Family • Papaveraceae - Argemone mexicana Linn. - PRICKLY POPPY - Lao chou
|Argemone mexicana Linn.|
Other vernacular names
|CHINESE: Lao chou ?, Ji ying su.|
|Baruas (Iv.)||Goatweed (Engl.)|
|Diluariu (Tag.)||Golden thistle of Peru (Engl.)|
|Kachumba (Ilk.)||Mexican poppy (Engl.)|
|Kagang-kagang (C. Bis.)||Prickly poppy (Engl.)|
|Kasubang-aso (Ilk.)||Queen thistle (Engl.)|
|Bird-in-the-bush (Engl.)||Ci ying su (Chin.)|
A plant used as “nourishment for the dead” by the Aztecs. The plant latex is collected into a pliable mass and fashioned into an image of an Aztec god. In a sacrifice ritual, the “god” image is killed and its “flesh” distributed among the worshippers. Its became cemented into the culture of poppy when Chinese residents in Mexico extracted from the latex a product with opium-effects.
Kachumba is an erect, rather stout, branched annual herb, about 1 meter high. Leaves are 5 to 11 centimeters long, more or less blotched with green and white, glaucous, broad at the base, half-clasping the stem, prominently sinuate-lobed, and spiny. Flowers are terminal, yellow, scentless, 4 to 5 centimeters in diameter. Capsule is spiny, obovate or elliptic-oblong, about 3 centimeters in length. Seeds are spherical, shining, black and pitted.
Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1) Argemone mexicana – Prickly Poppy / – K. Edley
(2) Antibacterial potentiality of Argemone mexicana solvent extracts against some pathogenic bacteria / Indranil Bhattacharjee et al / Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.101 no.6 Rio de Janeiro Sept. 2006 / doi: 10.1590/S0074-02762006000600011
(3) TOXICITY OF ARGEMONE MEXICANA SEED, SEED OIL AND THEIR EXTRACTS ON ALBINO RATS / A A El Gamal, O S A Mohamed and S A Khalid.
(4) In vitro Antibacterial Screening and Toxicity Study of Some Different Medicinal Plants / Rajib Ahsan, Monirul Islam et al / World Journal of Agricultural Sciences 5(5):617-621,2009
(5) Different Effects of Some Isoquinoline Alkaloids from Argemone mexicana on Electrically Induced Contractions of Isolated Guinea-pig Ileum / Sonia Piacente, Anna Capasso et al / Phytotherapy Research
Volume 11, Issue 2, pages 155–157, March 1997 / DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1573(199703)11:2<155::AID-PTR48>3.0.CO;2-9
(6) Bacteriostatic potential of Argemone mexicana Linn. against enteropathogenic bacteria / Vivek Kempraj and Sumangala K Bhat / Indian Journ of Natural Products and Resources, Vol 1(3), Sept 2010, pp 338-341
(7) Evaluation of Argemone mexicana Linn. Leaves for wound healing activity / G. K. Dash* and P. N. Murthy / J. Nat. Prod. Plant Resour., 2011, 1 (1): 46-56
(8) STUDY ON REPELLENT ACTIVITY OF ARGEMONE MEXICANA ON TRIBOLIUM CASTANEUM AND SITOPHILUS ORYZAE / Abdul Majeed S*, Abidunnisa T / IJPRD, May – 2011, Vol 3, No 3
(9) PHYTOCHEMICAL SCREENING OF SECONDARY METABOLITES OF ARGEMONE MEXICANA LINN. FLOWERS / NUPUR JOSHI*, SHASHANK BHATT*, DR. SURESH DHYANI*, JYOTI NAIN / International Journal of Current Pharmaceutical Research, Vol 5, Issue 2, 2013
(10) Cytotoxic Benzophenanthridine and Benzylisoquinoline Alkaloids from Argemone mexicana / Yuh-Chwen Chang, Fang-Rong Chang, Ashraf T. Khalil, Pei-Wen Hsieh, and Yang-Chang Wu* / Z. Naturforsch. 58c, 521Ð526 (2003)
(11) Evaluation of antibacterial and antioxidant activity of fruits extract of Argemone mexicana Linn. / Rahi Ashish Jain *, R.C. Agarwal, Dayanand Dubey, Rahul Verma, Roshan Jain / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Innovations, Volume 2, Issue 1, January− February 2012
(12) Neuropharmacological study of Argemone mexicana Linn. / Sneha Anarthe and Sanjay Chaudhari / Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science 01 (04); 2011: 121-126
(13) Biodiesel production from Argemone mexicana seed oil using crystalline manganese carbonate / Rajeshwer Rao, Pudukulathan Zubaidha, Dasharath Kondhare, Narender Reddy, Sushma Deshmukh / Polish Journal of Chemical Technology. Volume 14, Issue 1, Pages 65–70 / DOI: 10.2478/v10026-012-0061-x, April 2012
(14) in-vitro Anti-Cancer activity of Methanolic extract of leaves of Argemone mexicana Linn. / Kiranmayi.Gali*, G. Ramakrishnan, R. Kothai, B. Jaykar / Int.J. PharmTech Res.2011,3(3)
– Phytochemical screening yielded the presence of reducing sugars, flavonoids, sterols/terpenes, tannins and alkaloids.
– Seed analysis yielded 36% oil, 49% carbohydrate and albumin, 9% moisture and 6% ash.
– Seed study yielded an alkaloid similar to morphine in all its important reactions. A subsequent critical study found no trace of morphine, but reported berberine and protopine.
– Seeds contain a pale yellow non-edible oil, 22-36%, called argemone oil or katkar oil, which contains the toxic alkaloids sanguinarine and dihydrosanguinarine.
– Plant contains alkaloids berberine, protopine, sarguinarine, optisine, chelerytherine, among others.
– Seed contains myristic, palmitic, oleic, linoleic acids.
– Phytochemical screening of extracts of flowers yielded secondary metabolites: alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, saponins, tannins, phenol, lignin, etc.
– Considered analgesic, antispasmodic, antitussive, demulcent, emetic, expectorant, hallucinogenic, purgative and sedative.
– Berberine is a bitter yellow substance with an effect on circulation. A study reported an overdose of berberine to be possibly fatal from paralysis of the central nervous system. Protopine was reported to be narcotic. However, another subsequent studies on the seeds did not show an emetic or narcotic influences.
– Root is considered alterative, anthelmintic.
– Leaves considered narcotic and sedative.
– Flowers considered pectoral and sedative.
– Seeds considered laxative, emetic, nauseant, expectorant and demulcent.
Root, stems, leaves.
– Infusion of roots is given to women at the start of parturition pains.
– Roots given for various chronic skin diseases.
– In La Reunion roots given for blenorrhagia.
– In French Guinea, decoction of roots or stems given for vesicular calculus. Decoction also used as an eye-wash and a lotion used for inflammatory swellings. Also, used as a mouthwash for toothaches and taken internally for gleet.
– Powdered root used for tapeworm.
– In French Guinea, stem used as diuretic.
– In Gambia, infusion of leaves used for coughs.
– Leaves used as narcotic and sedative.
– Latex with slightly corrosive property, applied to warts, chancres, etc. Also used for eczema.
– Yellow juice of the plant used for dropsy, jaundice, cutaneous affections.
– Used as a diuretic, relieves blisters, heals excoriations and indolent ulcers.
– Used as externally application for conjunctivitis.
– In Konkan, juice is given with milk for leprosy.
– In Jodhpur, the yellow juice is used for eye affections and rubbed on the body to relieve rheumatic pain.
– In the West Indies, used as a substitute for ipecacuanha.
– Seeds used for catarrhal affections of the throat, cough, pertussis and asthma.
– In Mexico, used as an antidote to snake venom.
– In French Guinea, used as a cathartic and emetic. Also, flowers considered narcotic.
– In Delhi, smoke from burning seeds used to relieve toothaches; also, for preventing dental caries.
– Oil is aperient, used for herpetic lesions and other skin diseases.
– In Delhi and Sindh, oil is used on indolent ulcers and eruptions and as an external application for headaches.
– Oil of seeds is considered purgative.
– Fringe Uses: In many “fringe” and tribal cultures, leaves are smoked or made into tea, for its sedating and psychoactive properties. Euphorant and aphrodisiacal properties have been reported. Also, used as tea for its beneficial effects as a smoking-cessation aid.
– Cold remedy: Leaf extracts being recommended as new-age cold remedy.
• Antibacterial: Study on the extracts of seeds and leaves of Amexicana all showed activity against S aureus, B subtilis, E coli and P aeruginosa; the methanol extract showed maximum inhibition.
• Toxicity / Neuro-entero-hepato-nephropathy: Rats receiving seed, seed oil and ethanolic extracts of A. mexicana suffered hyperesthesia, inappetence, intermittent diarrhea, emaciation and decrease body weight, with hepatorenal lesions and increase in BUN and SGOT. Results suggest that the seed and seed extract toxicity in rats are more of neuro-enterohepatonephropathy.
• Epidemic Dropsy / Toxicity Report: Four cases manifesting epidemic dropsy following massage with contaminated mustard oil was reported. The oil was found adulterated with Argemone mexicana oil, and the diagnosis confirmed a transcutaneous route of absorption of the toxin with the presence of sanguinarine in the serum and urine of all four cases.
• Anti-Malarial: A study compared the Argemone mexicana decoction versus artesunate-amodiaquine (artemisinin combination therapy [ACT]) for the management of malaria. In view of the low rate of severe malaria and good tolerability, AM may also constitute a first-aid treatment when access to other antimalarials is delayed.
• Larvicidal / Insecticide: Study showed the crude methanol extract of P minima and the methanol leaf and flower extract of Argemone mexicana might be used as larvicide and insecticide.
• Effect on Ileum Contraction: Study showed CHCl3/MeOH and MeOH extracts dose-dependently reduced the contractions of isolated guinea-pig ileum. The effects were attributed to the active compounds identified as protopine, allocryptopine and berberine.
• Phytochemical Screening: Phytochemical screening yielded reducing sugars, flavonoids, sterols / terpenes, tannins and alkaloids. Its biological active compounds could serve as a potential source of vegetable drugs in herbal medicine.
• Anti-Stress / Antiallergic / Anti-Asthma: Study of various extracts showed the aqueous extracts of Argemone mexicana stems caused a significant decrease in leucocytes and eosinophils, results suggesting a usefulness as antiallergic in asthmatic conditions.
• Neurotoxicology of Argemone Oil / Neuroprotective Extract: Argemone oil shows acute and subacute as well as dose-dependent toxicity in whole brain as well as discrete areas of the brain. Oral supplementation of aqueous extract of A mexicana stem and leaves showed a protective effect on the brain and liver.
• Bacteriostatic / Enteropathogenic Bacteria: Study evaluated the bacteriostatic efficacy of 16 crude extracts from different parts of A. mexicana on enteropathogenic bacteria such as Klebsiella oxytoca, Vibrio damsella, E. aerogenes and E. coli. Results confirmed a broad-spectrum antibacterial property, with the leaf and seeds as principle sources of active ingredients with bacteriostatic potential.
• Wound Healing / Leaves: Various extracts of leaves were evaluated for wound healing activity in rats using excision, incision, and dead space wound models. Animals treated with methanol and aqueous extracts showed faster wound healing. The wound healing effects were attributed to phytoconstituents like alkaloids, triterpenoids, tannins, and flavonoids.
• Repellent: Study evaluated the repellent activity of an aqueous extract on S. oryzae and T. castaneum adults. Results confirm the extracts of leaves as a biologic control against insects/pests of stored grain.
• Analgesic: Study evaluated an ethanolic extract of leaves for peripheral analgesic in mice. Results showed very good peripheral activity and significant analgesic activity in comparison to Aspirin. Flavanoids may be contributory to the analgesic activity.
• Cytotoxicity / Benzophenanthridine and Benzylisoquinoline Alkaloids: Study of aerial parts isolated two benzophenanthridiine-type alkaloids and three bnezylisoquinoline-type alkaloids, together with six known non-alkaloidal compounds. Chelerythrine, angoline, and (+)-argenaxine showed activity against one or both cell lines–HONE-1 (human nasopharyngeal carcinoma) and NUGC (human gastric cancer) cell lines.
• Antibacterial / Antioxidant: Study of a 50% methanolic extract of fruits showed potent antibacterial activity against Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria and good antioxidant activity.
• Anxiolytic / Sedative / Analgesic: Study evaluated methanolic and ethyl acetate extracts of whole plant for CNS related activities in mice. In acute toxicity study, both extracts showed to be safe up to 2500 mg/kbw. Results showed analgesic, anxiolytic, and sedative effects.
• Biodiesel from Seed Oil: Study explored the possibility of biodiesel production from A. mexicana seed oil and an efficient catalyst crystalline manganese carbonate. Optimum conditions for the conversion of the seed oil to its methyl ester by transesterification required 1% manganese carbonate as catalyst with alcohol to oil ratio 5:1 at 60°C to yield biodiesel of 99.99% purity.
• Anti-Cancer / Leaves: Study evaluated a methanolic extract of leaves for anticancer activities against HeLa and MCF-7 cells. An IC50 of 1.35µg/µl to 1.2µg/µl was found. Activity was through apoptosis rather than necrosis. Activity could be related to flavonoid content.
• Toxicity / Epidemic Dropsy / Sanguinarine / Oil: Four cases with characteristics of epidemic dropsy was reported following body massage with contaminated mustard oil. Oil used for the body massage was adulterated with Argemone mexicana oil. Transcutaneous absorption of toxin (sanguinarine) was suspected, and established by the presence of the same in urine and serum of all four cases.