Arecanut contains several alkaloids belonging to pyridine group, the most important being arecoline (0.1—0.5%). Arecaidine, guvacine and isoguvacine are also present. Arecoline is anthelmintic (in animals, not in humans). Arecaidine has no parasympathomimetic effects, but only stimulating properties; sedative in higher doses. Isoguvacine produces hyp otension.
Contraindicated in asthma due to bronchoconstrictive effects of the alkaloid arecoline (human case reports). (Francis Brinker.)
Arecanut tannins (8.0—18.0%) are predominantly catechol tannins which closely resemble Mimosa bark tannins. Powdered nuts are prescribed in diarrhoea and urinary disorders. In combination with other astringent and styptic herbs, arecanut is used as a major constituent in confections of Indian medicine for gynaecological disorders.
Aqueous extract of the nut exhibits direct vasoconstriction and adrenaline potentiation in rats. Antimicrobial activity is due to polyphenolic fraction. Tannins potentiated the action of acetyicholine in ileum and uterus of rat and noradrenaline on seminal vesicle at low concentration.
Due to increased incidence of oral cancer associated with betel chewing, the use of arecanut as a masticatory is being discouraged.


60 Argemone mexicana Linn.

Seeds are toxic at 8—log, fluid extract at 3.7 ml; and arecoline hydrobromide at 4.3—6.5 mg. (Francis Brinker.)
Dosage Dried ripe fruit—l—2 g powder. (API Vol. I.)
Argemone mexicana Linn.      Family Papaveraceae.
Habitat Native to America; naturalized throughout India.
English Prickly Poppy, Mexican Poppy.
Ayurvedic Katuparni, Svarnkshiri, Kaanchan-kshiri, Pitadugdhaa.
Hemaahvaa, Himaavati, Hemavati. (Not to be equated with Brahmadandi—Tricholepis
Unani Satyaanaashi.
Siddha/Tamil Piramathandu, Kudiyotti.
Action Seed—responsible for
epidemic dropsy. Causes diarrhoea and induces toxicity. Oil, leaf
juice and root—used externally for indolent ulcers and skin diseases.
The herb contains isoquinoline alkaloids. The fresh latex contains protein- dissolving constituents and is used externally to treat warts, tumours and cancer. Latex contains alkaloid berberme (0.74%), protopine

Encyclopedia of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants

A Candle of Medicinal Herb’s Identification and Usage