Asclepias curassavica L.

Family: Asclepiadaceae


Family Synonyms

Common Names

Kakturi, Ban Kapas (Bengali); West Indian Ipecacuanha, Wild Ipecacuanha (English) and Si Gain Da (Marma).

Local Availability

Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Noakhali, Pirojpur, Jessore, Khulna, Jhalakathi, Barisal, in fallow lands and canal banks (Rare)

Worldwide Availability

Widespread species, Asia, South Asia, ranging from southern North America through Central America and into South America

Botanical Description 9

Asclepias curassavica L. is an erect perennial herb or undershrub. The leaves are opposite, lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, acute, narrowed into a short petiole, glabrous. Umbels axillary many-flower

Common Ethnobotanical Use 10

Various parts of the plants and latex are used against warts and cancers. Leaf juice is used as anthelmintic; useful in arresting haemorrhages. The plant is beneficial for phthisis. Alcoholic extract of the plant is a strong cardiotonic. The root is purgative, emetic, febrifuge and astringent; applied for asthma, fever, venereal diseases, piles and gonorrhoea. It is also given in Jaundice; for this purpose, crushed root is soaked overnight in a glass of water and taken in the next morning with green-coconut water.

Chemical Constituents

Compound Name Compound in Plant Parts Reference
CalotropinAerial; Root; Stem1, 2
16alpha-AcetoxycalotropinAerial; Root1, 2
15beta-HydroxycalotropinAerial; Root1
CalactinAerial; Root; Stem1
15beta-HydroxycalactinAerial; Root1
16alpha-AcetoxycalactinAerial; Root1
AsclepinAerial; Root; Stem1, 2
16alpha-AcetoxyasclepinAerial; Root1
16alpha-HydroxyasclepinAerial; Root1, 2
UscharidinAerial; Root1, 2
UscharinAerial; Root1
UzarigeninAerial; Root; Stem1
19-nor-16alpha-acetoxy-10beta-HydroxyasclepinAerial; Root1
20beta,21-Dihydroxypregna-4,6-dien-3-oneAerial; Root1
3,4-seco-urs-20(30)-en-3-oic acidAerial; Root1
Calactinic acid methyl esterAerial; Root1
CoroglaucigeninAerial; Stem2
12beta-HydroxycoroglaucigeninAerial; Stem2
Curassavoside AAerial3
Curassavoside BAerial3
AfrogeninAerial; Root1
14beta-Hydroxyandrosta-4,6-dien-3,17-dioneAerial; Root1
20beta-Hydroxy-21-acetylpregna-4,6-dien-3-oneAerial; Root1

Pharmacological Evidence

Plants Parts Extract Type Activity Reference
Phosphate Buffer Antiplatelet 8
Leaf; Root
Ethanol; Ethyl Acetate; Chloroform; Hexane; Petroleum Spirit Antibacterial 7
Whole Plant
Hexane; Ethyl Acetate; Methanol Lung Cancer 5
Hexane; Ethyl Acetate; Methanol Breast Cancer 5
Hexane; Ethyl Acetate; Methanol Colon Cancer 5
Ethanol Liver Cancer 6


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  • 2 Li, J.-Z., Qing, C., Chen, C.-X., Hao, X.-J. and Liu, H.-Y. (2009) Cytotoxicity of cardenolides and cardenolide glycosides from Asclepias curassavica. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters, 19, 1956-1959.
  • 3 Li, J.-Z., Liu, H.-Y., Lin, Y.-J., Hao, X.-J., Ni, W. and Chen, C.-X. (2008) Six new C21 steroidal glycosides from Asclepias curassavica L. steroids, 73, 594-600.
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