California Poppy

Eschscholzia californica common names: california poppy

California poppy

is the state flower of California and a member of the poppy family. Generally, it grows to about two feet high (sixty centimeters) anually with finely cut leaves. The colors range from orange to red, yellow and even pink. It is NOT a member of the papaver family which produces the opioids.

california poppy, state flower california Many people think that the American poppy is similar to the Eastern poppy grown for it's opium..not true! As a calming agent it is not addictive and has many uses. The minute many people hear the word 'poppy' they think of opium and all the negative connotations that go with it. Not so with this herbal remedy. It has a milder effect, suitable for use in herbal therapies. Because of this, it can have a calming effect without causing central nervous system depression.

It is usually grown as an anuual garden plant in parts of the US and Europe. The above ground parts of the plant are used in herbal medicine and treatments.

Health Benefits

  • Sleep disturbances. Helpful for a gentle restful sleep.
  • Toothache. Reduces inflammation causing pain.
  • Anxiety. Although related to opium poppy, does not have addictive properties, gentle anti-anxiety effect.
  • Restless leg syndrome. Stops muscle spasms and relieves pain.
  • Insomnia. Effective in restoring gentle sleep.
  • ADD/ADHD. May help with behavioral disorders in ADD.
  • Tooth pain. Applying the root directly to the tooth may dampen pain.

Considerations In Use

Use caution while driving or operating machines and taking calendula and sedative medications. If taking this herb, do not use an infusion as usually it is quit bitter and difficult to tolerate. Ticture is the most common form used. The tincure comes from the plant, not the roots and is best when used when the plant is flowering.

Do not take orally if pregnant, as it may cause uterine contractions.

California poppy is best used blended with corydalis and can be found in an over the counter formula, Corydalis formula.

Read about more herbs at the Herb Dictionary Online.

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