All parts of the plant, particularly the seeds, are poisonous.
Active principles – Berberine, protopine, sangunarine.
Principal signs and symptoms – Consumption of edible oil contaminated or adulterated with argimone oil causes circulatory collapse, abortion, epidemic dropsy and general neuropathy.
Treatment – Use of the suspected edible oil should be stopped. Symptomatic treatment ; nursing care and physiotherapy are given in dropsy cases. Recovery may be full within some months.
Medicolegal aspects – Usually accidental poisoning through consumption of edible oil adulterated with argimone oil.