Aak finds mentions in almost every books of Ayurveda in which its medicinal values have been detailed .It is commonly known as Aak, Arka, calotropis, Akanda, Madar, Aditya, Aspotak etc and used as the traditional medicinal plant. It’s used to manufacture several medicines. Besides it’s also used as domestic medicines to cure numerous diseases.
Aak is an ethnocentric botanical plant which grows in jungles, desolated and ruined soil, and insolvent places as well as along the Railway lines also. Two species of Aak are commonly known to be found- red and white. Its plants are 5-10 feet in height. This is a multi branched evergreen plant. When the stems or leaves of both the spacies of plants are broken up, a whitish milky juice oozes out of the stalks. The skin of stem or branch is light yellowish in appearance, khaki coloured and soft to touch. Its leaves are thick, greenish and egg shaped and rectangular in its entire dimension. These are 4-6 inches longish and 1 and1/2 to 2 inches in width.
The flowers of Aak or Madar are of 2 inches in diameter, having no smell, and taking on some yellowish and some white colours. Although the flowers keep blossoming always on these plants but it blossoms in abundance in summer seasons. The reddish colour of Aak flowers are of violet colour some of them are scented too. After the flowers falls down, fruits and stumps surface up on their places. The stumps are bent downwards from the middle portion but protrude all around which resemble after the beaks of parrots. There are seeds inside it covered with soft blackish coloured cotton. The seeds along with cotton ricochet after they ripen.
Useful parts of Aak plant
- Its milky fluid and
- The wood of Aak.
Method of uses in quantity
- Powder of the bark of root- from 1 & ½ to 5 ratti,
- Its milky fluid- from 1-2 ratti, and
- Flower- from 1-2 gm.
Different names of Aak
- Aak or Madar in Sanskrit is known ‘Alark’ and ‘Mandar’.
- Madar in Hindi.
- Rui and Aak in Marathi.
- Aakdo in Gujtati.
- Aakand in Bengali.
- Ushar or Ushaar in Assamese.
- Calotropis Gigarnita (white Aak) and Calotropis Procera (red Aak)
Medicinal values of Aak
About the medicinal properties of Aak, much mention are found in the famed book ‘Bhav Prakash’ which is as follows:
Tastes of Aak:
- Strong and hard hitting,
- Sweat producer,
Diseases that are treated with Aak:
- Destroyer of the diseases of boils,
- Disorder of wind,
- Cough and
- Stomach diseases.
Properties of Aak according to modern opinion
As per the modern opinion, the bark of the root of Aak is bitter, acerbic, hot, digestive, bile secreting, destroyer of cough, anti nauseating, , strong, and a superb chemical. Its chemical properties are terrific like mercury. The properties present in bark dissolve sooner in blood and during the course of circulation; the function of liver improves catalysing different glands resulting into a balanced production of all the hormones in the body. The body becomes stronger and healthy.
The bark of root of Aak- hugely effective in skin diseases
Use of the bark of Aak in skin diseases yields excellent results by applying the paste of its root bark cures all types of boils, blood impurities and syphilis etc. Application of the bark paste with Rassindur, Surma (Srotojan), and Sambharsing powder is highly beneficial in case of the disease of elephantine foot.
When the ‘neemoli oil’ with bark powder is applied on skin, all types of ragged up skin diseases get quickly cured. With the use of its root bark, the enlarged up spleen and diseases arising out of it gets easily alleviated. The root bark powder when taken with saunf, rose flower petals or dalchini chases away chronic dysentery.
The flowers of Aak cures gas in stomach, enhances hunger fire, and digestive. It kills lack of hunger, excessive oozing out of saliva from the mouth, treats piles, and cures cough and asthma for good. The leaves of Aak make well laceration and wounds and swelling.
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