Scientific name: Argemone mexicana L.
Synonym: Argemone spinosa Gaterau
Bengali/Vernacular name: Shialkanta, Barashiyalkanta, Kengrabiji, Siakanta.
Tribal name: Wekamthu-asi (Khumi), Sunk-kha-ray (Rakhaing).
English name: Mexican poppy, Mexican prickly Poppy, Prickly poppy.
Description of the plant: A glabrous, glaucous, prickly herb with spreading branches and yellow juice. Leaves sessile, thistle-like, stem clasping, oblong, sinuately pinnatified, spinous, vein white. Flowers yellow, large, terminal on short, leafy branches. Capsule is spiny, obovate, or elliptic-oblong, opening by 4-6 valves. Seeds are spherical, shining, black, and pitted.
Plant parts used: Leaf, stem, root.
Ethnomedicinal uses: Infusion prepared from roots of the plant is given to women at the start of parturition pain.
Decoction of roots is used in skin disease, blennorrhagia, inflammatory swellings, and toothache.
5 ml amount juice extracted from the stem is mixed with 5 ml amount fresh cow milk, and then the mixture is used for long time to treat leprosy.
Sap of the plant is applied on the affected part of the body to treat wound.
The latex juice of the plant is used for the treatment of jaundice and dropsy.
A decoction is made with the leaves and stems of the plant are taken four times a day until the malaria fever is cured.
Infusion prepared from the leaves of the plant is advised to give in cough, and asthma.
Juice of the plant is rubbed on the body to relieve rheumatic pain.
Distribution: The plant is available in most of the districts in fallow lands.
Is this plant misidentified? If yes, please tell us….