Papaver somniferum – Ayurvedic Herb






Khasaphalasheera – The exudates obtained from the fruit which is bearing the khasakhas seeds
Aphukam – It is the Arabic name for the drug. It was known to Indian physicians in this name because of its magical properties.

a) In olden days it is taught that it is similar to the foam coming from the mouth of snake
b) It is an exduation from the fruit

Thilabheda – The seeds look like a variety of thila
Khasatila – The seeds look like tila
khakhasa – The seeds are known as Khaskase





Based on utility (Nighantu) Ratnakaram described four varieties

  1. Garana (White variety)-It act as digestive
  2. Dharana(yellow variety) – It act as rasayana
  3. Sarana – Different colours

It removes metabolic residues from body

Based on the flowers Nighantu mentioned four varieties in classical texts

  1. Swetha ( white)
  2. Krishna (Black)
  3. Chitra
  4. Peetha (Yellow)

Practically three kinds

  1. Khaskhaas saphed (Yellowish white)
  2. Khaskhas syah ( Black and Blue)
  3. Khaskhas mansur ( Red)

Geographically opium is of various kinds

Eg. Turkish ,Europien,Persia,India

In classical categorization

Charaka –Nil

Susruta – Nil

Vaghbata – Nil


English : Opium, Postaka

Hindi : Aphim

Kannada : Apim

Telugu : Abhim , gasagasa

Malayalam : Afim, khasakhasa

Tamil : Abim, gasagas






Milky juice of immature capsule(phalaniryasa)


30 – 125 mg






  • In many varieties of opium , narcotine is quite half as abundant .
  • Seeds contain large percentage of a blend fixed oil called maw or pappy oil of a pale yellow colour drying easily and of an agreeable odour.
  • Seeds are alkaloids free. The white variety of poppy seeds the least amount of morphin . the purple variety gives the highest yield.
  • Contain large amount of alkaloids (38 in number) organic acids and natural substance
  • Alkaloids are morphine 5 – 9 P.C, narcotine 2.8 P.C codeine 0.2 -0.7P.C, thebaine / paramarphine 0.15 – 4 P.C Gytopine 0.08-0.5p.c, Leudanine 0.01 P.C, leudanine 0.0008 , larthopine 0.0008P.C groscopine 0.2 P.C tritopine 0.0015 P.C, papaverine 0.8- 1P.C, narcine 0.2 – 0.7 P.C, Neapine ,porhyroxxine, meecndine, pseudopapaverine, papaveramine .
  • Organic acids are meconic acid 4 P.C, lactic acid 1.25P.C, acetic , sulphuric , citric and tartaric acid which exists in combination with the alkaloids
  • Bitter netral principles are mecanin opium 0.3 P.C, meconiamin , porphyroxine water 16 P.C, Pectin, essential oil and ash 6.P.c , salts of calcium ammonium and magnesium




Rasa :- Tiktha , Kasaya

Guna :- Laghu, Sukshma, Vyavayi

Veerya :- Ushna

Vipaka :- Katu




  • Kaphahara
  • Madakari
  • Grahi
  • Sukrastambaka
  • Vyavayi – vikasi
  • Vedanasthapana
  • Nidrajanana
  • Aksepahara
  • Stambhana
  • Sulaprasamna
  • Svasakasahara
  • Rakthastambaka
  • Jwaraghna
  • Swedajanana
  • Dhatusosaka


a) Abhayantra : vedanapradhana vikara Grdharsi – parsvasula –

Asmari – udarasula – Vataroga – Apasmara –apatantraka – kampa _ vatadhanustamba – atisara , udarasula – amasaya sotha, visuchika, antrikajvara.

b) Bahya : sandhisotha, phuphusavaranasotha, dehangagatha

Sotha Pida, arsa – gudavikara, Netra karna , sotha vedana.



  • In sandisoka localy applied (Lepana) form of (Ahiphena).
  • In plurities externally to the chest region.
  • In vagikarna combination of ahiphena , akarakarabha , Gathiphala , Ela, Lavanga along with 5g of Karpura are grinded together and administered locally.


It is useful as analgesic , anaesthetic, anti-colic, anti diuretic , expectorant , depressant of cerebrum, diaphoretic , expectorant , hypotonic sedative , respiratory paralysis and narcotic drugs. It is used as anodyne ,appetizer antispasmodic, pyretic and amphrodisiac.

It is used in abdominal pain , colic conditions , dipressions, diabetes , diarrhea , impotency, sciatic pain, neuraligia , pleurisy, respiratory disorders , spermatorrhea and several ailing conditions . it is indicated in asthma colic gallstone renal diabetes anasarca , internal haemorrhage ,piles and peritonitis .it is anticovulstant and useful in epilepsy ,insomnia ,tetanus and other relevant ailments .it is tropically applied to inflamed and painful joints and in pleurisy.



Karpurathi rasa

Nidrodaya vati


Kaminividravana rasa


Mahavataraja rasa

Vedanantak malhara

Sambhunatha rasa



  1. Codein is used as antitissue agent
  2. Papverine is used as muscle relaxant
  3. Morphine is used during the acute angina

K.C. Chunekar has mentioned three varieties of opium in the market

  1. Patna or Bengali opium from Bihar and Bengal
  2. Banarasi opium from Uttarpradesh and Uttaranchal
  3. Malva opium from Gwalior Bhopal and Badodra etc .

Actually, opium is the dried juice of the poppy. The unripe capsule is incised and the white juice which exceeds is collected and dried to obtain opium. The artificial derivatives are heroin, dihydromorphine, dionine, metapon, dicodid etc.




They grow well in well drained fertile soil, natural to slightly acidic in reaction, deep clay loam soil rich in organic matter, adequate sunshine temperature below 200 during active vegetative phase and 30 – 350 during reproductive phase is conductive for high yield warm and dry weather conditions during February to march is favourable for good flow of latex. Hailstorm and high gusty wind, frost and cloudy weather during lancing period and harmful.




The cultivationof opium poppy strictly under government control. Once abundantly cultivated at higher elevations in southern India. Its general cultivation is now banned in Tamilnadu, and Kerala except and government auspicious like cannab is sativa. The present producing states are Bihar UP, Madhyapradesh, Bengal,Assam, Rajasthan and the Himalayan regions. The white flowered variety of opium poppy is the one generally cultivated for commercial exploitation of opium in Rajasthan and Central India, red flowered variety with dark seeds is cultivated in the himalyas




Collection done after the lancing operation. Immediately on lancing the latex exudes, it is initially milky and gets accumilted in the outer wall of the capsule. It quickly darkens and dries during the course of the day and generally collected the next day before 10 am by scraping with the towel called Sectoah. The collection may be delayed for one or two days, depending on the appearance of the capsules and the vigour after the latex flow. In other words interval is subjectively determined by the collector.

The air dried latex, which has now become blackish colour is shaped from the capsules into small earthernware pots which are lined with polythene sheets . scraping is carried out by the grasping the capsule between the thumb and forefinger of the left hand and inclining it gently, the scraper is than drawn upwards . the capsule is finally ‘cleaned’ with the thumb.

The semidry blackish latex is then transferred to wooden trays and dried further upon arrival at the factory , appropriate samples are drawn from each grower’s produce and their quality is determined in the laboratory of chief opium chemist.

The capsules after the lancing operation and collection of opium latex, area allowed to dry on the plant itself . the drying process takes about 15 days after the lancing is completed. In India the capsules are plucked by hands and the seeds are separated after breaking the capsules. A dry capsule weigh about 7g and it contains 11 to 12 thousands seeds weighing about 3.5 to 4g.




Opium is dissolved, washed with Godukta of jala with filtered dry. Bhavana with ardraka swarasa for 7 – 21 times and again dry preserved in glass jar.



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