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The accumulation of opium poppy alkaloids between flowering and biological ripening: a contribution to the problem of obtaining alkaloids from green opium poppy



The accumulation of opium poppy alkaloids between flowering and biological ripening: a contribution to the problem of obtaining alkaloids from green opium poppy



Pharmazie 17(2): 107-144



The amounts of morphine (I.) and 5 secondary alkaloids were determined for 4 varieties of Papaver somniferum (green herbage) at various times between the time of flowering (June 22) and the beginning of ripening (Aug. 17). The highest yield of I occurred between the 15th and 20th days after beginning of flowering, but the maximum of codeine and thebaine came directly after flowering and generally for the secondary alkaloids a maximum would be obtained at a somewhat earlier period than for I. This period of collection is some 3-5 weeks before the usual collection time for the ripe capsules. This confirms for I the findings of Romisch (1958). Since weather conditions in central Europe are such as to make it impossible to determine with accuracy the "morphine peak" of the plants, it is best to carry out the harvesting over a period of about 1 week, 15-20 days after beginning of flowering. This is also most practical because of the variance of maximum for the various other alkaloids. Since I is the chief alkaloid and 1 most in demand, this time of collecting is best since it occurs when I is maximum.

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