Properties of yellow horned poppy (Glaucium flavum)

What is yellow horned poppy?

Characteristics of yellow horned poppy (Glaucium flavum)

Scientific noun: Glaucium flavum Crantz

Common noun:: Yellow Horned Poppy

Family: Poppy family – Papaveraceae

Habitat: Were does yellow horned poppy grow?

It can be found in salty, sandy places with much organic debris; river beds, dry paths, dunes, rocky places, etc.

Description of yellow horned poppy

Yellow horned poppy photo
Yellow horned poppy photo (Glaucium flavum)

Biannual plant of the Poppy family – Papaveraceae – up to 80 cm.

Its name comes from the Greek Glaukos, meaning ashy due to the white ash-like colour of the plant.

Stems with yellow latex.

Thick leaves; lower ones with long petiole; upper ones unstalked, embracing the stems.

Yellow flowers, till 9 cm wide with four petals.

The fruit is a capsule, long, curved.

Active principles of yellow horned poppy

  • Alkaloids: glaucine, protopine,, chelidonine, chelerythrine, corydine,
  • Acids: Fumaric and chelidonic acids.

Active parts: The whole plant, specially the roots.

Medicinal uses of yellow horned poppy

Internal use remedies

  • It has been used in homemade medicine to increase the secretion of the bile, in the cases of biliar insufficiency, gallstones and jaundice. Alkaloids liberate histamine which produces the contractions of the vesicle.
  • Equally it has been used for the treatment of the intestinal spasms
  • For bronchial spasms
  • For  the cure of hepatic illnesses.
  • Also as antitussive. (The usual doses are established about half a tea spoonful of dry plant for glass of water)
  • During some time to treat cataracts for its power to dissolve the opacities of cornea.

 External use preparations

The application of its latex, a very strong vesicant, on the warts can be used to remove them.

Experimental uses of yellow horned poppy

Experiments carried out with animals have concluded:

  •  The alkaloids present on this plant show a great antiviral and antibacterial power to neutralize the virus of herpes, flu and mumps in mice.
  • The cytotoxic power of these components was able to inhibit the growth in vitro of cancerous cells of liver, kidneys and pharynx in rabbits.
  • Different studies are being carried our in different parts of the world to look for a possible application of these alkaloids in cancer treatment .

Toxicity of glaucium flavum

Given the toxicity of its components, the use of this plant is dissuaded in homemade preparations!!!

The toxicity of this plant is high, similar to that of oppium poppy (Papaver somniferum L.). In superior doses to the usual, it produces a sensation of initial euphoria comparable to that of drunkenness, but later on it gives way to depressive state.

In external use the application of its juice possesses an irritating value, able to produce dermatitis in the skin. In some cases it presents a vesicant power, that’s to say a potential power to cause bladders. Sometimes it can even burn the skin with the subsequent scabs.

Applied on the eyes, it is very irritating and can develop conjunctivitis or ulcers.

Side effects of Glaucium flavum

In minor amounts, yellow horned poppy can be responsible for the following symptoms:

  • Stomachache,
  • Nausea or vomiting,
  • Thirstiness,
  • Dryness in the mouth,
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Decrease of heart beat.

In strong intoxications:

  • Mental confusion
  • Numbness of the members
  • Hypotension
  •  Respiratory failure and death.

Medical treatment of yellow horned poppy poisoning

  • Induced vomiting
  • Gastric lavage
  • Artificial respiration
  • Respiratory stimulants.

Is yellow horned poppy toxic to animals?

It is toxic for the livestock that consume its leaves producing them unstable pace, drowsiness, lack of appetite, high production of saliva and a decrease in milk production.

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This article was endorsed by Montserrat Enrich - Journalist specializing in edible wild plants and plant uses.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

31 July, 2020

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