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Medicinal weed Satyanashi (Argemone mexicana Linn)

Contributor: Pankaj Oudhia

Copyright (c) 2002. All Rights Reserved. Quotation from this document should cite and acknowledge the contributor.

English name: Mexican prickly poppy

Common (Indian) names

Hindi: Shialkanta, Satyanashi
Gujrati: Darudi
Danarese: Balurakkisa, Datturi, Pirangi, datturi
Marathi: Daruri, Firangi-kote-pavola, dhotara.
Sanskrit: Brahmadandi, Pitopushpa, Srigalkanta, Svarnakshiri.
Malyalam: Ponnummattu, Kantankattiri
Tamil: Kutiyotti, Ponnummuttai
Telugu: Brahmadandicettu

Family: Papaveraceae

Habitat: In India it is introducd and naturalised and occur as wasteland weed in almost every part of India. In many parts it is repoorted as crop weed also.

Related species: It is native of Tropcal America. The genus Argemone includes 12 species. Some major species are: A. alba Lestib. ( used medicinally in North America ), A. platyceras Link. & Otto., A. grandiflora Sweet.

Botany: It is a prickly, glabrous, branching herb with yellow juice and showy yellow flowers, The Sanskrit name svarnakshiri is given because of the yellow juice (Svarna - Gold; Kshiri - Juice ). The height of this plant varies between 0.3 to 0.12 meters, Leaves are thistlelike. Stem clasping, Oblong, sinuately pinnatifid, spinous and viens are white. Flowers are terminal, yellow and of 2.5–5.0 cm diameter. Fruits are capsule. Prickly and oblong ovoid. Seeds numerous, globose, netted and brownish black. Flowering time is all round the year in Indian conditions. The plants is toxic to animals and cattle avoid grazing this plant. Harmful allelopathic effects of Argemone mexicana on germination and seedling vigour of wheat, mustard, fenugreek, sorghum, fingermillet, tomato, cucumber etc. (important crops in India ) have been reported. The allelochemicals cinnamic and benzoic acid are identified as harmful chemicals responsible for inhibition of germination and seedling vigor.

Useful Parts: Roots, leaves, seeds and yellow juice.

Medicinal Properties and Uses: According to Ayurveda the plant is diuretic. purgative and destroys worms. It cures lepsory, skin-diseases, inflammations and bilious fevers. Roots are anthelmintic. Juice is used to cure ophthalmia and opacity of cornea. Seeds are purgative and sedative. Seeds resemble mustard seeds and in India it is used to adulterate mustard seed. Seed yield non edible toxic oil and causes lethal dropsy when used with mustard oil for cooking.

In Homoeopathic system of medicine, the drug prepared from this herb is used to treat the problem caused by tape-worm.

Popular Ayurvedic Formulations: Svarnakshiri churna and tail

Other uses: The plant is found suitable for the reclamation of alkaline soils.

Dried and powdered plants are recommended as green manure as it contain sufficient amount of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium.

Oilcake is used as manure.

Seed oil, popularly known as Satyanashi oil is used as an illuminant, lubricant, in soapmaking, and for protection from termites.

Chemical Constituents: The plant contains alkaloids as berberine, protopine, sarguinarine, optisine, chelerytherine etc. The seed oil contains myristic, palmitic, oleic, linoleic acids etc.

Resource Person:
Pankaj Oudhia
Society for Parthenium Management, (SOPAM)
28-A, College Road, Geeta Nagar
Raipur- 492001 India
pankajoudhia@gmail.com
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Last modified: June 30 2015 by aw