Medicinal Herbs 101: California Poppy

13 Mar

By Danielle Schwaderer, ND

Much more than our state flower, the California Poppy has far more uses extending beyond providing color to our hillsides and grasslands. California poppy, or Eschscholzia californica, has many medicinal uses that nourish the nervous system and pain pathways providing relief to those suffering from anxiety, restlessness, disturbed sleep, headaches, chronic pain and more. Additionally, California poppy has been recognized on a mental, emotional, spiritual level for enhancing vitality and warmth surrounding the heart and providing self-acceptance and self-awareness for those who are often attracted to the glitz & glamour of others.

As a Flower Essence:

When taken as a flower essence preparation, California poppy can be used for finding spirituality within one’s heart. The California poppy flower essence, according to Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz, is used for balancing light and love and developing an inner center of knowing. California poppy stabilizes the golden light of the heart, encouraging more self-responsibility and quiet inner development. Often times, those who would benefit from taking this remedy are mesmerized by social glamour and fame and become easily immersed in the life of media stars, and many other fleeting fads or causes. Such souls have the wide-eyed expectation that the spiritual gold which they seek can be found somewhere outside themselves. When taking California poppy, the soul can find the true treasure it seeks, the radiant sun force of the awakened human heart.

As an Herbal Tincture or Tea:

California poppy has been used by native American’s for generations for enhancing relaxation and reducing pain. It has been described that this native plant has sedative chemical components similar to that of the Opium poppy, yet are very safe and non-addictive. In fact, it is described in literature that California poppy is safe for most individuals including children. California poppy can be purchased in liquid extract (tincture) form or dried and used as medicinal tea. It combines beautifully with other herbs including skullcap, passion flower, and wild oat.

Reported Medicinal Uses:

  • Anxiety or restlessness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Acute or chronic pain
  • Headache
  • Children experiencing tooth pain or bed-wetting induced by anxiety or nervousness.

Pharmacologic Research:

Additional References:

- Flower Essence Repertory by Patricia Kaminiski & Richard Katz.

- A Clinical Guide to Blending Liquid Herbs by Kerry Bone

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