Thursday, August 24, 2017 by Frances Bloomfield
The California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) is a species of ornamental plant that is native to the United States and Mexico. This golden-hued plant is of great importance to California in two ways: first, it became the state flower of California in 1903; second, it’s partly responsible for the nickname “Golden State”. Native Americans value the California poppy for a more practical reason: California poppy is an herbal remedy with a variety of uses.
The key constituents of California poppies are isoquinoline alkaloids. These are naturally occurring plant substances believed to be behind the plant’s medicinal properties, most notably as a sedative. California poppies contain other alkaloid compounds like:
In addition to their sedative quality, these alkaloid compounds can produce antispasmodic and analgesic effects, too. Though California poppies contain sedative alkaloids, they contain smaller amounts of opium than other members of the poppy family.
Moreover, California poppies contain zinc and flavone glycosides, which have antioxidant effects.
California poppy has served as a treatment for many health ailments that include but aren’t limited to:
California poppies are most known for their sedative and anxiolytic properties which make them suitable as an herbal remedy for anxiety and insomnia. They aid in relaxation, calm down rapid heartbeats, and soothe the muscles, all of which contribute towards reduced tension and sleeplessness.
California poppies have powerful antimicrobial properties. When crushed, California poppy leaves can serve as an effective treatment for head lice thanks to their antimicrobial effect. California poppy extract, meanwhile, can be applied to wounds to speed up the healing process and to lower the risk of infection.
The antispasmodic quality of California poppies can make them useful in treating muscle spasms. In addition to decreasing the pain caused by muscle spasms, California poppies regulate and promote healthy blood flow throughout the body, since sudden blood loss can result in muscle spasms.
An aching tooth can be soothed by California poppies, specifically their roots. To remedy tooth pain, California poppy roots are usually cut open then applied to the affected area.
California poppies have been shown to support the brain by boosting intellectual capacity, especially in the elderly.
Because of its antispasmodic effects, California poppies are beneficial to the muscles in the body.
California poppies can be purchased during the spring and summer months at nurseries and garden stores. A good way to take California poppies is as a tea, from which any part of the plant can be used. Whether fresh or dried, the flowers, leaves, and stems can all serve as the base for tea.
To make California poppy tea, simply place a small handful of the part or parts of choice in hot water and allow it to steep for 10 minutes. A longer soak will result in a tea with a bitterness that can be off-putting to some, but can be diluted with honey or mint. California poppy teas are best consumed in moderation for no more than three months, at the most.
California poppies can be bought as powder, liquid extract, and capsules from specialty stores.
Note: California poppies should never be taken alongside monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) drugs since California poppies can impede their antidepressant effects.
California poppies can be used to remedy anxiety, insomnia, tooth pain, muscle spasms, and head lice. California poppies are used as sedative, analgesic, hypnotic, and anti-neuralgic agents. Moreover, they’re extremely effective as pain relievers.
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