Calotropis is the dried root-bark of Calotropis procera, R. Brown, and of Calotropis gigantea, R. Brown (N.O. Asclepiadeae). The drug occurs in short, more or less quilled pieces, about 2 to 5 millimetres thick, and 2 to 3.5 centimetres wide, to which rootlets are sometimes attached. Externally, it is covered with a soft, pale buff, longitudinally furrowed and wrinkled cork; on the inner surface it is pale yellow and granular. The fracture is short and mealy, the fractured surface being white. The taste is bitter and acrid. A transverse section exhibits a thick buff-coloured cork, and a white inner portion. The starch, chiefly situated in the cortex, is very characteristic, consisting of simple or compound grains, the former being mostly 3μ to 10μ long, with a distinct hilum and conspicuous striations; the compound grains are usually composed of two constituent grains. The cortex and bast contain abundant laticiferous vessels, and the medullary rays are one cell wide.
Constituents.—The chief constituents of calotropis are a yellow bitter resin, a black acid resin, a crystalline colourless substance (madaralban), an amber-coloured viscid substance (madarfluavil), and caoutchouc.
Action and Uses.—Calotropis resembles ipecacuanha in its action; small doses are diaphoretic and expectorant, and large doses cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
Dose.—As an expectorant 2 to 6 decigrams (3 to 10 grains); as an emetic, 2 to 4 grammes (30 to 60 grains).
- Tinctura Calotropis, I.C.A.—TINCTURE OF CALOTROPIS.
- Calotropis, in No. 40 powder, 10; alcohol (60 per cent.), sufficient to produce 100. Tincture of calotropis is official in India and the Eastern Colonies for use as a diaphoretic and expectorant. Dose.—2 to 4 mils (1/2 to 1 fluid drachm).
The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.