Argemone mexicana Uses, Remedies, Side Effects, Research

Argemone mexicana – a source for biodiesel, is used in Ayurveda to treat non healing wounds, constipation, Malaria, chronic fever etc. It is also used in Virechana(purgation) Panchakarma treatment. 
Botanical name- Argemone Mexicana Linn, Euphorbia thomsoniana
Family- Papaveraceae (Ahiphena kula)

Vernacular names

Names in different languages: 
English name- Mexican poppy, Mexican prickly poppy, flowering thistle, cardo or cardosanto
Hindi name- Satayanasi, Bhadaband, Kataila
Gujarati name- Phirangi dhattur, Dharudi, Darudi
Telugu name- Picchi Kusuma, Itturi
Malayalam name- Ponnnummmattam, Ponnummattam
Tamil name- Kudiyotti
Kannada name- Datturi
Bengali name – Shiyal Kanta, Shiyalkanta
Marati name – Kantai Dhautra, Kantedhotra Daruri
Konkani name – Redonoxi
Oriya name – Kantakusham
Punjabi name – Bhatkatheya
Urdu name – Baramdaandi
French name – Argemone
German name – Doppelklappen
Persian name – Baramdaandi
Punjabi name – Bhatkatheya
Urdu name – Baramdaandi
Santhali name – Gokuhla-janum

Argemone mexicana

Sanskrit Synonyms

Katu Parni – leaves have astringent taste
Svarna Kshiri, Kanchana Kseeri, Hemadugdha, Kanaka Ksiri, Hemahva, Svarnahva, Svarnadugdha, Kanchani – Has golden yellow colored latex
Karshani – useful in weight loss
Tikta Dugdha  – latex is bitter in taste
Kanchani – golden yellow coloured flower
The root is called Choka.
Patuparni – Leaves are having astringent taste

Classical categorisation

Dhanvantari Nighantu – Guduchyadi Varga
Bhavaprakasha – Hareetakyadi Varga
Raja Nighantu – Parpatadi Varga
Kaiyyadeva Nighantu – Oshadhi Varga

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Plantae
phylum: Angiosperms
class: Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Papaveraceae
Genus: Argemone
Species: A. mexicana


Originally from Mexico, USA. Currently found in entire India

Mexican poppy
Mexican poppy

Chemical constituents

Argemone mexicana chemical constituents:
The following substances are among the products isolated from the drug: α & β allocryptopines, codeine, paveramine, narcotine, papaverine etc. Important bitter principles derived are papaverosin, chelidoxanthin, glaucopicrin etc.
Flowers- Contain isorhamnetion etc.
Seed- contain essential oil which is known as agremone oil
Resin contains berberine and protopine.

Medicinal properties

Mexican poppy medicinal Properties:
Guna (qualities) – Laghu (lightness), Rooksha (dryness)
Rasa (taste) – Tikta (bitter), Katu (Pungent)
Vipaka- Katu – Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
Veerya – Sita – Coolant in nature
Effect on Tridosha – Balances Kapha and Pitta Dosha
Pharmacological action – Anthelmintic, Anti inflammatory

Part used, dosage

Part used: Root, seed, latex, seed oil
Root powder -1 -3 g,
Latex 5—10 drops,
Fresh juice extract 5-10 ml
Seed oil – 10 – 30 drops

Sanskrit verse

Argemone mexicana uses

Medicinal uses

Argemone mexicana medicinal uses:
Rechani, Shodhani – cleansing. Being a natural purgative, it is useful in Virechana Panchakarma therapy.
Utkleshakarini – It mobilizes imbalanced Doshas from their roots to intestines, from where it can be expelled through purgation in Virechana Panchakarma treatment. 

Its root and seed oil act as purgative.
Root juice does blood detox


It is indicated in:
Krumi – worm infestation
Visha – Toxic conditions, poisoning
Raktajit – useful in blood disorders such as abscess, skin disorders, bleeding disorders such as menorrhagia, nasal bleeding etc.
Raktapitta –Bleeding disorders such as nasal bleeding, heavy periods, etc
Mutrakrichra –Dysuria, urinary retention
Ashmari – Kidney and bladder stones
Shopha  – inflammation
Daha –  burning sensation, as in gastritis, neuropathy, burning sensation in eyes etc
Jwara – fever
Kandu – itching, pruritus
Anaha – bloating, fullness
Kamala – Jaundice, Liver diseases
Its tea is used in Mali for treating Malaria.

External application

Its latex, leaf juice extract and seed oil are applied externally to heal wounds faster, and in skin diseases.
Its juice extract, latex, seed oil  is applied externally on wounds and skin diseases.
Its root paste is  anti-inflammatory on external application. It is applied on scorpion and insect bites.
Seed is analgesic – relieves pain. Seed paste and seed oil is applied over joints to relieve arthritis pain.

1) The roots and seeds oil are useful in constipation, flatulence, abdominal colic.
2) Roots are administered in worms.
3) The latex and  roots juice are administered in blood impurities.
4) The drug is used in Kushta (skin diseases)
5) Latex and  juice are used in Vishama Jwara (recurrent fever) and burning sensation.

6) Externally the juice, latex, seeds oil and root are applied on swelling and poisoning sting .
7)Application of seed paste and massage of seed oil is suggested in rheumatic joints and other similar complaints.
8) In Kushta, Kanaka Ksheeri taila is administered. Charaka samhita, Chikitsa Sthana 7/111

9) In Udara – ascites, Swarna Ksiri along with other drugs mentioned like Narayana Churna with Pippali Moola (root of long pepper)Shati, Vacha etc., are made into Churna and administered internally. Charaka Chikitsa Sthana 13/126

10) In Udara Roga (ascites), Kshara Vatika is indicated internally Cha. Chi. 13/164
11) In anemia, Roga, Swarnaksiri, along with Trivrit, Bhadradaru, Shyama, ginger, are pounded well with 100 ml gomutra and decoction is prepared. Cha. chi. 16/66

12) In Lutha Visha, Kusumbha Pushpa, cow’s teeth, Swarna Ksheeri, feces of pigeon, Danti Trivrit and Rock salt are administered.
13) In external injury, Guggulu, Svarnakseeri, Linseed, Godanti and feces of pigeon are made into paste and applied externally  A.H. U.15/37

14) In Puyameha – urine with pus, Swarna Kshiri is administered  with Trikatu – Siddha Bheshaja 4/806
In this, Swarnakshiri with Trikatu are mixed in  water and taken in the morning for 3 days keeping on a diet of salt free fried bread for a week followed by full intake of brinjal.

15) In Alarka Visha, Swarna Kshiri and Bakuchi roots are jaggery and made into sweet boluses.

How to use Mexican poppy?
For constipation, bloating and abdominal colic pain, root powder is administered in a dose of 1 – 2 grams per day.
Root is administered in  up to 3 grams dose to relieve intestinal worm infestation.

Uses of Swarnakshiri

  • Fresh obtained latex of Swarnakshiri is applied over fresh wounds for healing and subsiding of localized swelling.
  • The paste of the leaf and stem of Argemone mexicana is applied over the skin affected with ringworm and eczema.
  • The powder of the root is given in a dose of 3-4 g with hot water to cause mild purgative and to treat constipation and intestinal worms.
  • Sesame oil processed with seed of Swarnakshiri is given in a dose of 3-4 ml to treat constipation, flatulence and colic abdomen.
  • Sesame oil processed with the seed of Swarnakshiri is applied externally over the joints affected with pain and swelling.
  • Fresh juice of Argemone mexicana is given in a dose of 3-5 ml as blood purifier and to treat fever.
  • In case of scorpion bite, the area affected is applied with paste of the root of the Swarnakshiri plant.

The seeds of the plant are used as adulterants with mustard seeds in some parts of the world.

Side effects

The seeds are found adulterants with black mustard. Argemone oil in edible mustard oil is reported frequently responsible for outbreaks and epidemic dropsy.
Not suitable during pregnancy, lactation and in children.
It can cause over-purgation and dehydration if used in excess quantities.
It is not suitable for people with colitis, diarrhea, dysentery and IBS with loose motion.
Increased dose of latex of Swarnakshiri can cause increased intestinal movement resulting in diarrhea and pain in abdomen. Oil from the seeds of the plant can also cause a similar effect.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

Ayurvedic medicines

Ayurvedic medicines with Argemone mexicana ingredient:
Kasisadi Tailam – 
It is only meant for external application over the piles.
Liverson Syrup – used in the treatment of jaundice, splenomegaly etc.
Mishraka Sneha – for the treatment of abdominal distention, abscess, neurological conditions, and abdominal colic.

Sishutone syrup: It is a proprietary ayurvedic medicine useful to treat respiratory diseases and improve the immunity of the child.
 Brahamdine tablet: It is a proprietary ayurvedic medicine useful to treat menstrual disorders.

Ayurvedic home remedies

Remedies using Swarnaksheeri Mexican Poppy: By Dr MS Krishnamurthy
This spiny herbaceous annual is common everywhere in India on road sides especially in waste lands, in the cold seasons.
The Roots, seeds, seed oil, latex are the main usable parts of this plant.

The seeds are sometimes found adulterated with black mustard. Argemone oil in edible mustard oil is reported frequently responsible for outbreaks and epidemic dropsy. Hence care should be taken while selecting the drugs from the drug stores.
Bhavaprakasha text refers that the seeds as well as the roots are bitter in taste and hot in potency. It is a drastic purgative and a potent wormicide also. It is recommended in abdominal worms, itching skin diseases, poisoning, chronic skin diseases etc. It is a good pacifier of Kapha and Pitta dosha.

Few of its simple and effective remedies are as follows-
Roots and seed oil in constipation and abdominal colic:
The roots are washed thoroughly and fresh juice is obtained. To this 1-2 drop of the seed oil is added and administered in the patients who have severe constipation and abdominal colic. Within 30-45 minutes the person will defecate. In case of burning sensation, milk is given to drink. This should be followed only and strictly under medical supervision.

Fresh juice of the roots for worm infestation and painful periods:
The fresh juice obtained from the roots is used to treat the worm infestation as well as dysmenorrhoea. But the dose should be determined as per one’s condition of the intestine and ability to tolerate the potency of the drug.

Seed paste and massage of seeds oil in rheumatic joints and other painful joint conditions:
Seeds are made into fine paste and mixed with a few drops of seed oil(it can be diluted by adding a large amount of sesame oil).This is applied to the joints by making it lukewarm. This is effective in painful joint conditions and even in rheumatic joints.

Fine paste of the roots mixed with jaggery for obstructive jaundice:
Fine paste of the roots is mixed with jaggery and administered to the patients in a dose of 3 – 4 grams once or twice a day, for the treatment of obstructive jaundice.

A weed can be a good medicine if one is aware of its action. Also it is very essential to know its qualities and actions. In this respect the folk healers and village people are thorough and hence while collecting these people will help us
to select the genuine species and they have unique techniques to pluck these thorny plants.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD


– The sensitivity of two Gram positive (Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis) and two Gram negative (Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) pathogenic multi-drug resistant bacteria was tested against the crude extracts (cold aqueous, hot aqueous, and methanol extracts) of leaves and seeds of Argemone mexicana Linn by agar well diffusion method. Methanol extract showed maximum inhibition against the test microorganisms followed by hot aqueous extract and cold aqueous extract.
Alkaloids study

Sishutone syrup: It is a proprietary ayurvedic medicine useful to treat respiratory diseases and improve the immunity of the child.

Brahamdine tablet: It is a proprietary ayurvedic medicine useful to treat menstrual disorders.

Anti- cancer study: In this investigation, the preventive effect of Argemone mexicana fruits extract was evaluated against cyclophosphamide-induced micronucleus formation in the mouse bone marrow cells. The single i.p. administration of Argemone mexicana fruits extract at the dose of 50, 100 and 150 mg/kg body weight, 24 h prior the administration of cyclophosphamide (at the dose of 50 mg/kg) have significantly prevented the micronucleus formations in a dose dependent manner in bone marrow cells of mice as compared to cyclophosphamide group. Therefore, plant fruit extract seems to have a preventive potential against CP-induced micronucleus formation in swiss mouse bone marrow cells.

Anxiolytic effect: Study was conducted using its ethanolic extract and alkaloid-enriched extract obtained from fresh leaves. Only the ethanolic extract at 200 mg/kg and alkaloid enriched extract (200 µg/kg) produced anxiolytic-like effects similar to diazepam 2 mg/kg on EPM test, without affecting locomotor activity.

Allelopathic effect: The present study was conducted in the laboratory to investigate the allelopathic effect of Mexican poppy (Argemone mexicana L.) to the germination and growth parameters of two native species Brachiaria dictyoneura L and Clitoria ternatea L. Results showed that seed germination, root length, shoot length, seedling length, fresh weight and dry weight of B. dictyoneura and C. ternatea seedlings were significantly reduced by leaf and seed extracts compared with control treatments.

Anti- bacterial activity: The increase in the number of bacterial and fungi often implicated in nosocomial and community infections as well as the gradual development of drug resistance strains of pathogenic microorganism led to the investigation of ArgemoneMexicana Linn against Bacillus subtilis, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, Candida stellatoidea and Candida torulopsis. The conclusion was that the observable inhibition on selected bacteria and fungi by essential oil of A. mexicana makes it a promising alternative for the development of an indigenous antimicrobial agent.


In Susruta samhita Bhagandara prakarana, he has mentioned two drugs in the name of “Kanchana kshirau”. Hence Argmone mexicana may be one herb and another would be Euphorbia thomsoniana

Sthanika Karma (Systemic Action)

External – Leaf paste, Seed oil , and latex of this plant is indicated for wound healing and in skin disorders. Root paste has Anti poisonous action and seed has Analgesic effect. Seed oil and seed paste can be applied in Arthritic joint pain.

Digestive System – Root and seed oil has purgative action and also possesses Anthelmintic property. Also can induce vomiting in some persons. Root and seed oil is indicated in constipation, Abdominal distension, Colic pain etc. Root powder in a dose of 3 -4 grams can be given in Helminthiasis.

Circulatory system – Root juice has blood purifying action and Latex helps to reduce edema.
Skin – Indicated in various types of skin disorders.
Tapakrama – Latex and root juice is indicated in fever and burning sensation (Vishama jvara)

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