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California Poppy

California poppy


This is a flowering plant that is native to Mexico and the United States. It is mostly used as a medical herbal supplement and has been claimed to treat a variety of conditions that include depression, anxiety and insomnia among other problems.

It is not clear how the herb works but it contains two compounds, protopine and californine which are believed to be behind the plant’s medicinal success. This flower has a bright orange color with golden flowers. The plant has been protected by the United States against being harvested or form being destroyed.

The species of the plant vary from one plant to the next. They grow well in cold climates and can only be found once a year.

Medicinal uses

The following are some of the medicinal uses of the herb:

  • It has been known to relieve anxiety. It is often combined with hawthorn and magnesium. It has been used for a number of years to treat mild anxiety.
  • It has sedative properties which can be used to treat insomnia
  • It is effective in treating tooth aches
  • It helps with bed wetting
  • It has been used to treat uterine infections
  • Liver diseases


Dosage and administration

The herb comes in a variety of forms which include: dried form, capsules, and liquid extracts. It should be taken orally or added to tea as well as smoked. There is no standard dose for the California poppy. The tea can be made by boiling 2gms of the herb in two cups of water.

Dosage however depends on the health of the individual and the age. It is however a good idea to follow instructions and seek the help of a certified herbalist.

Parts used

The part of the herb that is used is the seeds.


The following are some of the health benefits of the herb:

  • Since the plant belongs to opium, it can be used as an anti depressant. It contains properties that are both sedative and calming and can be quite effective in treating anxiety. It does not have the grogginess that sleeping pills have and can therefore also be used as a treatment for insomnia.
  • It can be used as a mild stimulant unlike the red poppy. They help to normalize the psychological functions without interfering with the central nervous system.
  • It can also be used to treat tooth pain because it helps to numb the pain and get rid of it all together. The roots can be directly applied on to it or alternatively, hot tea can be prepared and applied on the affected tooth.
  • Patients that suffer from ADHD and ADD can be treated with the herb because it contains sedative properties.
  • Its anti microbial properties have enabled it to be used to treat wounds and cuts.


Side effects

There are no known side effects for those that take the herb orally for a period of less than three months. It is not addictive and is not known to have ay adverse effects unlike opium. However, there are certain side effects that come with the use of the herb and they include:

  • Even though it has been known to be safe for children, it is not recommended for pregnant women.
  • It has also been known to cause nausea when smoked in excess or taken in any way.
  • There have been reports that it can cause muscle stiffness among those that use it.
  • Some people may experience allergic reactions to the herb. These may include rashes, swelling of the throat and the mouth, itching, respiratory problems. Some the allergic reactions may require immediate medical attention.
  • The drug should not be used together with alcohol as the interaction can cause adverse effects
  • Other interactions that can cause adverse effects when taken with the herb include sedative medications. This is because they might cause too much drowsiness when taken together with the herb.
  • Patients that are taking hypertension drugs should not take the herb because it has the potential to lower blood pressure.
  • It may not react well with anti depressants and pother dietary supplements.

Before taking the herb, it is advised that you take seek medical advice first.

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