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Before consuming wild plants, contact your doctor to make sure it is safe, and make positive identification in the field using a good source such as Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West.  Michael Moore’s books contain an excellent glossary of medical terms, as well as maps. )
 
#33
 
Common Name: Prickly Poppy, Thistle Poppy,  Mexican Poppy
Latin Name: Argemone albiflora,  A. corymbosa,  A. hispida, A. mexicana (ochroleuca), A. munita, A. pleiacanta, A. plyanthemos (platyceras), A squarrosa
Family: Papaveraceae (Poppy family)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARAL3 eastern species most states east of the Mississippi + Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas (A. albiflora)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARCO6 Arizona, California, Nevada Utah (A. corymbosa)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARHI4 New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska (A. hispida)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARME4 Nebraska south to Texas- Florida, Nebraska east to Michigan then east to Massachusettes + Hawaii (A. mexicana)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARMU Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona (A. munita)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARPL3 Arizona, New Mexico (A. pleiacantha)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARPO2 large diagonal Washington to Texas, Washington to N. Dakota and south to Texas + Iowa, Illinois, Indiana (A. polyanthemos)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARSQ Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas ( A. squarrosa)
 
 
(PFAF lists 2- they are native plants so Wildflower Org has information)
Common Name: White Prickly Poppy, Bluestem Pricklypoppy (A. albiflora)
Appearance and Habitat: Waste places, roadsides, fields, beaches, dunes, and coastal plains from sea level to 300 meters in Southern N. America – Connecticut to Florida and west to Texas and Illinois. An annual growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone 7. It is in flower from May to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. (1) The cupped, white flower is at the top of a tall, bristly stem; plant has white juice that turns yellow after it has dried. (2)
Warnings: All parts of the plant, including the seed, contain toxic alkaloids. (3) (These are similar alkaloids to opium poppy)
Edible Uses: None (4)
Medicinal Uses: A tea made from the leaves is demulcent, emetic and purgative. Caution is advised, the seed oil can cause glaucoma and oedema. An infusion of the plant is used in the treatment of jaundice, skin ailments, colds, colic and wounds. 
Foot Notes: (1, 3, 4)
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Common Name: Prickly Poppy (A. mexicana)
Appearance and Habitat: Dry soils along roadsides and in waste places and fields.  South western N. America (wrong on areas).   It is a perennial  growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It is hardy to zone 8. It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. (1)  The yellow prickly poppy, 8–18 inches tall, has a smooth or slightly prickly stem. The deeply lobed leaves are a whitish green, and the upper ones clasp the stem between their two lower lobes. The upper surface of the leaf is smooth. Flowers are yellow, about 2 1/2 inches across.  This thistle-leaved species is a nativeof tropical America; it has escaped from cultivation and is spreading. The sap from this plant is bright yellow.  Virginia and Tennessee south to Florida and west to Texas; spreading northward to New England, Great Lakes, and Midwest. (2)
Warnings: (Same as above) (3)
Edible Uses: Leaves No further details are given but caution is advised, see the notes on toxicity at the top of the page. (4)
Medicinal Uses: The whole plant is analgesic, antispasmodic, possibly hallucinogenic and sedative. It contains alkaloids similar to those in the opium poppy (P. somniferum) and so can be used as a mild pain-killer. The fresh yellow, milky, acrid sap contains protein-dissolving substances and has been used in the treatment of warts, cold sores, cutaneous affections, skin diseases, itches etc. It has also been used to treat cataracts and has been taken internally in the treatment of dropsy and jaundice. The root is alterative and has been used in the treatment of chronic skin diseases. The flowers are expectorant and have been used in the treatment of coughs and other chest complaints. The seed is demulcent, emetic, expectorant and laxative. An infusion, in small quantities, is used as a sedative for children, but caution is advised since the oil in the seed is strongly purgative. The seed has also been used as an antidote to snake poisoning. The pounded seeds, mixed with mustard oil, are applied externally to treat itchy skin. The oil from the seed is demulcent and purgative. It has been used externally in the treatment of skin problems. Caution is advised in the use of this oil, prolonged ingestion produces toxic effects resembling those occurring in epidemic dropsy. (5)
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(Now for Michael Moore who covers all species except A. albiflora.  He covers only species that grow in the west so he isn’t aware of A. mexicana growing in eastern states and plain states.  In with his material I will add Native American uses, because the only information I have comes from  western Tribes.)
Common Name: Prickly Poppy, Cardo Santo, Chicalote, Mexican Poppy (1)
Native American Name: Ishub goofwa, (Paiute); Tsagida, (Shoshone) (2)
Appearance: This plant resembles a thistle.  The flowers are big, and show that they are related to poppy. They have 5 petals that are either white or yellow, depending on the species, and have a yellow center.  They bloom from late spring into autumn.  The flowers are well armored with spines, these mature into oblong seed pods with a tip of black sap on the tops.   The leaves are stem clasping, somewhat wavy and are three to eight inches long.  All parts of the plant have a yellowish sap, which upon drying turns black.  Depending on the species they are grow between 1/2 foot to 3 feet in height.  All have a bluish tint to their foliage.  They are found on high desert plateaus at an elevation of 3,000 feet to 8,000 feet. (3)
Edible Uses: The seed is edible, it is one of our best forage seeds, but should be eaten in limited quantities due to drug activity. (4)
Medicinal Uses: Collect the seed when brown and before pod has opened.  Be sure and wear heavy gloves when collecting as the entire plant is covered with spines.   Since the sap is narcotic after a few pricks the skin becomes insensitive to the spines.  The fresh plant can be juiced, leaves, flowers and all and preserved in 25% vodka.  The fresh juice of the plant can be used to remove warts, or diluted by 3 or 4 parts of water for skin ulcerations.  Skin ulcerations include heat rash, and  hives. The juice greatly diluted with water has a history of treatment for opacities of the cornea.   The only other plant that has this property is the fresh juice of Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria) and is used in pharmaceutical preparations. The dried plant is a form of opiate, though feeble, and can be used to reduce pain and bring on sleep.   Use a rounded  teaspoon of dried plant for making tea for that purpose.  The seeds are a strong cathartic and have a somewhat seditive and narcotic effect when eaten or smoked.  The whole plant is analgesic, antispasmodic, possibly hallucinogenic and sedative.  It contains alkaloids similar to those in the opium poppy and so can be used as a mild pain-killer, but shouldn’t be used by pregnant women, and should not be used more than a few days in the tea form.  The whole plant can be boiled and tea added to bath water for sunburn, burns,  and other areas of abrasion.  Once again it reduces pain.  (5)
In Native American culture, the seed was made into tea and drunk by physics of the tribe.  The seed was also ground and applied to sores.  (6)
Foot Notes: (1, 3, 4, 5 ) Medicinal Plants Of the Mountain West  by Michael Moore, 1st Edition, page 135-137, publisher:  Museum of New Mexico Press ; copy right 1979  ISBN 0-89013-104-X
Foot Notes: (2, 6,)  Indian Uses of Native Plants by Edith Murphey, page 42 and 44, Publisher: Meyerbooks Copy right 1990; ISBN 0-916638-15-4
Foot Note (6) Plants For A Future
(I have collected them in Elko, Nevada (Lamoille Canyon and along Secret Pass highway).   I have preserved the crushed seeds in a couple ounces vodka. I left the crushed seeds in the vodka for several weeks to make the tincture.  It turned the vodka milky white.  Upon drinking, it wasn’t just an alcohol high but a stronger feeling of pain relief.    I have also smoked the seed to see how it works for pain relief; it is satisfactory in use for pain. This plant could easily be put to use in a survival situation to reduce pain from wounds, burns, and abrasions. )
 
Reproduced, in part, (as well as previous postings under this title) in accordance with Section 107 of title 17 of the Copyright Law of the United States relating to fair-use and is for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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