This herb acts like digitalis on the heart.
The root-bark: mucilaginous,
bitter, alterative (when used at the rate of 3 to 10 grains thrice daily), tonic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, purgative,
expectorant, and in large doses emetic (when used at the rate of 30 to 60
This herb increases secretions (especially the evacuation of bile) and has a sedative action on the muscular
fibers of the intestines, (especially the colon and the rectum), allaying all pain, and irritation.
It is thus very useful for relieving all dysenteric symptoms. Useful for leprosy, syphilis,
dysentery and elephantiasis. Also useful in the cure of epilepsy, hysteria,
fits, convulsions and paralysis.
It is a great remedy for
syphilitic affections. It is called 'vegetable mercury' because of this
The herb is useful for fevers
because of its antiperiodic and diaphoretic actions. Other uses include:
bile secretion, heart diseases (used like digitalis), parasitic infection,
difficult/painful urination, abdominal disorders, hemorrhoids, and edema.
Flowers: digestive, stomachic, and tonic.
When given internally in small doses, it stimulates the capillaries and acts powerfully upon the skin.
Hence, it is useful for elephantiasis, and leprosy. The flowers also has
beneficial effect on asthma.
Juice: caustic, a purge for phlegm, depilatory, and the most acrid of all milky juices.
It has emetic, diaphoretic, alterative and purgative properties.
Milky juice is a violent purgative and gastrointestinal irritant.
In India, it has been used illegally for inducing abortion or causing the death of new-born infants, by forcing it down the throat
or applied locally, usually a stick smeared with the juice is pushed up into the
uterus and left there until uterine contractions are induced. In some parts of India if is also used as a cattle poison.
Leaves and branches : anesthesia,
paralysis, resolvent, toxic asthma.
All parts of the plant are considered to have valuable alterative properties when taken in small doses.
Action and Uses in Ayurveda and Siddha
gulmam, kapodaram, kandu, kushtum, vishim, vranam.
Red flowers: arsas,
grahi, gulmam, kaphaharm, krimi, in kushtam, madhura in raktapittam,
rasam, sodam, tikta rasam.
aphrodisiac, in aruchi, dipanim, kasam, lagu, pachanam, swasam
Milk: lagu, snigdam,
tikshnam, ushnam, virechanam, indication in
Action and Uses in Unani
balgham, caustic, dropsy, piles, skin
Arka is a main ingredient
of Arka Tailam, an
ayurvedic herbal oil. This oil is useful in eczema and eruptive skin diseases.
It relieves the pain and burning in scorpion and insect
bites. It is used by women for removing hair from parts of body. It is a useful local application for the relief of painful joints and swellings, and for ringworm of the scalp.