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.…..
3 Top Medicinal Uses, Health Benefits & Side Effects Of Argemone Mexicana | Prickly Poppy | Mexican Poppy | Satyanashi | Brahmadandi Plant:
1. Argemaone Mexicana For Skin Infections:
The yellow latex has anti bacterial properties, you can read the study that proves it here. If you break any part of the plant, yellow latex will flow out. Take a cotton bud and dip it in the latex and apply on the affected area. The whole plant is covered with thorns so please be careful while extracting the milk. You can use the latex for skin infections like skin ulcers, itching, eczema and boils.
2. Argemone Mexicana For Healing Wounds:
Argemone mexicana leaf extract is great for treating wounds that takes a long time to heal. This remedy is backed by research, you can read the study here. To use, take the leaves (carefully cut the leaves from the plant without getting hurt) and pound in a mortar and pestle and extract the juice and apply on the affected area. The leaves can be pounded into a paste and applied as a poultice too. The leaf poultice can be used for insect bites also…
3. Argemone Mexicana Seeds As a Mosquito Repellent:
Since the mosquito repellents that we get in the markets come with many side effects if used regularly, it is a good idea to get to know plants that have strong larvicidal properties. Aregemone mexicana seed extract have strong larvicidal properties and can be used as a mosquito repellent. You can also use the leaf extract as a mosquito repellent too. you can read about the study that proves the larvicidal properties here.
Another interesting use of argemone mexicana is it’s nematicidal activity. Especially out of the 6 plants tested argemone mexicana tested the most effective in eradicating meloidogyne javanica nematode (a major agricultural pest).