Calotropis Plant, a Desert Beauty and a Future Hope


Some plants are very well known for the power of resistance, sustainability, and adaptation to challenging climatic conditions and hard terrains. One of those unique plants is the Calotropis.

Calotropis in Blossom, Alain, UAE

Calitropis is an eye attraction

The healthier and fresh shine of the leaves and flowers attracts the attention of the desert’s visitor, especially when the visitor is an explorer. Many people know this plant only as a source of poison, unedible and useless but to me, it is an asset of biodiversity, a treasure of healing molecules, and food for some animals like goats, deer, and some beetles and other insects. The flowers are a rich source of nectar both for the sunbirds and the bees along with other insects.

The amazing beauty of the Calotropis

Calitropis is rich in powerful healing molecules

Caltropis plants had been used by indigenous healers for different health problems both in animals and humans. Raikas traditionally drink camel milk from a folded aak leaf; aak (Calotropis Procera) produces a milky resin and, sometimes, the tip of the leaf is broken so that this resin will mix with the camel milk, improving its health effects.

Calitropis leaves are used as a natural cup for camel milk

Raika herdsmen may subsist on camel milk for weeks at a time during long migrations.

A Raika camel herder is drinking camel milk in a Calotropis leaf

Dermatitis is mainly treated with calitropis

The milk of the Calotropis plant is also used for dermatitis and injury healing both in animals and human beings. The leaves and also the milk of the plants work as insect repellents. I have personal experience using Calotropis leaf as an insect repellent, which really works. The leaves especially work in the treatment of wounds in the camels.

Page 2 - Calotropis Procera High Resolution Stock Photography and Images -  Alamy
Sunbird on Calitropis flowers

Personally, I’m in love with the beauty and strength of this unique flora. I’m quite sure that this plant will play a very crucial role in the health and wellbeing of humans and Mother Earth at large. The beauty of glittering flowers and shiny leaves attracts the attention of a desert explorer and gives a great calmness to the soul.

Let us try to understand the nature, beauty, and treasures hidden, and to care for our Mother Earth. Please respect the health of nature, do not throw rubbish and plastic in the beautiful deserts. Try to understand, each flora and fauna in the desert is part of the whole cycle of nature, if one of them is diminished the whole cycle will affect.

13 thoughts on “Calotropis Plant, a Desert Beauty and a Future Hope”

  1. What an interesting and beautifully presented post, Dr Raziq. The photos are of great value here because allow seeing the real beauty of this unique plant. I will keep this post safe, and use it with your permission when I will write about pollution. Than you.


  2. Muhammad Tahir Rashud

    This is future natural pesticide DOC and our next step after second generation liquid fertilizers launching will be natural pesticides from our indigenius plants including ukk under Al-Muqeet Lab (Pvt) Limited Lahore Insha Allah.

  3. Mustajab H Mirza

    Doc, please try to see What Al-Muqeet lab is providing as this is really good for the the small ruminant Hemonchosis besides other herbal treatments!

  4. I have used it, we also call it aak. In our area, it is used as a medicine. As a child, I used to play with its flowers.
    I don’t know that aak is also found in deserts.

  5. Calotropis is a poisonous plant, and therefore not browed by livestock. However, it is a folk remedy and used for the treatment of a number of ailments. It is definitely a desert beauty with its large leaves, bunches of fragrant flowers. The silky fibers around its seeds are highly prized for making expensive cloth ( never seen one). A good host for monarch butterflies. It has a wide distribution, and the species in Pakistan is Calotropis Procera. It will be great to hear from Prof Kakar and new information which makes it a ‘Future hope’.

    Response from Javed Ahmed USA.

  6. First of all, I’m really very happy to see your such a detailed response with great knowledge. Calitropis is a very potent plant in the desert.
    The first and the top known potential is the fixing/dumping of CO2. Also, it is an oxygen-producing factory. The beauty, large leaf, beautiful flowers, beautiful shade, eyecatching beauty in the dry desert, etc are all its qualitative traits but it is also consumed by some livestock like goats. Also, the leaves are consumed by deers, rodents, hares, and other desert fauna including insects. The nectars are consumed by the beautiful desert bird ‘sunbird’ and the bush provides habitat to very diverse animal genetic resources.
    The future hope is its power of resilience against global warming and possible pharmaceutical use as it had been used as a medicine since unknown times.
    The people in Thar traditionally drink camel milk in Calotropis’s leaf.

    My response to Javed Ahmed.

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