Want to learn about the health benefits of poppy, how to harvest poppy for medicine and how to use poppy remedies? Continue reading and find out.
Poppy (Papaver somniferum) also known as opium poppy has been cultivated since antiquity in China, India, and Southern Europe, and is mentioned in the writings of Homer, Hippocrates, and Pliny the Elder. Poppy seeds and oil are widely used in food, confectionery, bakery, and pastry. However, few know of the health benefits of poppy and how to use poppy flowers in remedies for various ailments. But we’re here to remind you of this.
Health Benefits of Poppy Flowers & Seeds
Poppy seeds contain codeine, papaverine, and morphine alkaloids with analgesic and calming effects, this is why the poppy is a very effective medicine in treating insomnia, depression, and melancholy, this being one of the main health benefits of poppy. In ancient times, poppy seeds were used as a cure for many ailments, such as asthma, angina pectoris, migraines, and liver disease.
Due to its composition rich in phosphorus, an element that helps to better absorb calcium in the body, and high amounts of calcium, the poppy is an excellent remedy against osteoporosis. This medicinal property of poppy was discovered by chance when the human remains from an old cemetery were transmuted in a forgotten village in Slovakia. The researchers noted that the bones of the deceased showed no signs of osteoporosis. It was a known fact that the inhabitants of the region were poppy cultivators, so it was hypothesized that this plant fights bone disease. Later research shows that a single tablespoon of poppy seeds contains 126 milligrams of calcium. The main health benefits of poopy are:
- calcium deficiency
- insect bites
Its wild relative, the common poppy (Papaver rhoeas) has a milder sedative action compared to the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). The petals of common poppy species can be used in the composition of some medicinal teas for their mildly sedative properties. Natural dyes can also be extracted from the petals.
How to Harvest Poppy Flowers for Medicine
The medicinal parts of the poppy flower (Papaver somniferum), are its seeds, petals, and leaves. The petals and leaves are harvested in full sun from May to June, when the poppies are fully bloomed, while the seeds can be harvested in August-September. Dry the poppy petals and leaves in a dark place away from sunlight, then store them in paper bags for later use. The poppy seeds can be stored in sealed glass jars.
2 Medicinal Recipes with Poppy
1. How to Make Poppy Flower Tea
Pour a cup of boiling water over 3 grams of dried poppy petals. Leave to infuse, then strain the tea. You can have one tablespoon three times a day, before the main meals, and in the evening, half an hour before bedtime. This is an excellent remedy for insomnia.
2. How to Make Poppy Flower Tincture
Pour 500 ml of food alcohol over 10 grams of poppy petals into a glass jar. Seal and leave to soak for two weeks in a cool, dark place. Shak the jar periodically. The poppy flower tincture can be administered for two weeks and is an effective remedy for insomnia and nightmares.
4 Natural Remedies with Poppy Flowers
Poppy petals are one of the top natural remedies for insomnia and there are several ways to use poppy petals in this instance. Poppy flowers tea (recipe above) is a great way to relieve insomnia, but you can also use poppy petals powder instead. Bring a cup of water and two teaspoons of honey to a boil. Then add two teaspoons of poppy petals powder and simmer for 10 minutes. Have one teaspoon three times a day until the insomnia is gone.
To make the insomnia remedy even more powerful, mix in equal parts of poppy petals, hop cones, and chopped valerian root. Infuse a tablespoon of the herbal blend in a cup of boiling water for 15 minutes, then strain it. Drink two cups a day, the second one an hour before bedtime. In addition to these poppy flower teas, you can also take 15 drops of poppy petals tincture twice a day, 30 minutes before the main meals, using the above recipe.
Researchers conducted a study on two groups of women suffering from osteoporosis. For a year, the patients in the first group were given classic allopathic medicine for osteoporosis, and the patients in the other group were administered various poppy preparations. After 12 months, the women who had been treated with poppy seeds no longer showed any symptoms of the disease, while the others were still suffering from this condition.
Pour a cup of boiling water over 10 grams of dried poppy seeds and a tablespoon of honey. Cover and allow the poppy tea to cool, then strain. Take one tablespoon two or three times a day after the main meals. This natural remedy should be followed for no more than two weeks.
Infuse two tablespoons of poppy petals in a cup of boiling water for 15 minutes, then strain. Drink two cups a day. This simple remedy works for cough, but also for mild bronchitis, and laryngitis. Or, you can use poppy seeds instead, as follows. Put a teaspoon of poppy seeds in a quarter cup of lukewarm milk. Drink on the spot, preferably in the second half of the day. This remedy should not be followed for more than five days in a row. This simple poppy seeds remedy relieves chest pain and cough.
4. Insect Bites
Fresh poppy juice helps to cure insect stings of bees, wasps, and other insects. Just crush a few fresh poppy petals and leaves on the sting and repeat several times a day to relieve the itch. Freshly picked poppy leaves are a good remedy for joint pain, tumors, bruises, and skin lesions when applied topically.
The Magical Use of Poppy Flowers
In summer, when the poppies bloom, the fields turn into a sea of fire whose waves sway in the breeze. In ancient Egypt, after the feet of the beautiful Queen Nefertiti were bathed in the waters of the great Nile, the gentle red-blooded poppies served as a carpet for the graceful goddess who walked over them. At that time, the poppy was not only admired for its astonishing beauty. First, doctors used its medical properties, using poppy flowers to treat various ailments, and later, the priests started using it because of its soporific qualities and introduced it into magical rituals.
The magical power of poppy flowers was also recognized by the Greeks. In Greek mythology, the poppy flower belonged to the god of sleep, Hypnos, the son of the great goddess of the night, Nyx, and the god of darkness, Erebus. Hypnos, wearing a poppy crown on his head, hovered above the Earth, dripping a magical poppy essence from his cup to offer mortals a restful sleep. And when the poppy drops failed to bring about sleep, Hypnos descended to the earth and, with a blossom, touched the temples and eyes of the tormented ones, driving away their evil thoughts and calming their soul.
Poppy, a Dammned Healing Beauty
While not toxic per se, the poppy has fallen under the category of “toxic plants” that have even been called “political plants“. However, long before being used as psychedelics, poppies, a close relative of carnations, were used by people from the lower Danube Valley to extract healing oils, and their seeds were used in pastry or as a tea to induce sleep. But if we think about the history of opium, we have every reason to be terrified: opium has now been turned into heroin, intoxicating much of the Western world. Many lands have been degraded, and used for the cultivation of toxic plants, enriching the criminal industries.
The greed of the few has fuelled the fear of the many in a civilization that has lost its sense of its own nature. Nature is our mother and without it, we cannot survive. Indeed, like all medicinal plants with powerful capabilities, the poppy flower can teach us a valuable spiritual lesson if we are willing to receive it. But when we abuse it, we get trapped in the lower vibrational realms of powerlessness, and dependency, and this is now what the poppy flower wants to teach us. Use it wisely.
Read Also: 10 Health Benefits of Black Locust Flowers and How to Use
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