ARGEMONE MAXICANA L.

Family: Papaveraceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Shialkanta, Baro Shialkanta.

English Name: Mexican Poppy, Prickly Poppy, Yellow Thistle.

Description of the Plant:

A prickly annual herb, 30-80 cm high, with spreading branches and yellow juice. Leaves 7.5-17.7 cm long, thistle-like, stem-clasping, oblong, sinuately pinnatifid, margins prickly, veins white. Flowers yellow, large, terminal on short, leafy branches. Capsules prickly, 2-3.7 cm long, oblong-ovoid. Seeds numerous, black.

Using Information:

The root is alterative, useful in some chronic cases of skin diseases. Stem is diuretic. Latex is diuretic, alterative, anodyne and hypnotic and is used in skin cracks, dropsy, jaundice warts, tumours, cancer, and cutaneous affections. Seeds are laxative, nauseant, emetic, expectorant, narcotic and demulcent; used in coughs. Seeds pounded in ‘Mahua oil’ is applied to eczema and itching. Seed oil is a powerful purgative.

Root extract is antifungal. EtOH(50%) extract shows antiviral properties (Asolkar et al., 1992).

Chemical Constituents:

Aerial parts contain a number of alkaloids, which include protopine, berberine, cryptopine, allocryptopine, coptisine, sanguinerine, nor-sanguinerine, chelerythrine, nor-chelerythrine etc. Latex contains the alkaloids, berberine and protopine and free amino acids. Isorhamentin 3-glucoside & 3, 7-diglucosidehave been separated from flowers. Seeds contain the alkaloid, allocryptonine, tannin, resin and oil. Seed oil contains a benzopheranthridine alkaloid, sanguinerine. Roots and stems contain protopine, beberine, resin and a toxic principle. Ceryl alcohol is also present in various parts of this plant (Ghani, 2003; Asolkar et al., 1992).

ARGEMONE MAXICANA L.
ARGEMONE MAXICANA L.

Distribution:

More or less throughout the country, in fallow lands.