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Darudi Panchang

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Argemone mexicana belongs to the family Papaveraceae. It is a prickly, glabrous, branching annual herb with yellow juice and showy yellow flowers, naturalized throughout up to an altitude of 1500 m. It occurs as wasteland weed in almost every part of India. Height of this plant varies between 0.3 to 0.12 m, leaves are thistle like. The plant prefers light sandy soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil and also prefers acid, neutral and basic soils. Argemone mexicana (Darudi Panchang) plant and flower
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Botanical Names
Argemone mexicana
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Swarnakshiri Hindi : Pisola, Satyanashi Gujarati : Brahmdandi, Marathi : Firangi dhotra Bengali : BaraShil-Kantal Kannada : Datturigidda Tamil : Kudiyotti Malayalam : Ponnummattu Telugu : Brahmadandi
Chemical Constituents
Argemone mexicana plant contains alkaloids as berberine, protopine, sarguinarine, optisine, chelerytherine etc. The seed oil contains myristic, palmitic, oleic, linoleic acids etc. The yellow juice containing small quantities of berberine, potassium nitrate was identified among the salts naturally existing in the plant. Several isoquinoline alkaloids viz. cheilanthifoline, berberine, coptisine, cryptopine, muramine, protopine, scoulerine, sanguinarine, stylopine and thalifoline have been reported from the plant (1).
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs hence it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the active ingredient or marker substances. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract, irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herbs are to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E. coli which are causative agent for various gastrointestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersensitivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
Pharmacology
The plant Argemone mexicana traditionally used as a potent diuretic agent. Along with the plant shows anti-helmintic, anti inflammatory, wound healing, anti bacterial, and anti fungal properties. The plant is bitter, acrid, cooling, vulnerary, and expectorant, aphrodisiac, emetic, depurative, anodyne, anti-helmintic, antipyretic, ophthalmic, stomachic and sedative in action. Traditionally, the plant is reported to be used as diuretic, purgative, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and believed to destroy worms, cure itching, various skin diseases and an antidote to various poisons. In homeopathy; the tincture of the entire plant is reported to be used orally for bronchitis and whooping cough. The alkaloid sanguinarine has been reported to prolong ventricular refractoriness and this property may be useful in treatment of ventricular arrhythmias. The ethanol extract of the entire plant is reported to possess antiviral, hypotensive and smooth muscle stimulant activity. The plant possess good antibacterial activity and found to be active against Proteus vulgaris, Sarcina lutea, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella newport, Shigella flexneri, Staphylococcus albus and Serratia marcescens. Aqueous extract of leaves have been reported to possess anti-inflammatory activity. The alkaloid fractions of the roots are reported to possess anti inflammatory activity and strong uterine stimulant effect (1, 2). Argemone maxicana has been investigated in terms of modern pharmacology for its anti-malarial activity, molluscicidal and nematocidal activity, anticancer activity, anti-bacterial, antifungal and hepatoprotective activity, anti-stress and anti-allergic activity, anti-cataleptic activity, anti-HIV activity, neuropharmcological study. In the present study A. mexicana was evaluated for its analgesic, anxiolytic and sedative activities (3).
Health Benefits
Argemone mexicana possess various medicinal properties. It is used to cure leprosy, skin diseases, inflammation and bilious fevers. Roots are useful in guinea-worm infestation, skin diseases, leprosy, pruritus, blennorrhagia, inflammations. The leaves are useful in cough, wounds, and ulcers, in skin diseases. Juice is used to cure opthalmia and opacity of cornea. Seeds are also useful in vitiated conditions of cough, asthma, pertussis, skin diseases, leprosy, wounds, dentalcaries, constipation, rheumatalgia, colic and flatulence. The latex is useful in dropsy, jaundice, skin diseases, leprosy, blisters, conjunctivitis, inflammation, burning sensation and malarial fever (4, 5). The oil is useful in indolent ulcers, wounds, leprosy and skin diseases, constipation, flatulences, colic and rheumatalgia. In Homeopathic system of medicine the drug prepared from this herb is used to treat the problem caused by tape worm. A. mexicana is used by traditional healers in Mali to treat malaria, externally in the treatment of cataracts and internally in the treatment of dropsy and jaundice. The root is used for the treatment of chronic skin diseases and alterative. The fresh juice of the leaves and the latex, both are reported to be used externally as a disinfectant for open wounds and cuts (6, 7).
Research References
1. Dash G. K. and Murthy P. N. Evaluation of Argemone mexicana Linn. Leaves for wound healing activity Scholar Research Library J. Nat. Prod. Plant Resour., 2011, 1 (1): 46-56 2. Sneha A. and Sanjay C. Neuropharmacological study of Argemone mexicana Linn. Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science 01 (04); 2011: 121-126 3. Prabhat K. D., Prasanna P., Somya R. P. Ranjan S. HEPATOPROTECTIVE ACTIVITY OF PLANT ARGEMONE MEXICANA (Linn). AGAINST CARBON TETRACHLORIDE (CCl4) INDUCED HEPATOXICITY IN RATS. International Journal of Pharma Research and Development 4. Bertrand G., Merlin L. W., Chiaka D., Jacques F., Florent D., Oumar S., Sergio G. and Drissa Diallo Argemone Mexicana decoction versus artesunate-amodiaquine for the management of malaria in Mali: policy and public-health implications. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 104(1):33-41, 5. Ibrahim H. A. and Ibrahim H. Pharmacognostic Studies on the Stems of Argemone mexicana Linn. (Family Papaveraceae) 6. Merlin L. W., Bertrand G., Jacques F., Oumar S. and Mathieu F. Argemone mexicana decoction for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria Journal of Pharmacy and Bioresources Vol. 4 (2) 2007: pp.59-63 7. Shahid S. S., Siddiqui I.A., Khan G. H. and Zaki M. J. Nematicidal and allelopathic potential of Argemone mexicana, a tropical weed Plant and Soil 2002, 245(2):239-247
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