NUTRITIONAL AND ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF CALOTROPIS PROCERA BOMBOM (GIANT MILK WEED)
To investigate in vitro anti-microbial activity of aerial parts of Calotropis procera and Centellaasatica Linn., that have been popularly used as folk medicines. The organic solvent plant extracts are tested on the various micro-organisms including bacteria and fungi using agar well diffusion technique. The length of the inhibition zone was measured in millimeters from the edge of the well to the edge of the inhibition zone. Calotropis procera showed significant to moderate activity against (14mm) Pseudomonas marginalis and (21mm) Streptococcus mutans with 100mg/ml DMSO plant drug concentration. The results of (MICs) values are lowest at 66 and highest at 152mg/ml for Calotropis asatica. The extracts were assessed in an effort to validate the potential activity of the medicinal plant plants against microbes.
According to a study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) based on publications on pharmacopoeias and medicinal plants in 91 countries, the number of medicinal plants is nearly 21,000. Nearly 6-7 thousand species of medicinal plants out of about 17-18 thousand flowering plants are known to be in use in folla and officially recognized systems of medicine in India i.e. Ayurbeda, Sidha, Unani and Homeopathy.
India has a rich heritage of knowledge on plant based, drugs both for use in preventive and curative medicine. From ancient civilization the various parts of different plants were used to eliminate pain, control suffering and counteract diseases. Plants generally produce many secondary metabolites which constitute an important source of microbicides, pesticides and many pharmaceutical drugs. It has also been widely observed and accepted that the medicinal value of plants lies in the bioactive phytocomponents present in the plants (Veeramuthu et al; 2006, Khan and Khan, 2008, Ghosh et al; 2008, Mandal et al; 2010, Abubakar et al; 2011). Much work has been done on ethnomedicinal plant in india (Nair 2005; Rout et al; 2009, Madhuri Sharma and Pandey Govind, 2009). Medicinal plants represent a rich source of antimicrobial agents (Kannan et al; 2007); Jeeshna et al; Jarrar et al; 2010, Johnson et al; 2010, Koochak et al; 2010). Because of the side effects and the resistance that pathogenic microorganisms build against antibiotics, many scientists have recently paid attention to extracts and biologically active compounds isolated from plant species used in herbal medicine (Mst Nazma Yesmin et al; 2008).
Calotropis procera linn. (Family Asclepiadeceae) is a shrub or small tree up to 2.5 m height. All parts of the plant exude while latex when cut or broken. It is known by various names like swallow wort, dead sea apple, Sodom apple or milk weed, commonly used and known as Arka or madar. Telugu name is Jilledachetta and in English Catotrope, Calotropis, Deadsea fruit, desert wick, giant milk weed, muder fibre, rubber bush, rubber tree, Sodom apple, swallow, wort. In the traditional Indian medicinal system, it has been used for pain, asthma, bronchitis and dyspepsia, leprosy, Ulcers, tumors, piles, spleen, liver and abdomen. The root bark in the form of paste with rice vinegar is applied to elephantiasis of the legs and scrotum. The plant is also known for its toxic properties that include iridocyclitis, dermatitis and acts like a poison and produces lethal effects. Compounds derived from the plant have been found to have emeto, cathartic and digitalic properties. Antimicrobial activity of C. procera was previously screened by (Kareem et al; 2008; Verahalarao Vadlapudi et al; 2004). In the leaves, mudarine is the principal active constituent as well as a bitter yellow acid, resin and 3 toxic glycosides calotropin, Uscharin and Calotoxin. The latex contains a powerful bacteriological enzyme, a very toxic glycosides calactin (the concentration of which is increased following insect or grasshopper attack as defense mechanism), Catatropin D1, Calotropin DII, Calotropin F1, Calotropin F11, and a non toxic protealytic enzyme calotropin (2 % to 3 %). This calotropin is more proteolytic than papain and bromelain coagulates milk and digest meat, gelatin and casein. The whole plant contains a b-amyrin, teraxasterol, gigcintin, giganteol, isogiganteol, b-sitosterol and a wax.