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Herbs

AHI PHENA / Papaver somniferum

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Botanical Name – Papaver somniferum Linn.

Family – PAPAVERACEAE

Vernacular Name

Bengali                 : Postodheri

Hindi                     : Postha

English                 : Opium/Poppy Seeds

Telugu                  : Nalla mandu

Apuka is the synonyum of niryasa . Khasa tila , Tila Bheda , Khakhasaare the synonyms of the seeds.

Botanical Description

An erect , rarely branched , glaucous , annual herb , 60-120 cm . in height . Leaves – Many , amplexicaule , lobed , dentate or serrate , linear-oblong or ovate-oblong . Flowers- Usually bluish white with a purple base or white , Purple or variegated , 7.6-17.8 cm  long . Capsules – globose , stalked , 2.5 cm diameter . Seed- reniform , black or white .

Distribution

A native of west Asia , now grown in U.P., Hoshiarpur and Jullundhar in Punjab , Rajasthan and M.P.

Different Varieties

In Nighantu Ratnakaram four varieties are described . They are :

  1. Jarana                  : White Variety                 : Acts as digestive
  2. Marana                : Black Variety                   : caused death
  3. Dharana               : Yellow Variety                 : acts as Rasayana (tonic)
  4. Sarana                  : different colours            : removes metabolic residues from body .

Properties

Rasa                             : Tikta , Kasaya

Virya                            : Usna

Vipaka                         : Katu

Guna                           : Laghu , Ruksa , Suksma , Vyavayi

Karma                         : Kapha hara , Madakari , Grahi ,Sukra Sthambhaka

Chemical Constituents

Curde opium contains about 25 alkaloids . Some of them are : Morphine (10%) , Codein (0.05%), papaverene , Narcotine , Meconic acid , Apomorphine .

These form 2 groups

(a) the phenanthres : morphime (10%) , codeine (0.5%) & the baine (0.3%) , which are narcotic and

(b) the isoquinolines : Popararines (1%) and narcotine (6%) , which are mild analgesic but not narcotic . Papavanine may act as muscle relaxant .

Indications

Atisara , Kasa , Darunaka , Jvara , Sula ,Klaibya , Nidra , Nasa .

Poisoning effects of Ahi phena

Its contact with skin may produce erythema , urticaria and itching . When orally consunmed  , symptoms commence within half an hour . Injected form needs 3 to 4 min to show symptoms .

It first stimulates then depresses and finally paralyses the nerve centres . These symtoms will manifest in three stages :

  1. Stage of excitement : increased sense of well – being , mental  activity , freedom from anxiety , flushing of face , tachycardia etc.
  2. Stage of Stuper : Symptoms like headache , nausea , vomiting , sense of weightin the limbs , giddiness , stuper , contracted pupils , cyanosis of lips etc .
  3. Stage of Coma : deep coma , flaccid muscles , diminished reflexes , pin – point , chyene-stokes breathing etc .

Fatal dose is opium 2 g ; morphine 0.2 g & codein 0.5 g.

Treatment

  1. Stomach wash with 1.5000 potassium permanganate solution .
  2. Administration of N-allyl-normorphine (lethidrone or nalorphine ) 5-10 mg i.v. repeated every 15-30 min. i.m. or i.v. until respirations return .  

Therapeutic Uses of Papaver somniferum

  1. Vajikarana – Acombination of Ahiphena , Akarakarabha , Jatiphala , Japatri , Ela , Lavanga & kumkuma (each 10 g) alongwith 5 gof Kapura are grinded together and administered orally (250-300 mg pills) ( Yo. Ra.)
  2. Kasa- Khaskhasa niryuha(S.B.M.)
  3. Atisara – Ahiphena and bark of Visatinduka (Kupilu) are mixed with honey and administered orally (Vai. Ma. ) .

Parts Used

Seeds , seed oil , unripe capsules , flowers and exudates from fruit .

Dosage – 30 to 125 mg .

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