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Home » Ahiphena Use, Benefits, Dose, Research, and Side effects

Ahiphena Use, Benefits, Dose, Research, and Side effects

Ahiphena is a herbal medicine that can be used to treat many types of health problems. It has been in use for centuries now and it has had no recorded side effects. Ahiphen is a natural remedy for many ailments including respiratory diseases, skin infections, digestive disorders, and even sexual dysfunction.

Basonym of Drug:

अहिफेन = the exudate is similar to froth coming from the mouth of snake.

Papaver somniferum Linn. Somni-sleep, Fera-Producing.

Main Synonyms of Ahiphena:

1. The exudate is got from the fruit that bears the khaskhas seed: खसफलक्षीर.
2. It is the Arabic name of the drug: आफूकम
3. It is an exudation obtained from the fruit: अहिफेनम
4. The seeds look like a variety of tila: तिलभेद
5. The seeds look like tila: खसतिल
6. Seeds are known as khakhas: खाखस

Ahiphena Botanical Name and Family Name

What is the Botanica Name of Ahiphena?

Botanical name Ahiphena: Papaver somniferum

What is the family of Ahiphena?

Family oh Ahipphena: Papaveraceae

Regional names of Ahiphena

Sanskrit Nameतिलभेदखसतिल और खाखस
Hindi Name of AhiphenaKashkhas
English Name of AhiphenaOpium, Poppy seeds
Malayalam Name of AhiphenKaruppu
Kannada Name of AhiphenAphimu
Marathi Name of AhiphenaKhaskhas
Gujarati Name of AhiphenaAfeen na Doda

Classification of Dravya (Gana) as in Charaka and Sushruta:

Charaka and Sushruta have not described this and Raja Nighantu mention it under Upavishavarga.

External Morphology:

It is an erect annual. Leaves clasp the stem with a cordate base. Leaves are oblong in shape, irregularly toothed, and slightly sinuate or lobed. Flowers are large, usually bluish-white. Fruit is a capsule, large, globular, and glabrous.


It is a native of western Asia, now grown in U.P, Hoshiarpur, and Jalandhar in Punjab, Rajasthan, and M.P.

Useful Parts:


Important Phytoconstituents:

Opium contains isoquinoline alkaloids. Important among them is morphine with narcotine, codeine, papaverine, and thebaine. Poppy seeds, used in Indian medicine, do not contain alkaloids. The seeds contain thiamine 420, riboflavin 49, folic acid 30, pantothenic acid 2667, and niacin 1877 mcg/100 g. The seeds contain fatty oil (45%) containing palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, and linolenic acids.’

Rasa Panchaka of Ahiphena

  • Rasa: Tikta, Kashaya
  • Guna: Laghu, Ruksha, Sukshma, Vyavayi, Vikasi.
  • Virya:Ushna
  • Vipaka: Katu
  • Prabhava: Madaka

Action on Dosha, Dhatu, and Mala:

Dosha: Phalavalkala and Ahiphena (Phalakshira) are ushna in virya, and hence are kapha shamaka and pitta prakopaka.
Excess intake produces Ojokshaya, vata vridhi and results in pralapa etc lakshanas.
Phalabija is guru in vipaka and hence does Kapha prakopa and vata shamana.

Action on Mala: Graahi.

Pharmacological Activity:

Anticonvulsant, Analgesic, Antitussive, Cardiovascular, Synergistic, Antinociceptive, Anorectic, Locomotor, Hypotensive, Sedative. (CCRASDatabase Volume VIII).

Prayogarha Vyadhi (Therapeutic Indications):

Atisara, Shoola, Kaasa.


Ahiphena is absolutely contraindicated in diseases of the Lungs and chest, C.N.S, Meningitis, Delirium, Brain hemorrhage, Intestinal, and gastric dilatation.

It has to be used with precaution in cases of nephritis, infants and old patients, and in chronic diseases.

Amayika Prayoga and Matra (Therapeutic Administration and Dose):

1. Atisara: Ahiphena and Kupilu bark are mixed with honey and given orally. (VaidyaManorama).

2. Kaasa: It has to be given in dry cough, as it is an expectorant. Yavanyadikwatha ( Chi 1/383) and Khaskhasniryuha (S.B 4/325-26) are useful in cough with fever.

Dose of Ahiphena: 30-125mg

Vishista Yoga (Names of Important Formulations) of Ahiphena

  • Ahiphenasava
  • Nidrodayavati
  • Karpura rasa
  • Mahavataraja rasa
  • Dugdhavati
  • Akarakarabhadivati

Vishakta Lakshana (Adverse Effects) of Ahiphena

On skin contact, it may produce erythema, urticaria, and itching. When orally consumed, symptoms commence within half an hour. The injected form requires about 3-4 minutes to show symptoms.
It first stimulates then depresses, and finally paralyzes the nerves. The symptoms are seen in three stages.

1. the First stage of excitement: increased sense of well-being, mental activity, freedom from anxiety, flushing of the face, tachycardia, etc.

2. Stage of stupor: symptoms like headache, nausea, vomiting, sense of weight in limbs,.. giddiness, stupor, contracted pupils, cyanosis of lips, etc.

3. Stage of coma: deep coma, flaccid muscles, diminished reflexes, pin point pupil, Cheyne-stoke breathing, etc.

Chikitsopachara (Remedial Measures) and Shodhana of Ahiphena

Shodhana: Ahiphena is mixed with water, and then strained on cloth. This ahiphena is taken and bhavana is given for twenty-one times with ardraka swarasa.

Test for pure opium:

0.1g of opium is put in 5 ml of warm water and filtered through a filter paper. To this, a few drops of Ferric chloride are added. This gives a deep purple or red color. This will not disappear after the addition of dilute HCl or Mercuric Chloride solution.


1. Stomach wash with 1:5000 potassium permanganate solution.

2. Administration of N-allyl-normorphine (lethidrone or nalorphine) 5-10mg i.v. repeated every 15-30 minutes I.M. or I.V. until respiration returns.

Classical References of Ahiphena


उक्तंखसफलक्षीरमाफूकमहिफेनकम्।। (भा.प्र.)

Guna Karma:

आफूकंशोषणग्राहिश्लेष्मघ्नंवातपित्तलम् । तथाखसफलोद्भूतवल्कलप्रायमित्यपि।। (भा.प्र.)

Research on Ahiphena


Review of Khuskhus (Khaskhas) (Seeds of Papaver Somniferum Linn.) with special reference of Ayurveda Medicine

Overdose effect of aconite containing Ayurvedic Medicine (‘Mahashankha Vati’)

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