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Common name: Mexican Prickly Poppy, Mexican poppy, Prickly Poppy
• Bengali: Siyal-Kanta
• Hindi: सत्यानाशी Satyanashi, Bharband
• Kannada: Datturigidda
• Konkani: Phirangi dhutro
• Malayalam: Ponnummattu
• Manipuri: খোমথোঙপী Khomthongpee
• Marathi: Firangi dhotra
• Sanskrit: Kshirini, Swarnakshiri
• Tamil: குடியோட்டி Kudiyotti
• Telugu: Brahmadandi
• Nepali: सत्यानासी Satyaanaasi, थाकल Thaakal, सुंगुरे काँडा Sungure Kaandaa, काँडे Kaande
Botanical name: Argemone mexicana
Family: Papaveraceae (Poppy family)
Medicinal use of Satyanashi or Argemone Mexicana (prickly poppy)Argemone Mexicana or prickly poppy is annual medicinal shrub that is found almost throughout India. It can be easily found in parks, roadside or abandoned fields growing as weed. This herb exhibits antimicrobial, antidiabetic, antioxidant and hepatoprotective activity.
Argemone Mexicana or prickly poppy(satyanashi) is antimicrobial, antidiabetic, antioxidant and hepatoprotective used to treat many diseases in ayurvedic medicine.
Its leaves decoction is used to cure malarial fever, ulcers and skin problems. Its root is diuretic, alterative, anodyne and is used in chronic skin diseases. Its seeds are laxative, expectorant and demulcent. The juice of the plant is used in jaundice and skin problems. Its latex is used to treat cataract, reddening and itching in the eyes. Oil extracted from its seeds is very toxic and must not be consumed.
Prickly poppy plant description
- Botanical name: Argemone Mexicana Linn.
- Family: Papaveraceae
- Sanskrit: Brahmadandi, Hemavati, Hemadugdha
- Hindi: Pila-dhatura, Shialkanta, Bharbhand, Satyanashi
- English: Prickly poppy, Mexican poppy
- Bengali: Shialkanta
- Malayalam: Brahmdanti
- Gujarati: Darudi
- Marathi: Daruri
- Rajasthani: Dhaturi
- Oriya: Kantakusham
- Tamil: Karukkansedi
- Telugu: Brahmdandidandu
Argemone Mexicana also called Mexican Poppy | Mexican prickly poppy is a plant that is commonly found in Mexico but now spread all over the world. You can find this plant commonly all over India since it thrives well even in poor soil and in extreme drought conditions.
The plant produces yellow latex which is widely used for treating many skin diseases. The whole plant is covered with thorns and produces yellow flowers and seeds that closely resemble mustard seeds.
Argemone mexicana is called Satyanashi in Hindi and Brahmathandu | Kudiyotti in Tamil, Brahmadandi in Telugu and Swarnakshiri in Sanskrit but in our village we call it Sirangu Nayagam.
This wonderful plant has anti bacterial, anti inflammatory, anti diabetic, anti cancer, analgesic, hallucinating and sedative properties. I had completely forgotten about this plant, last week when my cousin got a skin allergy my mother in law used the latex of this plant for treating the skin disease that is when I realized I had not written about it in the blog.
Actually almost all the parts of the plant (the seeds, leaves, roots) are used as a medicine but the dosage is very very important as all the parts of the plant has toxic alkaloids and is toxic beyond certain amount when taken internally. In fact a lot of harm has been done to humans especially in India by this plant as the seeds and the oil are used as an adulterant.
The seeds of argenmone mexicana closely resemble mustard seeds so sometimes the mustard seeds are adulterated with argemone seeds. Also argemone oil got from the seeds is sometimes used as an adulterant for mixing with sesame oil. When ingested it leads to a condition called epidemic dropsey which usually results in pitting edema and breathlessness.
When using plants that are toxic at certain dosages it is best to be taken only under medical supervision as most of the times we get the dosage wrong. Animals generally don't eat this plant and if they do it causes diarrhea and sleepiness. We use the plant mainly for external application and I would strongly advice you to do the same and take it internally only under an expert guidance. Argemeone mexicana is taken internally for treating jaundice, malaria, cough, burning sensation in the urinary tract and asthma.
Externally it is used for treating lot of skin diseases like ringworm, scabies, redness of the eyes, itching, eczema and burning sensation. Argemone Mexicana Side Effects: Internal consumption of argemone mexicana in large doses will lead to sever headache, burning sensation in the eyes, eruptions in the face, nausea, fever, etc.
You can read the toxicology report done on healthy people using different doses of argemone mexicana here. Argemone oil should not be consumed, if consumed in certain dosage it will lead to epdiemic dropsey, vomiting, diarrhea and in large doses will lead to acute toxicity......
Here are few remedies that can be done at home to cure various clinical conditions using prickly poppy
- Impotency, infertility
Take root of satyanashi. Make powder of it after cleaning. Take this powder with misri to cure impotency.
- Ascites, low urine output
Take all parts (panchang) of this herb. Clean them and dry in shade. Grind to make powder. Take 10 gm powder in 200ml water. Cook at low flame till water reduces to 50 ml. Filter and drink twice a day.
- Skin diseases
Take powder of satyanashi. Soak in water at night and next morning boil in water and drink.
- Psoriasis, eczema, skin problems
Take fresh satyanashi plant. Clean it and grind to extract its juice. Cook this juice in mustard oil (ratio 2:1) till all water evaporates and only oil is left. Apply this oil externally on affected area.
- Boils, ulcers, warts
Take latex of Argemone and apply externally on boils.
- Ringworm infections (daad khaj khujli)
Boil fresh leaves in water. Filter and use it to wash affected area.