Arka: The herb which assures healthy blood vessels


       Arka is commonly known as Gigantic swallow wort. The name Arka is given to the herb as it’s flowers resemble the color of the rising sun. It is also known as Ksheeraparni as it’s Leaves have latex. The herb is ised to treat numerous diseases including skin disorders, piles, caries etc.Dr. Varun Ram Raj of Ayurvedatarian uses the herb Arka for the treatment of disorders caused by the vitiation of Kapha and Vata doshas as the herb alleviates both these doshas. The herb is used successfully to treat Skin diseases of Vata Kapha origin as well as in Vata Kaphaja Arsas (Haemorrhoids ). Arka contains Phytoconstituents like Calotropin, Frugoside etc which helps in it’s Purgative and Stomachic actions.

General aspects and geography

Botanical name : Calotropis gigantea    

Family :  Asclepiadaceae 

Habitat: All over India

Parts used

  • Root bark and flowers 

Classical categorization based on Ayurveda textbooks

Charaka Samhita – Vamanopaga varga(emetic herbs)

Susruta Samhita – Arkadi gana 

Pharmacological action

  • Purgative 
  • Digestive 
  • Stomachic
  • Emetic
  • Analgesic 

Medicinal property according to Ayurveda

  • Vamaka ( emetic)
  • Kandughna (Beneficial for reducing itching)
  • Kushtaghna (Used for treating skin disorders )
  • Arsoghna (Reduces Piles )

Therapeutic indications

  • Haemorrhoids (Arsas)- Fumigation with root of Arka is useful in treating Piles.
  • Wound(Vrana) – The leaves of Arka is used for covering the wound for quick healing.


Powder (Churna) – 500 mg 

Kshira(Latex)- 0.25 g

Tablet - 2 tablets twice daily or as per the advice of the Ayurveda doctor 

Note: Ayurveda medications must be taken only after consulting an Ayurveda doctor. 


  • Arka manasiladi taila
  • Arka lavana
  • Arka kshiradi lepa
  • Arkapushpadi vatika

Morphology :

Tall shrub that grows upto 3m in height. Bark is yellowish. Branches are stout. Leaves are sessile and elliptic oblong in shape. Inflorescence is umbellate lateral cymes. Fruits are broad and fleshy green with numerous seeds.

Vernacular names of  Arka

English – Gigantic swallow wort 

Hindi- Ak

Malayalam – Erukku

Sanskrit – Arka

Synonyms of Arka

  • Ganarupa
  • Kshiraparni
  • Rakthapushpa
  • Prathapa 

Rasapanchaka of Arka

Rasa- Tikta (bitter) Madhura(Sweet)

Guna-  Laghu (light)

Vipaka- Katu (Acrid)

Virya-  Ushna (hot)

अर्कद्वयं सरं वातकुष्ठकण्डू विषव्रणान्

निहन्ति प्लीहगुल्मार्शःश्लेष्मोदरशकृत्कृमीन् ।।

(Bhavaprakasa Nighantu -Guducyadi varga-shloka 69)

Arka is Vata Kapha samaka because of it’s properties like Katu vipaka and Snigdha guna. The herb is used to alleviate diseases caused by Vata and Kapha doshas like Twak rogas (Skin ailments )and Sotha (inflammatory swelling ) etc. Ayurvedatarian lead by Dr. Varun Ram Raj, is currently conducting various researches based on ancient Ayurvedic textbooks, involving Arka for preparing various combinations of medicines to alleviate conditions involving vitiation of Kapha, Vata and Medas. Reach Ayurvedatarian for better health management.

Researches on Arka


Frequently asked Questions

  1. What are the uses of Arka lavana?

Arka lavana is used to treat abdominal tumor.

  1. What is the fatal dose of Root bark powder of Arka?

Above 2 g is considered to be fatal.


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