This plant takes its roots from Texas, Mexico, and Central America. However, it is also available in other continents, such as Africa and Australia. In Australia, for instance, it has become a troublesome weed and is largely distributed in their rural areas, much especially in areas along river systems. It bears yellow to pale orange flowers with hollow stems and it grows up to one meter in height.
Before the flowers spring to life, this plant resembles a thistle due to its prickly and toothed leaves. After the flowers are fertilized, a seed capsule that is prickly and oblong develops. Each capsule has an estimate of 400 seeds, which are all round and blackish brown in color.
Mexican poppy grows annually, and the seed usually begins to grow in autumn and the flowers bloom from October to November. However, its period of growth also depends on its location, because its life cycle hugely depends on the availability of moisture.
At times, it is difficult to control the seeds because they can stay dormant for numerous years, and Mexican poppy can only be reproduced from seed. Mexican poppy may grow in agricultural areas, but it may also be treated as a garden plant. It prefers tropical climates, and so if you live in cold areas, it may not be the best flower to plant in your garden. It usually grows in places like cultivated roadsides, riverbanks, and floodplains.
Mexican poppy has grown quite a reputation for bringing a lot of health benefits since it contains antispasmodic, analgesic, hallucinogenic, antibacterial, anticancer, sedative, and anti-inflammatory properties. In Ayurveda medicine, for example, this plant is well-known to treat several health conditions. It is even used as a homeopathic drug in India. In different parts of the world, there are several uses and names for the plant.
For example, in Mexico, the seeds of the plant are employed as an antidote for poisonous snake bites. In the Caribbean islands, on the other hand, the plant is employed as a treatment for sleep disorders and for the elimination of warts.
Meanwhile, in East Africa, the seeds are being added into their tea or beer in order for them to increase their potency. Its earliest records as a form of treatment is when it was used by Native American people to cure aching eyes by using the extract of the seeds.
Even the Spanish included the effectiveness of Mexican poppy seeds into their pharmacopeia upon discovering the plant when they arrived in Sonora. They then used it as a form of sedative or tranquilizer in order for them to have a cure for headaches and other conditions.
Table of Contents
Common Names of Mexican Poppy Seeds
English: Mexican Poppy, Yellow Thistle, Mexican Prickly Poppy
Germany: Mexikanischer Stachelmohn
Italy: Papavero Messicano
South Africa: Yellow-flowered Mexican Poppy
Spanish: Adormidera Espinosa
French: Argemone Mexicaine
Medicinal Properties of Brahma Dandi Vithai
The different parts of the plant have different properties that can be used for providing medical care. The whole plant in itself contains alkaloids which can be used as a mild pain killer since they are similar to those found in opium poppy. The sap, on the other hand, can be used as a treatment for warts, cold sores, itches, and other skin conditions because it contains protein-dissolving substances.
Other than that, the milky sap also has been used to treat other conditions, like cataracts and toothache. When skin diseases are on the chronic side, the root of the plant is used to treat them since it is diuretic, anodyne, hypnotic, and alterative. The root may also be used to treat stomach pain when mixed with cognac and rum. Other conditions it may cure are leprosy, infestation, poisoning, flatulence, malarial fever, inflammations, and guineaworm.
For coughs and other chest conditions, the flowers of the plant are used since they are a form of expectorant, which means they promote the secretion of mucus from the body’s air passages. The leaves may also be used to treat coughs, but also ulcers and wounds. The seed of the plant has the most uses since it is a laxative, demulcent, expectorant, and emetic.
The oil in the seed is extremely purgative, so small amounts of it is enough to treat certain conditions. The seed may be used as a sedative for young children, an antidote for snake poisoning, and when mixed with mustard oil, it may be used to treat itchy skin. Other health issues that may be cured by the seed are asthma, constipation, colic, rheumatalgia, and odontalgia.
10 Benefits of Mexican Poppy Seeds
As mentioned above, Mexican poppy seeds have numerous benefits because of the properties it contains. Here are the top 10 benefits of Mexican poppy seeds:
1 Treatment for Skin Problems
Its most well-known health benefit is its ability to treat different skin problems, such as itchiness, sores, warts, eczema, psoriasis, and boils amongst many others. Depending on the severity of the skin condition, either the milky sap or the root of the plant will be used to treat the problem. This is because the yellow latex of the plant contains antibacterial properties, and it may be applied to the affected area. Since this is also known as the prickly poppy, one should be careful when it comes to extracting milk from the sap. Certain precautions must be made before applying to the skin since some may be allergic to the plant and large doses of the formula may cause irritation on the skin.
2 Relieve Kidney Pain
One of the plant’s key benefits is it is a great remedy for a low urine output. Drinking tea made out of Mexican poppy seeds may be beneficial for kidney problems, and two cups are a healthy amount to consume per day. When dealing with kidney problems, it will be challenging for most to urinate regularly and painlessly. Mexican poppy seed oil may also be consumed when mixed with mustard oil and this will be beneficial because this will result to edema, which will then get rid of toxic fluids from the body. Kidney failures are among the most expensive health conditions to cure, and so it helps that there are alternative options which are accessible and cheaper.
3 Improve Eyesight
Certain eye conditions, such as opthalmia, which is the inflammation of the eyes, and opacity of the cornea, may be treated by the juice extracted from Mexican poppy seeds. The Mexican Indians are among the ones who commonly use the juice of the plant to treat cataracts and corneal opacities. One of the ways to use the plant in order to improve your eyesight would be to soak the flower overnight and using that water to clean your eyes. The same technique may be used to treat poisonous bites from scorpion or snake. Before employing this technique, however, it is important to consult your ophthalmologist.
4 Prevent Gum Problems
Since the plant contains antibacterial properties, it is no wonder that it can prevent gum problems as well. Most gum problems take root from the bacteria that occupy the mouth, and since there are billions and billions of germs inside the mouth, it helps to have a solution that can wash them away. There is a dry powder made from the plant that may be used to brush the teeth. If you have cavities and/or toothache, then this can also be used as a relief from such pain. Before any serious oral conditions may develop due to bacteria, it is best to have a prevention in mind.
5 Relieve Muscle Pains
Due to its alkaloid content, the plant can be used as a pain killer. Since this is so, it may relieve muscle pains. In Peru, for example, they use the plant by making a plaster out of its materials in order to treat muscle pains. Muscle pains can be a hassle, especially when there is work to be done, and so home remedies are great because there is no longer the struggle of getting up in order to consult a doctor. Of course, should conditions continue to worsen, a doctor must be contacted. But if you are just feeling sore or tired after a long hard day, then this is the best solution for you.
6 Treat Chest Problems
Mexican poppy seeds as a form of tea may be used to treat asthma, and other chest conditions one might have. This is because the tincture that is made from this plant has soothing, hypnotic, and antispasmodic effects that may relieve a whooping cough. The flowers of the plant may also be used to treat chest conditions, especially when it comes to getting rid of unwanted saliva and mucus from air passageways. This will definitely help you breathe better and avoid serious chest conditions in the future. There is also Mexican poppy seed oil that may be applied to the chest area when it comes to relieving any chest pains.
7 Treat Malaria
Malaria is a sickness that comes from being bitten by mosquitoes, and since Mexican poppy seeds may be used as a mosquito repellant, it may also serve as a treatment for diseases brought upon by the insects. In Mali, for example, their traditional healers are known to use this plant as a treatment for malaria. Mexican poppy seeds are turned into a form of tea, which is then being consumed by malaria patients until their symptoms disappear. This may be used in mild cases of malaria, but it will no longer be effective for those with severe cases. To those who do not have access to modern medicine right away, this may be the first step of acquiring treatment, which will be helpful especially to those who reside in rural areas.
8 Cure Impotency
Impotence is not a strange problem among men and this causes for men to have difficulties in conceiving a child. It has been said that consuming Mexican poppy seeds may help cure impotency or infertility. This is because the root of the plant is an alterative, which means that it has the ability to restore the healthy functions of the body. This is especially popular in East Africa where the seeds are being mixed into their alcohol or tea so men can increase their potency. If you have medications that diminish potency, then this can also be a great addition to your daily routine. Of course, doctors must be consulted, especially when there are other health problems at risk.
9 Heal Wounds
Mainly because of its antibacterial properties, wounds may be healed when this plant is applied to the affected area. If wounds are left untreated, then they may develop into worse skin or other health conditions because of the germs that they invite in to the body. It is best to heal wounds immediately, and home remedies are especially helpful for these cases. Mexican poppy seeds have strong effects that can rid the body of bacteria and toxins in the quickest way possible. Should the wounds not respond well to the plant, then you may be allergic or have other conditions that need a doctor’s prescription.
10 Alleviate Stomach Problems
Mexican poppy seeds have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which means they work great when it comes to alleviating certain stomach problems, such as diarrhea, flatulence, or nausea/vomiting. This is because the roots of Mexican poppy seeds are known to be as anthelmintic, which means it has the ability to get rid of internal parasites, especially those intestinal worms that can be found inside humans. Being diuretic and purgative, it also has the capability to remove toxins as well as to tone down inflammations in the body. Among its key benefits is its ability to get rid of unwanted toxins in the body, which is great because this can prevent numerous chronic illnesses.
How to Use Mexican Poppy Seeds (Internal and External Benefits)
There are, of course, internal and external uses of Mexican poppy seeds. Internally, it may be consumed whether as a form of tea or capsule.
There is also powder made from the plant that may be then turned into tea or may be used to make an antidote for skin conditions.
Mexican poppy seeds are being sold online, but you simply have to be careful when it comes to choosing a reliable website.
There are numerous internal benefits that come from Mexican poppy seeds and this include treating stomach problems, chest problems, and migraines.
When it comes to external benefits, most would apply to skin conditions so there are numerous products that you may use such as oil made from Mexican poppy seeds as a key ingredient.
When applied onto the skin, conditions may be alleviated, even muscle pains may be controlled.
The powder made from Mexican poppy seeds may also even be used as a toothpaste in order to get rid of bacteria from the mouth so as to improve one’s oral hygiene.
Side Effects of Mexican Poppy Seed
Mexican poppy seed is quite well-known as a type of drug, and this is because its roots contain two toxic alkaloids, dihydrosanguinarine and sanguinarine, and it also has been proved that the collected latex from the seeds which is turned into a tarry resin has potent narcotic effects. While it is deemed as safe to smoke them, it is not safe to eat them directly because of some of the symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, limb swelling, glaucoma, and breathlessness. In severe cases, due to cardiac arrest, a person may die.
This herb may have a long history in providing numerous health benefits, but it is not always safe to consume or to apply without carefully following the instructions. If you are unsure as to how you must use them, it is best to consult an expert.
As a sedative, small doses are enough, especially for young children because they might not be able to handle the amount of toxins from the plant. Small doses are substantial enough to cure asthma for young children. One should be careful when consuming Mexican poppy seeds, and it must be ensured that its poisonous properties are eliminated. It is a strong herb, and so if you have any other health conditions, it may be best to consult a doctor first. Since one of its side-effects is breathlessness, those with heart conditions are not advised to take this plant, and so do pregnant women as this can be fatal for their infants. The oil in itself should not be consumed, and it is said to be better to apply this externally as it is a safer option.
Modern Research on Mexican Poppy Seeds
Most modern research regarding Mexican poppy seeds surround its effectiveness and toxicity. There is the constant study about the health effects of alkaloids coming from the plant and what this means for those who receive these components. It has been proven that the alkaloid found in the plant indeed contains antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and even antitumor properties. This suggests that the plant may be employed as an agent when it comes to the management of prostate cancer. There are also studies being done about Mexican poppy seeds as a form of euphoriant.
Other research is being done as to how Mexican poppy seeds can be properly managed when it comes to their growth because they are known to be poisonous. Several researches have shown that because of their existence, they have the capacity to reduce plant diversity in certain areas. There also have been several tests regarding the effectiveness of its extracts from its leaves, flowers, and seeds when it comes to battling against insect pests, nematodes, and crop pathogens.
Certainly, there have been numerous debates now regarding the benefits of Mexican poppy seeds to a person’s health since they can have detrimental side-effects. As long as there is a safe intake as advised by health experts and doctors, there is no need for anyone to worry. Mexican poppy seeds are even sold online for a small amount.
Frequently Asked Question
Can Mexican poppy seeds really cure malaria?
It seems that Mexican poppy seeds have become well-known as a cure for malaria in Mali. There are surveys being done there wherein they calculate the effectiveness of the plant among their patients and most show that the results with the best outcomes are from those who had taken the plant.
Even though the oil from the seeds is majorly toxic, once the leaves and stems are boiled in order to be turned into a form of tea, it may be successful to treat the illness. Malaria is a serious condition, which at times can be fatal if not treated properly. Those who are affected by it have flu-like symptoms, but the symptoms gradually worsen due to bacteria.
There have already been millions of cases of malaria worldwide, and most are coming from third-world countries. And while there is no definite answer to this question yet, since it is a more accessible form of medical care, patients are welcome to try after the recommendation of their doctors.
Mexican poppy seeds are a part of the long history of herbal tradition that brings a lot of benefits to human beings. It is mostly known as a cure for skin conditions, but it has a lot of other health benefits too, such as treating muscle pains, asthma, impotency, kidney conditions, and migraines among many other things.
As always, before consumption, one must first consult doctors or health experts because this may be unhealthy in large doses, especially when one plans on using it long-term. There may also be certain allergies which may lead to serious health conditions if the plant is used incorrectly.
When it comes to managing the plant, one must be careful too of its thorns since it is also known as prickly poppy for a reason. There are external and internal benefits that come from the plant, but it is advised to use the plant externally. Modern research is still being made regarding the effectiveness and toxicity of the plant. There are numerous Mexican poppy seeds available online, but one must still purchase with caution.
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