Calotropis gigantea (L.) R. BR.

Nota de alcance (en)

This is an erect shrub or small tree with milky latex. The leaves are opposite, sessile, ovate or obovate, with acute tips and a cordate base, about ll-14 em long and 8.5-9.5 em broad, and leathery. The pentamerous flowers occur in cymes. The corolla is pale lavender, the fruit large and fleshy. The seeds are provided with silky hairs.

Ethnobotanical and general use

Economical utilization
The bark supplies the very strong yercum fiber. The silky hairs of the seeds 'floss' are too short for spinning textiles but are used for stuffing quilts and upholstery; they are also spun into fishing lines and nets. An extract of the petals in kerosen is used as an insecticide. The latex can be used as a fish poison.

Medical use
Used parts: folia, latex, radix, flos. The plant is used against tooth ache, liver problems, muscular pain, rheumatism, dropsy, epilepsy, hemiplegia, obstruction of the intestine, convulsions, fever, neuralgia, pleurisy, pneumonia, for difficulties during birth, for wounds and bites from rabid dogs. The cortex of the root is emetic. A powder of the root is used as an expectorant, tonic and diaphoretic. The latex is sudorific and purgative. It is used locally for the treatment of leprosy, syphilis and other severe cutaneous diseases. The latex contains histamine and poisonous principles. Three glycosides, calotropin, uscharin and calotoxin as well as proteolytic enzymes are present. It also contains gigantin, a cardiac and fish poison. A bitter toxic compound has been found in the floss of the seeds. The plant is said to have been used in India as a suicidal and infanticidal poison. Calotropin, calotoxin, uscharin and the proteolytic enzymes exert a powerful digitalis-like action. The healing properties of the plant are antiinflammatory, antineuralgic, emetic, vulnerary, and vesicant.

As the plant is highly toxic, ALBORNOZ {1993) advises against the internal use of the plant, and external use is considered only when there are no other remedies.


Whole plant: Milky sap is used to stop bleeding, and for treating boils, scabies, burns, bruises, cuts, sores and wounds. Sap mixed with salt is taken orally as an emetic for severe colds.

Leaf: Infusion for severe chest colds and heart conditions. Leaf yields a milky sap applied on boils, itches and wounds.

Range. Tropical Asia, including Myanmar.

Sap: Used in treating leprosy and as a purgative.

Bark: Used as an anthel­mintic.

Bark and Latex: Used to treat skin diseases and as a vermifuge.

Flower: Used as an antiasthmatic.

Root: Root bark has been substituted for ipecac, especially to treat dysentery; also used in treating skin disease.

Throughout India.

Flowers—stomachic, bechic, antiasthmatic.
Milky juice— purgative (gastrointestinal irritant).
Roots—used in lupus, tuberculous leprosy, syphilitic ulceration.
Leaves—Used in external swellings.
All parts—used against bronchitis and asthma.

Leaves: juice poisonous.

Nota bibliográfica (en)

1) South American medicinal plants : botany, remedial properties, and general use / I. Roth, H. Lindorf. Berlin ; New York : Springer, c2002. -- p. 492.

2) Robertt, A., et al.. Medicinal Plants of the Guianas (Guyana, Suriname, French Guyana)/Smithsonian NMNH. cited online: 17-08-2017.

3) DeFilipps, Robert A.; Krupnick, Gary A. / PhytoKeys, v. 102. - - p. 1 - 314,  2018.

4) Khare, C.P./ Indian Medicinal Plants. -- Nueva Dheli: Springer, 2007 . - p. 836.

Calotropis gigantea (L.) R. BR.
Término aceptado: 19-Dic-2016