Family: Papaveraceae (Poppy family)
Genus: Argemone
Botanical name: Argemone mexicana
Sanskrit: Kshirini, Swarnakshiri
Hindi: Satyanashi, Bharband
English: Mexican Prickly Poppy, Mexican poppy, Prickly Poppy, Flowering thistle, Cardo, Cardosanto
Malayalam: Erumakkalli, Kantankathiri, Ponnummattu
Mexican Prickly Poppy is a prickly, hairless, branching herb with yellow juice and showy yellow flowers. In India it is introduced and naturalised and occurs as wasteland weed in almost every part of India. In many parts it is reported as crop weed also. The height of this plant varies between 1-4 ft. Leaves are thistlelike, stem-clasping, oblong, multiply cut, spiny, with white viens. Flowers occur at the end of branches, yellow. 2.5-5.0 cm across. Fruits are capsules. The plants is toxic to animals and cattle.
The whole plant of Mexican Prickly Poppy is used for guinea-worm infestation, itching, inflammations, skin diseases, all types of poisoning, constipation, flatulence, colic and malarial fever.
The Seri of Sonora, Mexico use the entire plant both fresh and dried. An infusion is made to relieve kidney pain, to help expel a torn placenta, and in general to help cleanse the body after parturition.
When the Spanish arrived in Sonora they added this plant to their pharmacopia and called it cardosanto, which should not be mistranslated to blessed thistle (Cnicus benedictus). Use in Hispanic cultures includes as a sedative and analgesic tea, including for use to help alleviate migraine headaches. The seeds are taken as a laxative. Mexican Prickly Poppy is used by traditional healers in Mali to treat malaria.
Mexican Prickly Poppy
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