet every morning and wear socks. Remove these leaves before sleeping at night that useful to control sugar.

Along with its useful medicinal properties, it also has a poisonous tendency. If you are using this plant or its formulation for a particular disease then you should contact your doctor before using it. Its high intake results in vomiting, diarrhea, slow heart rate, convulsions, and even death. So use it with caution because it is a very poisonous plant. Pregnant women and breastfeeding women should avoid it.

Part used:

Flowers, latex, leaf, seeds and root bark


  • Root bark powder: 0.5 to 1 gm
  • Flower powder: 1 to 2 gm
  • Fatal dose: More than 500 mg