|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
Synonym: Argemone ochroleuca.
Common names: Mexican Poppy, Prickly Poppy, Cardosanto.
Common Hindi name: Bharband.
Plant: 80cm. Annual herb.
Flower: 2.5-7.5cm across.
Native of West Indies, now widely naturalised in India, United States, and Ethiopia.
Gregarious, prickly invader seen in degraded lands.
The seeds resemble the seeds of Brassica nigra (mustard). As a result, mustard can be adulterated by argemone seeds, rendering it poisonous. The oil itself is used medicinally to treat dropsy, jaundice and skin diseases. Argemone oil poisoning causes epidemic dropsy, with symptoms including extreme swelling, particularly of the legs. Several significant instances of argemone poisoning have been reported in India, Fiji, South Africa and other countries. The last major outbreak in India occurred in 1998. 1% adulteration of mustard oil by argemone oil has been shown to cause clinical disease.
Argemone resin contains berberine and protopine, and is used medicinally as a sedative.
The whole plant is analgesic, antispasmodic, possibly hallucinogenic and sedative. It contains alkaloids similar to those in the opium poppy (P. somniferum) and so can be used as a mild pain-killer. The fresh yellow, milky, acrid sap contains protein-dissolving substances and has been used in the treatment of warts, cold sores, cutaneous affections, skin diseases, itches etc. It has also been used to treat cataracts and has been taken internally in the treatment of dropsy and jaundice. The root is alterative and has been used in the treatment of chronic skin diseases. The flowers are expectorant and have been used in the treatment of coughs and other chest complaints. The seed is demulcent, emetic, expectorant and laxative. An infusion, in small quantities, is used as a sedative for children, but caution is advised since the oil in the seed is strongly purgative. The seed has also been used as an antidote to snake poisoning. The pounded seeds, mixed with mustard oil, are applied externally to treat itchy skin. The oil from the seed is demulcent and purgative. It has been used externally in the treatment of skin problems. Caution is advised in the use of this oil, prolonged ingestion produces toxic effects resembling those occurring in epidemic dropsy.
For flower view, please click here.
For seeds view, please click here.
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.