Calotropis procera

Calotropis procera is a shrub or small tree to 6 m tall. Leaves have very short petiole. Leaf blade is grayish green or hoary white, ovate to obovate, 10-30 × 5-15 cm, base cordate, apex abruptly pointed. Inflorescences are umbel-like cymes , 3-10-flowered, finely woolly; with peduncle 2-5.5 cm. Pedicel is 1.5-2.5 cm. Sepals are elliptic or ovate, ca. 5 × 3 mm. Flower buds are subglobose. Corolla is white outside, pinkish inside, 1.5-2 cm in diam.; lobes are with purple-brown apices, broadly ovate or ovate-triangular, 7-10 × 6-10 mm, spreading. Corona is as long as gynostegium. Follicles are subglobose to obliquely ovoid, inflated, 6-10 × 3-7 cm, pericarp thick, spongy. Seeds are ca. 6 × 4 mm; coma 3.5-5 cm.

Binomial name: Calotropis procera
Family: Asclepiadaceae
Genus: Calotropis
Species: C. procera
Synonym: Asclepias procera Aiton
Common names:  apple of Sodom, Sodom apple, stabragh, kapok tree, king's crown, rubber bush, or rubber tree, in Hebrew Tapuah Sdom
Nepali names: Baarhamaase aank, Akon, Aank, Seto aank, and Madaar
International Common names:
English: auricula tree; cabbage tree; calotrope; camel tree; dead sea fruit; desert wick; French cotton; giant milkweed; Indian milkweed; mudar fibre; mudar plant; roostertree; rubber bush; rubber tree; sodom apple; Sodom's milkweed; swallow-wort

Chinese: bai hua niu jiao gua
Arabic: dead sea plant; kisher; usar; usher
Spanish: algodon extranjero; árbol de la seda; bomba; cazuela; malcascada; mata de seda; mata deseda; mudar; tula; algodon de seda
French: arbre à soie; arbre a soie du Senegal; arbre de soie; boie canon; bois canon; coton soie; pomme de sodome

Habitat/distribution: Calotropis procera is distributed in Afghanistan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam; Africa, SW Asia, introduced to Australia and Central and South America. It is found in tropical belts of western, central, and eastern region of Nepal.

Principal chemical constituents: Calotropis procera contains cardenolide, enzymes, terpenes, flavonoid and other constituents in latex; alpha- amyrin, alpha amyrin acetate, beta-sitosterol, urosolic acid, calotropin, calotropagenin, procesterol, calotropenylacetate, multifflorenol in leaves; flavonoid polysaccharides, enzymes, and other constituents in flowers. The milky sap contains a complex mix of chemicals, some of which are steroidal heart poisons known as "cardiac aglycones".  The steroidal component includes an hydroxyl group in the C3β position, a second attached to the C14 carbon, a C/D-cis ring junction and an α,β-unsaturated-γ-lactone in the C17 position. In the plants, the steroidal component is commonly attached via a glycosidic link to a 2-desoxy or a 2,6-didesoxy sugar molecule.  

Medicinal use: Calotropis procera is used in spleen complaints and rheumatism. It is useful to treat gastric secretions, and is useful in asthma. Root bark is used in chronic dyspepsia, flatulence, constipation, loss of appetite, indigestion, and mucus stools. Leaves are used against guinea worms; also used in treating paralysis, arthralgia, swellings and intermittent fevers. Flowers are used in asthma, anorexia, inflammations and tumors. Seed oil is geriatric and tonic. Its milky juice is applied on swelling and boils.  Its bark infusion is used in curing leprosy and elephantiasis. Root bark is an emetic, flowers are digestive and tonic. Roots are applied for snakebite. Latex is used for treating ringworm, guinea worm blisters, scorpion stings, venereal sores and ophthalmic disorders; also used as a laxative. Calotropis procera shows various pharmacological activities viz., Cytotoxic, antioxidant and antidiabetic, antipyretic, antinociceptive, inflammatory and antiinflammatory, antiarthritic, hepatoprotective, anthelmintic, anticonvulsant, antidiarrhoeal, antimicrobial, neuroprotective, and immune response activity.

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