State Medicinal Plants Board (SMPB) Kerala

Argemone mexicana L.

  • Family: Papaveraceae
  • Vernacular names: Bhramadanthi, Erumakalli, ബ്രമദന്തി, എരുമക്കള്ളി (Malayalam), Mexican poppy (English), Pitapushpa (Sanskrit), Bharbhand (Hindi), Virumalakachi (Tamil)
  • Distribution: Originally from West Indies; now naturalized in the tropics
  • Description: Erect herbs. Leaves alternate, dissected, semi-amplexicaule, membranous, margins spiny. Flowers terminal, solitary, bright yellow. Capsule oblong, spiny, dehiscing apically downwards; seeds rugose.
  • Habit: Herb
  • Habitat: Weed of fallow fields
  • Flowering & Fruiting: Throughout the year

  • Parts used: Whole plant
  • Properties & Uses: Seed oil, leaf juice and root are applied externally to relieve skin diseases and indolent ulcers. 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 oil is externally applied to eczema and itching. Seed oil is a powerful purgative.
  • Systems of Medicines: Folk, Unani, Homeo,
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