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Opium Poppy

A field of opium poppies in Burma.

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Botanical Name:Papaver somniferum Linn
Family Name: Papaveraceae,Papaver somniferum L.
Vernacular Name: Sans-Ahiphenam ,Hind – Aphim, Eng – opium poppy, common poppy, garden poppy, chessbolls (English), Kas-kas, kashkash, aphim, afim, afyun (Hindu)
Ahiphenam, aphukam, ahifen, chosa, khasa (Sanskrit),Pasto (Bengal) Aphina, khuskhus, posta (Gujarat), Abini, gashagasha, kasakasa (Tamil)
(names used for plants, fruit capsules, seeds and opium)

Other Name:Ahiphenam
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Genus: Papaver
Species: P. somniferum
Parts used: Seeds, seed oil, unripe capsules and flowers
Habitat:Native to Southeastern Europe and western Asia. Also known as opium poppy, the species is cultivated extensively in many countries, including Iran, Turkey, Holland, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, India, Canada, and many Asian and Central and South American countries. Reaching a height of 1.2 meters, the erect plant can have white, pink, red, or purple flowers. Seeds range in color from white to a slate shade that is called blue in commercial classifications.

Description:It is an annual herb.An opium poppy seedling (Papaver somniferum), showing two slender cotyledons and several young, developing leaves. The seed is still attached to one of the cotyledons. Note the favose-reticulate (honeycombed) seed coat. The following image shows the very pale flower that developed from these seedlings.
Flowers – with papery petals that can vary in colour from white to red or lilac with a darker purple base…..CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES..
Fruits – a rounded capsule topped with the disc-like stigma remains. The liquid that is obtained from the fruit capsule contains morphine alkaloids which are dried to produce raw opium. Opium is used to manufacture medicinal drugs such as codeine and morphine, and for illegal drugs such as heroin.
Seeds – small and black, dark blue or yellow-white. The seeds are edible and tasty and are used in bakery products such as poppy-seeded bread.
The reported life zone of poppy is 7 to 23 degrees centigrade with an annual precipitation of 0.3 to 1.7 meters and a soil pH of 4.5 to 8.3 (4.1-31). The plants grow best in rich, moist soil and tend to be frost sensitive.

A latex  containing several important alkaloids is obtained from immature seed capsules one to three weeks after flowering. Incisions are made in the walls of the green seed pods, and the milky exudation is collected and dried. Opium and the isoquinoline alkaloids morphine, codeine, noscapine, papaverine, and thebaine are isolated from the dried material. The poppy seeds and fixed oil that can be expressed from the seed are not narcotic, because they develop after the capsule has lost the opium-yielding potential (11.1-128). Total yield of alkaloids is dependent on light, temperature, the plant species, and the time of harvest (5.2-4).

You may click to learn :->How to grow Opium Poppy
Varieties:-
Papaver somniferum is a species of plant with many sub-groups or varieties. Colors of the flower vary widely, as do other physical characteristics such as number and shape of petals, number of pods, production of morphine, etc.

Papaver somniferum Paeoniflorum Group (sometimes called Papaver paeoniflorum) is a sub-type of opium poppy whose flowers are highly double, and are grown in many colors. Papaver somniferum Laciniatum Group (sometimes called Papaver laciniatum) is a sub-type of opium poppy whose flowers are highly double and deeply lobed, to the point of looking like a ruffly pompon.

A few of the varieties, notably the Norman and Przemko varieties, have low morphine content (less than one percent), but have much higher concentrations of other alkaloids. Most varieties, however, including those most popular for ornamental use or seed production, have a higher morphine content, with the average content being 10%

Uses:The Opium Poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the type of poppy from which opium and many refined opiates, including morphine, thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine, are extracted. The binomial name means, loosely, the “sleep-bringing poppy“, referring to its narcotic properties. The seeds are important food items, and contain healthy oils used in salads worldwide. The plant itself is valuable for ornamental purposes.

Properties:The petals are bitter, expectorant, sudorific and sedative, and are useful in coughs. The opium obtained from the fruits is constipating, bitter, astringent, sweet, aphrodisiac, sedative, narcotic, anodyne, antispasmodic, sudorific and nervineonic.
Medicinal Uses:In India and Turkey, opium production is used for medicinal purposes, making poppy-based drugs, such as morphine or codeine, for domestic use or exporting raw poppy materials to other countries. The United States buys 80 percent of its medicinal opium from these two countries.
In Ayurveda it is emaciating, astringent; efficacious in deranged kapha but excites vata and pitta anticovulsant, sedative, narcotic, diaphoretic, analgesic, used in urinary troubles,cough, bronchial diseases, diarrhoea; styptic.
A recent initiative to extend opium production for medicinal purposes called Poppy for Medicine was launched by The Senlis Council which proposes that Afghanistan could produce medicinal opium under a scheme similar to that operating in Turkey and India (see the Council’s recent report “Poppy for Medicine” ). The Council proposes licensing poppy production in Afghanistan, within an integrated control system supported by the Afghan government and its international allies, in order to promote economic growth in the country, create vital drugs and combat poverty and the diversion of illegal opium to drug traffickers and terrorist elements. Interestingly, Senlis is on record advocating reintroduction of poppy into areas of Afghanistan, specifically Kunduz, which has been poppy free for some time.

It is useful in cough,’ ophthalmitis, otitis and proctalgia and coxalgia due to diarrhoea and dysentery. It is also good for internal haemorrhages.

The seeds are sweet, constipating, aphrodisiac and tonic. They are ground in cold water and administered in diarrhoea and dysentery.

Vapours of boiling water, mixed with small doses of opium, is. useful in conjunctivitis. Camphorated opium is an excellent pain-killer in sprain. However, it is contraindicated for people suffering from asthma, cardiac diseases and urinary disorder. Poppy seeds are demulcent, nutritive and mild astringent; beneficial in cough and asthma.

Seed oil, freed from narcotic principles, is useful in diarrhoea and dysentery

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm
http://www.opioids.com/poppy.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_poppy
http://www.plantcultures.org/plants/opium_poppy_plant_profile.html

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Organic Consumers and Companies Harassed by Drug Agents and Police

organic, personal care products, soap, dr. bronner, tom's, pangea, deodorant, rosemary, hash, GHB, cocaine, chocolate, police, drug testWhen Canadian citizens Nadine Artemis and Ron Obadia took a family vacation, it ended with them being led through Toronto’s airport in handcuffs, locked up and separated from their baby.

Police told them they could be facing years in prison for exporting narcotics.

Two and a half pounds of material found in their carry-on bag had tested positive for hashish. But they didn’t have drugs. They had chocolate. So far, the couple’s legal bills have topped $20,000.

The couple was caught up in what civil libertarians say is a growing problem — the use of unreliable field drug-test kits as the basis to arrest innocent people on illegal drug charges.

The kits, which are used by most every police department in the U.S., and by federal agents in Customs at the nation’s borders, use powerful acids that react with the substance in a plastic pouch. If the liquid turns a certain color, it is a considered a positive result.

A positive result generally leads to an arrest.

But a number of legal products and plants test positive:

With the growth of organic and natural foods and products, experts say arrests are likely to increase.

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Dangers Of Prescription Drug Abuse

Although teens are turning away from street drugs, now there’s a new threat and it’s from the family medicine cabinet: The abuse of prescription (Rx) and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.

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Parents and caregivers are the first line of defense in addressing this troubling trend.

What’s the problem?
Teens are abusing some prescription and over-the-counter drugs to get high. This includes painkillers, such as those drugs prescribed after surgery; depressants, such as sleeping pills or anti-anxiety drugs; and stimulants, such as those drugs prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Teens are also abusing over-the-counter drugs, such as cough and cold remedies.

Every day 2,500 youth age 12 to 17 abuse a pain reliever for the very first time. More teens abuse prescription drugs than any illicit drug except marijuana. In 2006, more than 2.1 million teens ages 12 to 17 reported abusing prescription drugs. Among 12- and 13-year-olds, prescription drugs are the drug of choice.

Because these drugs are so readily available, and many teens believe they are a safe way to get high, teens who wouldn’t otherwise touch illicit drugs might abuse prescription drugs. And not many parents are talking to them about it, even though teens report that parental disapproval is a powerful way to keep them away from drugs.

What are the dangers?
There are serious health risks related to abuse of prescription drugs. A single large dose of prescription or over-the-counter painkillers or depressants can cause breathing difficulty that can lead to death. Stimulant abuse can lead to hostility or paranoia, or the potential for heart system failure or fatal seizures. Even in small doses, depressants and painkillers have subtle effects on motor skills, judgment, and ability to learn.

The abuse of OTC cough and cold remedies can cause blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, coma, and even death. Many teens report mixing prescription drugs, OTC drugs, and alcohol. Using these drugs in combination can cause respiratory failure and death.

Prescription and OTC drug abuse is addictive. Between 1995 and 2005, treatment admissions for prescription painkillers increased more than 300 percent.

Found out your teen is abusing Rx drugs?

Step-by-step guide
Talk to your teen about the dangers of Rx abuse
Build a support group

Click to learn:->
Why you should care
Why teens are using
Sources of Rx Drugs
Over-the-counter drugs
Could Your Teen Be Abusing?
What Can You Do?
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Sources:http://www.theantidrug.com/drug_info/prescription_dangers.asp#foot

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Getting the Lead Out

There is no question that lead poses a serious health risk to children. Exposure to lead can lower a child’s intelligence and lead to learning disabilities, hyperactivity, and reduced attention span.

Even though doctors and scientists cannot dispute the harmful effects of lead, they cannot seem to agree on just how much lead is dangerous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has established 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of a child’s blood as the threshold at which problems begin. About 1.6 % of American children ages one to five have blood lead levels (BLL) above this limit, according to the CDC. However, even levels below the cut-off can cause neu­rological problems, the CDC said in a recent report. Scientific research indicates that there really is no  safe threshold for children’s blood lead levels.

Lead paint is one of the leading sources of lead expo­sure in children, along with contaminated soil, dust, and drinking water. Most homes built before 1960 contain lead paint   that’s about four million homes in the U.S., according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Home remodeling makes up a big part of children’s lead exposure, experts say.

Protecting Your Kids from Lead Exposure:....CLICK & SEE

Regardless of which blood lead level is most dangerous, it’s a good idea to avoid exposing your kids to lead as much as possible. The following checklist, from the book 365 Ways to Keep Kids Safe (Balloon Press), can help you spot potential lead dangers and keep your kids away from this toxic substance.

*Test your children for lead. This is especially important if you live in an older home. A routine lead level test is simple to take an usually costs around $25. Have your children screened for lead once a year until they reach age three, then once every five years.

*Test your home for lead. A home lead test is the only way to determine if you have lead in your home, and if so, how much there is. Don’t try to test yourself, though. Although many companies advertise do-it-yourself tests, these tests are unreliable. You’re better off calling an EPA-certified examiner. To find an examiner, call the National Lead Infor­mation Center (NLIC) at 1-800-424-LEAD.

*Check for lead outside. Contaminated soil is a sig­nificant source of lead, especially when that soil is located close to high-traffic roads or old buildings. Your kids can easily track in lead-tainted dirt when they go outside to play. If you  are concerned about lead near your home, the EPA-certified examiner you call to check the inside of your home can also test the soil outside of it.

*Know where your water travels. Many homes contain lead pipes, which can leech lead into your drinking water. To clean up your water, the EPA advises that you use a NSF International water filter. To learn more about these filters, visit the NSF website at http://www.nsf.org/consumer/drinking_water/dw_treatment.asp?program=WaterTre. You can also contact your local water authority to find out whether or not they are doing anything to reduce lead in the water supply, and to have your water tested for lead.

*Change your wallpaper. If your home contains wallpaper that was made before 1978, it may contain lead. Consider removing it and painting or re-wallpapering your walls.

*Check your blinds. Several types of mini-blinds, especially those made in the Far East, can contain high levels of lead. Ask your lead examiner to check your blinds. If they do contain lead, have them replaced.

*Be aware of playground lead dangers. Metal equipment on public playgrounds may be covered with lead paint, and if the equipment is not well maintained that paint can chip onto the ground and come into direct contact with children. Call your local department of recreation and ask if the playground contains any lead paint.

Source:kidsgrowth.com