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Calotropis

POISON!

Botanical: Calotropis procera (R. BR.) and gigantea
Family: N.O. Asclepiadaceae

---Synonyms---Mudar Yercum.
---Parts Used---Bark, root-bark.
---Habitat---Native of Hindustan, but widely naturalized in the East and West Indies and Ceylon.


---Description---The dried root freed from its outer cork layer and called Mudar. It occurs in commerce in short quilled pieces about 1/5 to 1/10 of an inch thick and not over 1 1/2 inch wide. Deeply furrowed and reticulated, colour greyish buff, easily separated from periderm. Fracture short and mealy, taste bitter, nauseous, acrid; it has a peculiar smell and is mucilaginous; official in India and the Colonial addendum for the preparation of a tincture.

---Constituents---A yellow bitter resin; a black acid resin; Madaralbum, a crystalline colourless substance; Madarfluavil, an ambercoloured viscid substance; and caoutchouc, and a peculiar principle which gelatinizes on being heated, called Mudarine. Lewin found a neutral principle, Calatropin, a very active poison of the digitalis type. In India the author's husband experimented with it for paper-making, the inner bark yielding a fibre stronger than Russian hemp. The acrid juice hardens into a substance like gutta-percha. It has long been used in India for abortive and suicidal purposes. Mudar root-bark is very largely used there as a treatment for elephantiasis and leprosy, and is efficacious in cases of chronic eczema, also for diarrhoea and dysentery.

---Preparations---Tincture of Calatropis, 1/2 to 1 fluid drachm. Powder, 3 to 12 grains.

---Antidotes---As an antidote to poisoning atropine may be administered. In severe cases the stomach pump may be used and chloral or chloroform administered. Amyl nitrite may also be useful.

See:
ASCLEPIAS
PLEURISY ROOT
SWAMP MILKWEED

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Bear in mind "A Modern Herbal" was written with the conventional wisdom of the early 1900's. This should be taken into account as some of the information may now be considered inaccurate, or not in accordance with modern medicine.

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