Introduction and Derivation of the Papaveraceae family Sensation- Dr. Alifiya Dedanwala

Introduction and Derivation of the Papaveraceae family Sensation- Dr. Alifiya Dedanwala


Dr. Alifiya Dedanwala, Editor ‘the other song’

Papaveraceae commonly known as poppy family are widely used in the world for various purposes.

Poppy is a flowering plant in the subfamily Papaveroideae of the family Papaveraceae. Poppies are herbaceous plants, often grown for their colorful flowers. One species of poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the source of the narcotic drug opium which contains powerful medicinal alkaloids such as morphine and has been used since ancient times as an analgesic and narcotic medicinal and recreational drug.

This poppy is grown as an agricultural crop on a large scale, for one of three primary purposes. The first is to produce seeds that are eaten by humans, known commonly as poppy seed (khas khas- Indian name). The second is to produce opium for use mainly by the pharmaceutical industry. The third is to produce other alkaloids, mainly thebaine and oripavine, that are processed by the pharmaceutical industry into drugs such as hydrocodoneand oxycodone. (mainly for relieving pain)

The opium poppy and corn poppy are symbols, respectively, of sleep and death. In Great Britain, Canada, the United States, and Australia the corn poppy is worn in remembrance of World War I. Australia, Turkey and India are the major producers of poppy for medicinal puposes and poppy based drugs such as morphine and codeine.

Let us understand Papaveraceae from the Sensation point of view.

As explained by Dr. Sankaran, the Sensation of this family is to do we immense Pain and suffering. The pain is mortal, almost like facing death; its violent as though something is stabbed or murdered just like a war situation. It is that deep and excruciating that is numbs ones senses to the extent paralyzing  a person . There’s immense amount of mental suffering. Suffering that may have arose from some deep shock, fright or accidental injury. The effects of this fright remains for a long time. This sensation was derived from our Provings, Repertory and Materia Medica text.

Let us have a close look at the remedies from this family that form a part of the Homeopathic pharmacopeia are;

  1. Morphinum
  2. Morphinum Sulphuricum
  3. Apomorphinum
  4. Argemone mex (Mexican prickly poppy)
  5. Chelidonium
  6. Sanguinarinum Nitricum
  7. Sanguinaria Canadensis
  8. Succinicum acidum
  9. Opium
  10. Codeinum
  11. Fumaria officinalis
  12. Corydalis Formosa (Turkey corn)

The drugs in this family have been used for since ancient times by Greeks and Roman in wars to reduce pain. They were used as sedatives and soporifics. It not only help reduce the physical pain but also diminished mental pain and agony.

So the first characteristic to be highlighted in this family is sensitivity (increased/decreased) to ‘PAIN’; both physical and mental.

Reference Works Software – Boericke’s Materia Medica

  • Morphinum
  • Opium
  • Some Rubrics that highlight the significance of ‘pain’ component present in most of the remedies in this family.
  • Mind; PAIN; agg- 3Opium, 3Sang, chel, cod, morph, morph-acet
  • ANXIETY; pain with: chel, morph, morph-acet, Op, Sang
  • IRRITABILITY; pain during: Op, Sang
  • INDIFFERECE; apathy; pain to: herin, op
  • SENSITIVE; oversensitive pain to: MORPH, Morph-s, op

The second most significant aspect is long lasting effects of FEAR & FRIGHT

Reference Boericke’s Materia Medica

  1. Morphinum
  2. Opium – Boericke’s Materia Medica
  3. Some of the Rubrics that highlight the component of ‘fear & fright’ in the family.
  • ANXIETY; fear with: chel, morph, sang
  • ANXIETY; fright; fear of fright still remaining: OPIUM
  • FEAR; arge, arge-p, chel, cod, heri, morph, morph-s, OPIUM, sang
  • FEAR; night agg: chel, Opium, sang
  • FEAR; nigh; agg; children in, pavor, nocturus: Chel
  • FEAR; night; agg; spasms, in intestinal: Opium
  • FEAR; death of; chel; morph, Morph-s, Op
  • FEAR; happen something will; arge-p, chel, herin, sang

Sensation keywords:

Intense pain, intense suffering, agony, hell, misery, fright, shock, intense fear, punish, war, murder, execute, violence, anguish, cruelty, nightmare terror, torment, torture, aggression, hostility, assassinate, battle, bloodshed, brutality, carnage, combat, fighting, confrontation, hostilities, kill, killing, massacre, homicide, put to death, slaughter, sadism, slay, slaying, stun, take a back, jolt.

Active Reaction Passive Reaction Compensation Words
·      Pain causing rage

·      Violence

·      Spasms, convulsions, colic.

·      Numbness alternating with pain.


·      Analgesia,coma, anaesthesia

·      Fainting

·      Catalepsy

·      Narcolepsy

·      Painless and numb.

·      Alive yet dead, Hibernation, Meditation.


·      Peaceful, serene, tranquil

·      Untouched by pleasure or pain



The following picture taken from Dr. Sankaran’s  book ‘Sankaran’s  Plant Sensations in Pictures’. This gives a complete gist of the family at a glance.


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