Calotropis

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What other names is Calotropis known by?

Aak, Ak, Akada, Alarka, Arbre de Satan, Arbre à Soie, Arbre à Soie du Sénégal, Arka, Asclepias procera, Calotropis procera, Dead Sea Apple, Mudar Bark, Muder Yercum, Pommier de Sodome, Sodom-Apple, Swallow-Wort.

What is Calotropis?

Calotropis is a plant. People use the bark and root bark for medicine.

Despite serious safety concerns, calotropis is used for digestive disorders including diarrhea, constipation and stomach ulcers; for painful conditions including toothache, cramps, and joint pain; and for parasitic infections including elephantiasis and worms. Some people use calotropis for syphilis, boils, inflammation (swelling), epilepsy, hysteria, fever, muscular spasm, warts, leprosy, gout, snakebites, and cancer.

In inhalation therapy, smoke from the bark is inhaled for coughs, asthma, and to cause sweating.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of calotropis for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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How does Calotropis work?

Calotropis contains chemicals that might help thin mucous and make it easier to cough up. In studies in animals, calotropis has shown some activity against pain, inflammation, bacteria, fever, and ulcers caused by alcohol and medications such as aspirin, indomethacin (Indocin), and others.

Are there safety concerns?

Calotropis is UNSAFE, especially in high doses. It contains chemicals that can interfere with heart function, particularly at high doses. It can cause serious side effects including vomiting, diarrhea, slow heartbeat, convulsions, and death.

It's not known whether it's safe to inhale calotropis smoke.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's UNSAFE to use calotropis during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Avoid use.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Digoxin (Lanoxin)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Digoxin (Lanoxin) helps the heart beat more strongly. Calotropis also seems to affect the heart. Taking calotropis along with digoxin can increase the effects of digoxin and increase the risk of side effects. Do not take calotropis if you are taking digoxin (Lanoxin) without talking to your healthcare professional.



Lithium
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Calotropis might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking calotropis might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.



Stimulant laxatives
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Calotropis can affect the heart. The heart uses potassium. Laxatives called stimulant laxatives can decrease potassium levels in the body. Low potassium levels can increase the chance of side effects from calotropis.

Some stimulant laxatives include bisacodyl (Correctol, Dulcolax), cascara, castor oil (Purge), senna (Senokot), and others.



Water pills (Diuretic drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Calotropis might affect the heart. "Water pills" can decrease potassium in the body. Low potassium levels can also affect the heart and increase the risk of side effects from calotropis.

Some "water pills" that can deplete potassium include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDiuril, Microzide), and others.

Dosing considerations for Calotropis.

The appropriate dose of calotropis depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for calotropis. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
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Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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