California Poppy – Eschscholzia californica
Primary medicinal uses:
· Reduces anxiety and tension
· Relieves depression-related pain
· Relieves muscle spasms
· Reduces acute nerve pain
· Acts as a sedative and reduces insomnia
· Helps maintain healthy memory
· Reduces ADD/ADHD symptoms
· Kills head lice
· Relieves toothache and gum inflammation
· Promotes concentration in the elderly
· Reduces bedwetting caused by anxiety and tension
· Reduces infection and inflammation of open wounds
· Aids in controlling stress-related conditions (e.g., stress-induced asthma)
Native to the western United States and Mexico, California Poppy has finely divided basal leaves and distinctive orange or yellow flowers (occasionally pink or red). Thriving in poor, well-drained soils, California Poppy is commonly found along roadsides and on disturbed sites throughout western North America. All plant parts are used medicinally. Typically administered as a tincture or topically, California Poppy may is also used as a tea, but has a strong, bitter flavor.
Related to the opium poppy, California Poppy’s mechanism of effect is different from that of opium poppies and has little potential for toxicity or addiction. It helps to normalize psychological function but does not depress the central nervous system.
Isoquinoline alkaloids, flavone glycosides, carotenoids, and essential oils are the active components of California poppy. Traditionally used by Native Americans for pain related to gum and tooth infections and colic, it is now commonly used to relieve anxiety, mental and physical tension, muscle spasms, and insomnia. Additionally, it can reduce fever and inflammation, prevent infection, and acts as an antihistamine and an analgesic, as well as a uterine stimulant.
It is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women and should not be taken with depressants or tranquilizers.
Purchase here: California Poppy Tincture
Photo Credit: T. Enz