Prickly Poppy

Prickly PoppySome time ago, while weeding in our hillside, I came across an unfamiliar plant which I promptly dug up.

While researching about it, I discovered this ‘weed’ to be Argemone Mexicana  commonly known as the Prickly Poppy.

The Argemone Mexicana, while poisonous to animals, are exotic plants that have been used for various medical purposes.

The Argemone Mexicana has been used as an anesthetic for surgery. It has also been used to treat cancer, asthma, the common cold, fever, inflammation, migraine headaches, and toothache. It is also used as a laxative.

The tea is said to dispel bad blood that accumulates during birth; and this tea is also used to treat kidney and bladder troubles.

The plant is also used to treat gallbladder troubles, to treat muscle pains, to remove warts, and to treat sleep disorder. In spite of all these benefits, the Prickly poppy is listed as a dangerous, noxious weed in South Africa. View fact sheet.Prickly PoppyThe Argemone Mexicana which is also called Jamaican Thistle and Yellow Thistle, is grown throughout the world. It contains chemicals such as protopine, berberine, and several isoquinilines.

Prickly PoppyI also read that this ‘weed’ which I’ve destroyed – the Prickly Poppy, was an extraordinarily important plant for the Aztecs. It has been used ritualistically as an offering to the gods during their sacrifices.

It is also a smudging herb used in incense for cleansing, purification, protection of physical and spiritual bodies, banishment of negative energies and creation of sacred spaces.

The Prickly Poppy is also known for its psychoactive properties and its dried leaves are smoked as a Cannabis substitute.


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