Shrubs of Morni: Aak

January 7, 2013

Aak/Akada (Calotropis procera) a spreading shrub about 6 – 10 feet in height with grey-green leaves and waxy purple-white flowers. The plant yields a milky-white latex that is used to cure skin ailments including leprosy. The leaves and roots are used in traditional forms of medicine for treating cough, fever and malaria. Flowers are used to treat cholera. Self-medication is, however, dangerous as the plant contains several toxins. Direct contact with latex can lead to serious skin allergies and was once used to poison arrows. Aak fibres have been used for weaving a rough cloth and for filling pillows. The shrub grows wild in wastelands and on garbage heaps in dry, sandy conditions. The plant has been associated with sun worship in several ancient civilizations.

Aak flowers

Aak shrub at Mallah, Morni

 

Filed in: Trees & Shrubs

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An environmental enthusiast who loves tramping through the hills in search of the picturesque.

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  1. Er.M.C.Aggarwal says:

    There is another variety of Aak , called Safed Aak which bears only white flowers.There is no fiberous fruits/bulbs in this Aak.The plant has been associated with Ganesh worship and planted by many households in front of their houses , mostly in Rajsthan State.
    It is said that if the root of 7-8 years old plant is taken out it looks like Ganesh idol.

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