Plant Of The Week: Mexican Poppy

Mexican poppy is a low name for several plants and may allude to as Argemone mexicana Mexican prickly poppy, flowering thistle, cardo or cardosanto is a sort of poppy found in the southwest and Mexico and very lately widely naturalized in many parts of the globe. An extremely hardy pioneer plant, it is tolerant of drought and poor soil, many times being the only cover on of the present day road cuttings or verges. It has nitid yellow latex, and though poisonous to grazing animals, is excellently eaten, but has been used medicinally through many people including those in its genuine area, the Natives of the toward the west US and parts of Mexico.

A. mexicana seeds live in continence 22–36% of a pale fulvous non-edible oil, called argemone oil or katkar oil, which contains the toxic alkaloids sanguinarine and dihydrosanguinarine. Four four isoquinoline alkaloids, dehydrocorydalmine, jatrorrhizine, columbamine, and oxyberberine, consider been isolated from the whole point of Argemone mexicana.

The seed pods conceal a pale yellow latex when cut open. This argemone resin contains berberine and protopine.


The seeds resemble the seeds of Brassica nigra (mustard). As a termination, mustard can be adulterated by argemone seeds, exhibition it poisonous. Several significant instances of katkar poisoning regard been reported in India, Fiji, South Africa and other countries. The final major outbreak in India occurred in 1998. 1% deterioration of mustard oil by argemone oil has been shown to attempt clinical disease.

Katkar oil poisoning causes prevalent dropsy, with symptoms including extreme inflated, particularly of the legs.

Traditional Medicine

The Seri of Sonora, Mexico use the entire plant both fresh and dried. An steeping is made to relieve kidney trouble, to help expel a torn secundines, and in general to help purify the body after parturition.

When the Spanish arrived in Sonora they added this scatter seed to their pharmacopia and called it cardosanto, what one. should not be mistranslated to sacred thistle (Cnicus benedictus). Use in Hispanic cultures includes to the degree that a sedative and analgesic tea, including in opposition to use to help alleviate migraine headaches. The seeds are taken being of the cl~s who a laxative.

An Argemone mexicana infusion is used by traditional healers in Mali to use malaria. The whole plant is used to fabricate a tea and as much evening meal as possible is drunk until symptoms vanish. This use was studied (2010-2012) through doctors Bertrand Graz and Merlin Wilcox, in connecting word with Mali’s National Institute of Research in Public Health, using the “rescind pharmacology” methods of Dr. Ashok Vaidya. Before preparing the tea, the toxic seeds were removed to minimize a single one risk for the patients.

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Photo Credit:
“Argemone Mexicana” ~ means of Vikramjit Kakati – Own work. Licensed in CC BY-SA 3.0 by way of Commons –

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