Pushpa Anantrao Karale, Mahesh A Karale



 Calotropis procera and Gymnema sylvestre are a perennial shrub and woody climber, respectively, and belonging to the family Asclepiadaceae. They are commonly known as milkweed family herbs. The Calotropis commonly have two species, i.e., C. procera and C. gigantean. All parts of plant exude white milky latex when cut. It has been widely used in traditional medicine due to its pharmacological active compounds found in all parts of plants such as bark, roots, and leaves and especially its latex which exudes from damaged or broken stem and leaves. G. sylvestre an ayurvedic herb came to be known as “destroyer of sugar” because in ancient times Ayurveda physicians observed that chewing a few leaves of G. sylvestre suppressed the taste of sugar. It also reported to possess antidiabetic, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory, antiulcer, and anticancer potential. The gymnemic acid is the main constituent which is responsible for number of pharmacological activities. The present review assembles the data on pharmacognostic and pharmacological potential of C. procera and G. sylvestre.  


Calotropis procera, Gymnema sylvestre, Milkweed, Gymnemic acid.

| PDF |


Vasant L. Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing. 1st ed. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass; 1994. p. 18.

Lorenzi H, Matos FJ. Plantas Medicinais no Brasil: Native Seexoticas. São Paulo: Instituto Plantarum; 2002.

Orwa B, Tayeb AE, Sulleiman YR. Calotropis procera: Feed potential for arid zones. Vet Rec 2009;131(6):132.

Magalhães HI, Ferreira PM, Moura ES, Torres MR, Alves AP, Pessoa OD, et al. In vitro and in vivo antiproliferative activity of Calotropis procera stem extracts. An Acad Bras Cienc 2010;82(2):407-16.

Parsons WT, Cuthbertson EG. Noxious Weeds of Australia. Collingwood: CSIRO Publishing; 2001.

Sharma AK, Kharb R, Kaur R. Pharmacognostical aspects of Calotropis procera (Ait.) R. Br. Int J Pharm Bio Sci 2011;2:480-8.

Gupta S, Gupta B, Kapoor K, Sharma P. Ethnopharmacological potential of Calotropis procera: An overview. Int Res J Pharm 2012;3:19-22.

Khairnar AK, Bhamare SR, Bhamare HP. Calotropis procera: An ethno-pharmacological update. ARPB 2012;2:142-56.

Basu A, Chaudhary AK. Preliminary studies on the anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities of Rakta arka root extract. J Ethnopharm 1997;31:319-24.

Nadkarni KM. The Indian Materia Medica I. Bombay: Popular Prakashan; 2000.

Trease GE, Evans WC. Phenols and phenolic glycosides. In: Textbook of Pharmacognosy. 12th ed. London: Balliese, Tindall and Co. Publishers; 1989. p. 343-83.

Erdman MD. Nutrient and cardenolide composition of unextracted and solvent-extracted Calotropis procera. J Agric Food Chem 1983;31(3):509-13.

Khan AQ, Malik A. A steroid from Calotropis procera. Phytochemestry 1989;28:2859-61.

Rastogi RP, Mehrotra BN. Compendium of Indian Medicinal Plants. New Delhi: Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow and Publication and Information Directorate; 1993. p. 71-2.

Poonam PG. A review on varieties of Arka-Calotropis procera (Aiton) dryand. and Calotropis gigantean Dryand. Glob J Res Med Plants Indig Med 2013;2:392-400.

Quazi S, Mathur K, Arora S. Calotropis procera: An overview of its phyto-chemistry and pharmacology. Indian J Drugs 2013;1:63-9.

Kumar MA, Yadav A, Rao MM. Ayurvedic uses and pharmacological activities of Calotropis procera Linn. Asian J Tradit Med 2011;6:45-53.

Kirtikar KR, Basu BD. An Indian Medicinal Plants. 2nd ed. Dehra Dun: Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh; 1984. p. 2422-23.

Government of India, Ministry of Health and Family Planning. The Ayurvedic Formulary of India. 1st ed. New Delhi: Govt. of India, Ministry of Health and Family Planning; 1978.

Maithani NB, Alam J. Ethanobotanically importance and investigation of phytochemical and antimicrobial potential of Calotropis procera. Herbs 2013;1:34-41.

Nenaah G. Antimicrobial activity of Calotropis procera Ait. (Asclepiadaceae) and isolation of four flavonoid glycosides as the active constituents. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 2013;29(7):1255-62.

Begum N, Sharma B, Pandey RS. Evaluation of insecticidal efficacy of Calotropis procera and Annona squamosa ethanol extracts against Musca domestica. J Biofertilizers Biopestic 2010;1:1-6.

Mako GA, Memon AH, Mughal UR, Pirzado AJ, Bhatti SA. Antibacterial effects of leaves and root extract of Calotropis procera Linn. Pak J Agric Eng Vet Sci 2012;28:141-9.

Shetty VG, Patil MG, Dound AS. Evaluation of phytochemical and antibacterial properties of Calotropis procera (Ait) R. Br. Leaves. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci 2015;7(4):316-9.

Patel HV, Patel JD, Patel B. Comparative efficacy of phytochemical analysis and antioxidant activity of methanolic extract of Calotropis gigantea and Calotropis procera. Int J Bio Pharm Res 2014;5:107-13.

Banerjee S, Kaushik S, Tomar RS. Effect of different solvents on antioxidant activity of leaf extracts of Calotropis procera and Azadirachta indica. Asian J Pharm Clin Res 2017;10(1):268-72.

Gyawali R, Bhattarai P, Dhakal S, Jha B, Sharma SK, Koirala P, et al. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of Salix alba Linn and Calotropis procera (Aiton) Dryand. Int J Pharm Bio Arch 2013;4:873-7.

Saba AB, Oguntoke PC, Oridupa OA. Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities of ethanolic leaf extract of Calotropis procera. Afr J Biomed Res 2011;14:203-8.

Kumar VL, Sangraula H, Dewan S. Evaluation of anti-inflammatory activity of latex of Calotropis procera in different models of inflammation. Inflammopharmacol 2002;9:257-64.

Babu AR, Karki SS. Antiinflammatory activity of various extracts of roots of Calotropis procera against different inflammation models. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci 2011;3:191-4.

Qureshi AA, Prakash T, Patil T, Viswanath Swamy AH, Gouda AV, Prabhu K, et al. Hepatoprotective and antioxidant activities of flowers of Calotropis procera (Ait) R. Br. in CCl4 induced hepatic damage. Indian J Exp Biol 2007;45(3):304-10.

Kamil N, Imran-Ul-Haque HS. Hepatoprotective effect of Calotropis procera in isoniazid and rifampicin induced hepatotoxicity. Pharmacogn J 2014;6:9-15.

Bhaskar VH, Singh SA. Evaluation of anti-hperglycemic activity of extracts of Calotropis procera (Ait.) R.Br on streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. Glob J Pharmacol 2009;3:95-8.

Netoa MC, Carlos FB, Thijana VN, Caldasa GF, Araujob AV, Costa-Silvac JH, et al. Evaluation of anti-hyperglycaemic activity of Calotropis procera leaves extract on streptozotocin-induced diabetes in Wistar rats. Rev Bras Farmacogn 2013;23:913-9.

Tour NS, Talele GS. Gastric antiulcer and anti-inflammatory activities of Calotropis procera stems bark. Rev Bras Farmacogn Braz J Pharmacogn 2011;21:1118-26.

Badombena-Wanta DB, Metowogo K, Tettegah M, Lawson-Evi P, Eklu GK, Aklikokou AK, et al. Comparative anti-ulcers effect of hydroalcoholic extract of leaves and root of Calotropis procera Ait. Res J Pharm Bio Chem Sci 2013;4:1205-12.

Mathur R, Gupta SK, Mathur SR, Velpandian T. Anti-tumor studies with extracts of Calotropis procera (Ait.) R.Br. root employing Hep2 cells and their possible mechanism of action. Indian J Exp Biol 2009;47(5):343-8.

Giovanni DF, Valeria R, Cinzia DM, Antonio P, Armando Z. Gymnema sylvestre R. Br., an Indian medicinal herb: Traditional uses, chemical composition, and biological activity. Curr Pharm Biotechnol 2015;16:506-16.

Sabitha RA, Nagamani V, Patnaik S, Saidulu B. Gymnema sylvestre: An important anti diabetic plant of India: A review. Plant Sci Feed 2012;2:174-9.

Keshavamurthy KR, Yoganarasimhan SN. Flora of Coorg-Karnataka. Bangalore: Vimsat Publishers; 1990. p. 282.

Grover JK, Yadav S, Vats V. Medicinal plants of India with anti-diabetic potential. J Ethnopharmacol 2002;81(1):81-100.

Subramaniyan V, Srinivasan P. Gymnema sylvestre-a key for diabetes management-a review. Biomed Res 2014;1(1):1-10.

Anonymous. The Wealth of India: Raw Materials. Vol. IV. New Delhi: Publication and Information Directorate, CSIR; 1956. p. 276-7.

Gamble JS. Asclepiadaceae. In: Flora of the Presidency Madras. Vol. 2. Calcutta: Printed Under of the Authority of the Government of India; 1956. p. 589-90.

Mathew KM, Rani N. Asclepiadaceae. In: The Flora of the Tamil Nadu Carnatic Part Two. Madras, India: Rapinat Herbarium, Diocesan Press; 1983. p. 945-7.

Caius JF, Mhaskar KS, Blatter E. ???. Vol. 3. Dehardun: Bishen Singh and Mahaendra Pal Singh Publ.; 1975. p. 1624.

Sredeevi P, Namboodiri AN. IOPB chromosome numbers reports, LVI. Taxon 1977;26:257-74.

Kapoor LD. Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Inc.; 1990. p. 200-1.

Manni PE, Sinsheimer JE. Constituents from Gymnema sylvestre Leaves. J Pharm Sci 1965;54(10):1541-4.

Dateo GP Jr, Long L Jr. Gymnemic acid, the antisaccharine principle of Gymnema sylvestre. Studies on the isolation and heterogeneity of gymnemic acid A1. J Agric Food Chem 1973;21(5):899-903.

Srinivasan K, Kumaravel S. Unraveling the potential phytochemical compounds of Gymnema Sylvestre through Gc-Ms study. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci 2016;8(1):450-3.

Chakravarti D, Debnath NB. Isolation of gymnemagenin the sapogenin from Gymnema sylvestre R.Br. (Asclepiadaceae). J Inst Chem 1981;53:155-8.

Yoshikawa K, Amimoto K, Arihara S, Matsuura K. Structure studies of new anti-sweet constituents from Gymnema sylvestre. Tetrahedron Lett 1989;30(9):1103-6.

Yoshikawa K, Amimoto K, Arihara S, Matsuura K. Gymnemic acid V, VI and VII from gur-ma, the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre R.Br. Chem Pharm Bull 1989;37(3):852-4.

Imoto T, Miyasaka A, Ishima R, Akasaka K. A novel peptide isolated from the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre-I. Characterization and its suppressive effect on the neural responses to sweet taste stimuli in the rat. Comp Biochem Physiol A Comp Physiol 1991;100(2):309-14.

Nadkarni KM. Gymnema sylvestre: Indian Materia Medica with Ayurvedic Unani. Vol. I. Bombay: Popular Prakashan; 1986. p. 596-9.

Kirtikar KR, Basu BD. Indian Medicinal Plants. Vol. 3. Delhi: Periodicals Experts; 1975. p. 1625.

Chopra RN, Nayar SL, Chopra IC. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants. New Delhi: CSIR; 1956. p. 1624-7.

Anonymous. Gurmar Buti: Standardization of Single Drugs of Unani Medicine: Part III. New Delhi: Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India; 1997. p. 115-23.

Sastry BS. Gymnema sylvestre. Varanasi, India: Bhav Prakash Nighantu, Chaukhambha; 1994. p. 443-4.

Sastry JL. Gymnema sylvestre R.Br. Dravyaguna Vijnana. Vol. 2. Varanasi, India: Chaukhamba Orientalia; 2005. p. 844-5.

Available from: http://www.diabetes-herbs.com, http://www.bioporex. com.

Kanetkar PV, Laddha KS, Kamat MY. Gymnemic acids: A molecular perspective of its action on carbohydrate metabolism, poster presented at the 16th ICFOST meet organized. Mysore, India: CFTRI, DFRL; 2004.

Persaud SJ, Liu B, Henry AA. Characterisation of the insulinotropic activity of an aqueous extract of Gymnema sylvestre in mouse-cells and human Islets of Langerhans. Int J Exp Clin Cell Physiol Biochem Pharmacol 2009;23:1-3.

Li Y, Zheng M, Zhai X, Huang Y, Khalid A, Malik A, et al. Effect of- Gymnema sylvestre, citrullus colocynthis and Artemisia absinthium on blood glucose and lipid profile in diabetic human. Acta Pol Pharm 2015;72(5):981-5.

Nani D, Suhaila MY, Faridah MZ, Zahiruddin WM. The effect of Gymnema sylvestre and Camelia sinensis on patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Health Environ J 2016;7(2):1-19.

Kasabri V, Fatma UA, Yasser B, Sundus M, Randa N, Hala SM. In vitro enhancement of pancreatic β cells MIN6 proliferation by insulinotropic Gymnema sylvestre aqueous extracts: Evidence-based regenerative therapeutic capacity of a medicinal herb. Br J Med Med Res 2015;7(3):180-94.

Thanwar M, Dwivedi D, Gharia AK, Chouhan S. Antibacterial study of Gymnema sylvestre plant. Int J Chem Stud 2016;4(3):80-3.

Satdive RK, Abhilash P, Fulzele DP. Antimicrobial activity of Gymnema sylvestre Leaf extract. Fitoterapia 2003;74(7-8):699-701.

Wani M, Sarvar FA, Agrawal J, Deshpande J, Mathew S, Khetmalas M. Qualitative phytochemical analysis and antimicrobial activity studies of Gymnema sylvestre R. Br. Acta Biol Indica 2012;1(1):121-4.

David BC, Sudarsanam G. Antimicrobial activity of Gymnema sylvestre (Asclepiadaceae). J Acute Dis 2013;2(3):222-5.

Kaushik M, Kaushik A, Arya R, Singh G, Malik P. Antiobesity property of hexane extract from leaves of Gymnema sylvestre in high fed cafeteria diet induced obesity rat. Int Res J Pharm 2011;2(8):112-6.

Luo H, Kashiwagi A, Shibahara T, Yamada K. Decreased bodyweight without rebound and regulated lipoprotein metabolism by gymnemate in genetic multifactor syndrome animal. Mol Cell Biochem 2007;299(1-2):93-8.

Woodgate DE, Conquer JA. Effects of a stimulant-free dietary supplement on body weight and fat loss in obese adults: A six-week exploratory study. Currt Ther Res 2003;64(4):248-62.

Norihiro S, Asano R, Shimosaka M, Okazaki M. Effect of administration with the extract of Gymnema sylvestre R. Br leaves on lipid metabolism in Rats. Biol Pharm Bull 2001;24(6):713-7.

Preuss HG, Jarrell ST, Scheckenbach R, Lieberman S, Anderson RA. Comparative effects of chromium, vanadium and Gymnema sylvestre on sugar-induced blood pressure elevations in SHR. J Am Coll Nutr 1998;17(2):116-23.

Nakamura Y, Tsumura Y, Tonogai Y, Shibata T. Fecal steroid excretion is increased in rats by oral administration of gymnemic acids contained in Gymnema sylvestre Leaves. J Nutr 1999;129:1214-22.

Mall GK, Mishra PK, Prakash V. Antidiabetic and hypolipidemic activity of Gymnema sylvestre in alloxan induced diabetic rats. Glob J Biotechnol Biochem 2009;4(1):37-42.

Reddy JN, Mata R, Bhagat E, Sadras SR. Green synthesis of silver and gold nanoparticles from Gymnema sylvestre leaf extract: Study of antioxidant and anticancer activities. J Nanopart Res 2015;17:151.

Khanna VG, Kannabiran K. Anticancer-cytotoxic activity of saponins isolated from the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre and Eclipta prostrata on HeLa cells. Int J Green Pharm 2009;???:227-9.

Agrawal RC, Soni S, Jain N, Rajpoot J, Maheshwari SK. Chemopreventive effect of Gymnema sylvestre in Swiss albino mice. Int J Sci Res Publ 2016;3(1):78-83.

Singh K, Deo B. Phytochemical evaluation and in vitro antioxidant activity of Gymnema sylvestre R.Br. J Med Plants Stud 2014;2(4):19-23.

Kaskoos RA, Hagop AB, Faraj AM, Ahamad J. Comparative antioxidant activity of Gymnema sylvestre, Enicostemma littoral, Momordica charantia and their composite extract. J Pharmacogn Phytochem 2015;4(1):95-8.

Ahirwal L, Singh S, Dubey MK, Bharti V, Mehta A, Shukla S. In vivo immunomodulatory effects of the methanolic leaf extract of Gymnema sylvestre in Swiss albino mice. Arch Biol Sci Belgrade 2015;67(2):561-70.

Malik JK, Manvi FV, Nanjware BR. Wound healing properties of alcoholic extract of Gymnema sylvestre R.Br. Leaves in rats. J Pharm Res 2009;2:1029-30.

Aleisa AM, Al-Rejaie SS, Abuohashish HM, Ola MS, Parmar MY, Ahmed MM. Pretreatment of Gymnema sylvestre revealed the protective against acetic acid-induced ulcerative colitis in rats. BMC Complement Altern Med 2014;14:49.

Lilly BA, Aarrthy MA, Kantha DA, Annamalai SK, Kalaivani AK. In vivo anti-ulcer, anti-stress, anti-allergic, and functional properties of gymnemic acid isolated from Gymnema sylvestre R Br. BMC Complement Altern Med 2014;14(1):70.

Nasreen S, Radha R. Assessment of quality of Withania somnifera Dunal (Solanaceae) pharmacognostical and phyto-physicochemical profile. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci 2011;3:152-5.

Babu M, Gnanamani A, Radhakrishan N, Priya K. Healing potential of Datura alba on burn wounds in Albino rats. J Ethnopharmacol 2002;83:193-9.

About this article




Calotropis procera, Gymnema sylvestre, Milkweed, Gymnemic acid.





Additional Links

Manuscript Submission


Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research
Vol 10 Issue 11 November 2017 Page: 27-34

Print ISSN


Online ISSN


Authors & Affiliations

Pushpa Anantrao Karale
Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University, Nanded - 431 606, Maharashtra, India.

Mahesh A Karale
Department of School of Life Sciences, Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University, Nanded - 431 606, Maharashtra, India.

Article Tools

Email this article (Login required)
Email the author (Login required)


  • There are currently no refbacks.