Aak is a perennial shrub which is growing 2.5 meter high with varius branches and sub branches. Leaves of Aak are simple, sub sessile, opposite, ovate and cordate at their base. The bunch of flower of Aak are waxy and lavender/white in their color. The flowers are consist of pointed five petals and a small beautiful crown, that holds the stamen. Aak has stem which is milky and contains fatty acid, cardiac glycosides and calcium oxalate.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT AAK
In Sanskrit language Aak (Calotropis Gigantea) is known as “Arka”. In Hindi language Aka is a common name that is given to this plant. Aak is very familiar to the Indians as a perennial bush growing almost anywhere in the wild.
The stem of Aak is tender white is filled with milky white exudates which is sticky. This plan is popular amongst the common population because of this particularity. The milky exudate stem is mildly poisonous. In Ayurveda this plant is considered as one of the toxins. Though toxic, this latex (exudate) can be purified and further used as a very effective antidote and very good herbal medicine.
The name of Aak plant synonymous with the Sun because this herb is very strong and astringent in action much like the powerful rays of Sun. It belongs to the “Apocynaceae” family of flowering plants.
NAME OF AAK IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGE
- English Name: Madar, Crown flower, Milkweed crown, Sodom apple, Kapok tree, Apple of sadom, Rubber bush, Rubber tree
- Hindi Name: Aak, Madar, Akavan
- Gujarati Name: Akad, Akado
- Sanskrit Name: Toolaphala, Arka, Vikirana, Alarka, Asfota
- Marathi Name: Rui, Akamadar
- Punjabi Name: Ak
- Parsi Name: Kharak
- Telugu Name: Jilledu, Mandaram
- Arab Name: Ushar
- Tamil Name: Pellerukku, Erukku
- Bengali Name: Aaknad
- Persian Name: Kharak
- Malyalam Name: Nella eukku
SANSKRIT NAME OF AAK
- Arka – This meaning the sun rays and it is hot, strong, and pungent in nature.
- Toolaphala – It means its fruits has ridges.
- Vikirana – This plant is pollination by air.
- Ksheeraparna – Its leaves yield milk as latex.
- Asphota – The fruits of Aak gets burst and open.
- Alarka, Arkaparna, Asphota, Mandara, Saapuspa, Talaphala, Vikirana.
CATEGORIES ACCORDING TO ACHARYAS:
- Charak: Bedaniya, Svedopaga, and Vamonopaga
- Sushruta: Arkadi and Adhobhagahara
- Vagbhata: Arkadi
CLASSIFICATION OF AAK
- Kingdom – Plantae
- Order – Gentianales
- Family – Apocynaceae
This species of Calotropis is native to India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Phillippines, China, sri Lanka, and Nepal.
|Hindi / Sanskrit||English|
|Guna||Laghu, Tikshna, Ruksha||Physical properties||Dry, Light, Sharp|
|Vipaka||Katu||Metabolic Property (After Digestion)||Pungent|
EFFECTS OF AAK ON DOSHAS
|Charak Samhita||Sushrut Samhita|
|Bhedniya – Herb that helps to relieve the pain||Adhobhaghara, Arkadi|
|Vamnopage – Herbs which are used in vomiting therapy|
|Swedopaga – Herbs that used in Swedan therapy|
MEDICINAL USES OF AAK (CALOTROPIS GIGANTEA)
Different Parts of Aak plant have different medicinal properties which are explained below in details:-
- The latex of Aak is useful in vomiting therapy (vamana)
- The latex is also used in constipation as it has laxative properties.
- Aak is very useful in cold and cough
- Its latex is useful in purgation therapy (virechana)
- Deepana – It helps to increase the appetite
- Gulmahara – This herb is used in tumors and bloating
- Udarahara – It is very useful in ascites
- Kushtahara – It treats various types of skin related problems
- Krimihara – it treats intestinal worm infestation
- Sara – It helps to maintain proper bowel movements
- Kanduhara – It treats itchind of the skin
- Shophahara – aak acts as an anti-inflammatory drug
- Aak leaves are very useful in gastritis
- Its latex is used in toothache
- Latex of Aak is used snake bite, its latex applied over the wound
- this herb has Astringent action that beneficial for skin
- it has Vata pacifying properties, so it helps in relieving bloating, abdominal distention and flatulence
- It helps to digest the food
- It fighting with anorexia and disinterest in consuming food
- Local application of Aak is used to treat hemorrhoids. It helps in shrinking hemorrhoid tags with its strong alkaline effects
- Aak has kapha pacifying properties, it helps in healthy working system of respiratory system. It helps to fight diseases like cough, cold, asthma and other respiratory problems
- The latex and leaves of Aak are used as an antidote for snake poison
- It is very effective herb in gastritis like stomach problems
- Latex of Aak is good for treating diarrhea
- Arka helps to pacifies Vata and Kapha dosha
AYURVEDIC PRODUCTS FROM AAK (CALOTROPIS GIGANTEA)
- Arkadi Ghrita
- Asanadi Kashaya
- Arkadi Kashaya
- Root Bark
- Flower Powder – 1 to 2 gm
- Root Bark Powder – 0.5 to 1 gm
- Leaves Juice – 1 gm to 2 gm
- Fatal dose – 500 mg to 700 mg
CAUTION – SIDE EFFECTS OF AAK
- The dosage of different parts of Aak should be carefully modulated because the over dosage can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting in person.
- Aak should not be used during the period of pregnancy or lactation period.
- Aak should not be given to the children.