Medicinal uses of Madar or Arka

Madar or Arka is a medicinal plant which is found as weed throughout India in wastelands, open areas and arid region. Calotropis is also found in most part of world with warm climate, dry, alkaline and sandy soil. It is commonly available in two varieties that is Calotropis procera (purple-flowered) and Calotropis gigantea (white-flowered).


For medicinal purpose white flowered variety is preferred. The latex or milky discharge of plant has abortifacient (causing abortion), spasmogenic and carminative, anti-dysentric, anti-syphilitic, anti-rheumatic, antifungal, diaphoretic properties and used in treatment of leprosy, bronchial asthma and skin diseases. The root bark powder is traditionally used for getting relief in diarrhoea and dysentery. The root of plant is carminative and useful in indigestion.

The other common names are Swallow wort, Sodom’s milkweed, Giant milkweed, Alarka, Erukku and Aak. Although various parts of Aak plant are used for medicinal purpose, both externally as well as internally but it should be kept in mind that this is a toxic plant. It must not be used during pregnancy. It is also toxic for eyes. Its few drops can produces sudden dimness of vision with photophobia.

  1. Family: Asclepiadaceae
  2. English: Madar, Giant Milk-weed, Roostertree, Mudar plant
  3. Sanskrit: Alarka, Rajaarka, Shvetarka, Vasuka, Mandaar,Bhasvanmuula, Dinesh, Prabhakar
  4. Unani: Madaar, Aak
  5. Siddha/Tamil: Erukku
  6. Arabic: Oshar
  7. French: Calotrope, Pomme de Sodome
  8. German: Wahre Mudarpflanzer, Gomeiner
  9. Italian: Calotropo
  10. Spanish: Algodon extranjero, Cazuela
  11. Turkish: Ipekag

Here is given few traditional medicinal uses of Madar plant

  • Rheumatism, painful joints, mumps
    Tie lukewarm leaves on affected joints.
  • Skin blemishes
    Mix latex of plant with haldi (3 gm) and apply on affected facial areas.
  • Leucoderma, vitiligo
    Take 20 ml latex of Aak plant, mix 5 g bavchi churna and 1/2 g Hartaal churna. Apply this on affected areas.
  • Piles
    Apply latex topically on piles.
  • Pain in ears, Ear diseases, Infection in ear, pus in ear
    Take yellow aak leaves and wash well under running water. Dry them and extract 1/4 cup juice. Add 1/4 cup sesame oil. Also add 1/4 teaspoon of garlic, calamus, dalchini and hing. Cook this at low flame till all moisture is removed. Store in a bottle after cooling and use this as ear drops.
  • Apply ghee on the leaves and put on fire for few seconds. Extract the juice and put in ear.
  • Deafness
    Take yellow leaf of the plant and warm it. Squeeze to get juice. Put few drops in ears.
  • Skin  diseases, ring worm, fungal infection, bite of poisonous insect, ulcers, tumors
    Apply plant latex on affected areas.
  • Boils
    Extract the latex of plant. Mix with haldi(turmeric) and apply on affected skin area.
  • Wounds
    Apply warmed leaves on wounds.
  • Pain in tooth due to cavity
    Rub latex on affected tooth.
  • Foot blisters
    Apply latex of Madar plant.
  • Cholera
    Take clean root bark of plant. Dry them and pulverise to make powder. Mix ginger juice and black pepper powder. Roll into tablets of pea size. Take 1 tablet after every 2 hours with 1 teaspoon mint juice.
  • Female infertility
    Take shade dried roots of white flower variety Madar. Pulverise it to get fine powder. Take this powder in dose of 1-2 grams with a glass of Gau dugdha.

Take shade dried roots of white flower variety Madar. Pulverise it to get fine powder. Take this powder in dose of 1-2 grams with a glass of Gau dugdha.

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