Tag Archives: Opium poppy

Papaver bracteatum

Botanical Name : Papaver bracteatum
Family: Papaveraceae
Genus: Papaver
Species: P. bracteatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Synonyms: Papaver orientale

Common Name :Iranian poppy

Habitat : Papaver bracteatum is native to W. Asia – Armenia, N.E. Iran, Turkey. It grows in meadows, usually in sub-alpine zones, but also on stony slopes in the lower mountain zone.

Description:
Papaver bracteatum is a sturdy perennial poppy with large deep red flowers up to 8 inches (20 cm) across on stiff stalks up to 4 feet (1.22 metres) high with a prominent black spot near the base of the petals. It is related to the commonly cultivated oriental poppy, Papaver orientale.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Non-horticultural use of this species is for the production of thebaine, which is commercially converted to codeine and semi-synthetic opiates. Papaver bracteatum does not contain morphine or codeine and no other narcotic alkaloids in significant amounts. Oripavine was reported in minute traces but would not exert a relevant activity.

It is hardy to zone 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained sandy loam in a sunny position. Succeeds in an ordinary good soil and in dry soils, tolerating drought when established. Plants prefer a deep soil that is poor and dry rather than rich, they dislike moist conditions. Plants can be grown in quite coarse grass, which can be cut annually in the autumn. A deep-rooting and almost indestructible plant, every scrap of the running root system that is left in the ground can grow into a new plant. There are many named varieties selected for their ornamental value. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. A good bee plant.

Propagation:
Seed – sow June in an outdoor seedbed. Plant into permanent positions in September. Seed can also be sown in spring and may then flower in late summer. Division in March or October with care. Another report suggests that division is very simple. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer. Root cuttings 10cm long, November/December in a cold frame.

Edible Uses
Edible Uses: Condiment.

The young seed heads are used as a condiment, they are hot and acrid. Some caution is advised, see the notes  below on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
Diaphoretic.
The petals are sudorific.The roots are used medicinally.  Their constituents include thebaine.  It is possible to derive codeine and other pain-killing substances from thebaine.  Unlike opium alkaloids, thebaine does not have additive narcotic properties, it cannot be used directly and it thus poses no dancer of drug addiction: morphine, the precursor of the addictive-drug heroin, can be obtained only with great difficulty from it.  For pharmaceutical purposes, therefore, there may be considerable social and economic benefits in introducing this poppy into cultivation in place of Opium Poppy.  Crop scientists have discovered that Iranian Poppy can provide up to 37 kg of codeine per hectare compared with Opium Poppy’s much lower yield of 3 kg per hectare.

Known Hazards:  Although no specific mention has been found for this plant, many species in this genus are toxic to mammals, though the toxicity is low.

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

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papaver_bracteatum
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Papaver+orientale
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

http://www.interq.or.jp/www1/chungush/flower/kesi.htm

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Papaver somniferum

Botanical Name : Papaver somniferum
Family: Papaveraceae
Genus: Papaver
Species: P. somniferum
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales

Common Name:Poppy

Habitat :Papaver somniferum is native to Europe to Asia, though the original habitat is obscure. A rare casual in Britain.
It grows  in a truly wild situation.

Description:
Papaver somniferum is an annual plant  growing to 0.6m by 0.2m. It has many sub-species or varieties and cultivars. Colors of the flower vary widely, as do other physical characteristics such as number and shape of petals, number of flowers and fruits, number of seeds, color of seeds, production of opium, etc.

click to see the pictures..>..(01).....(1).……..(2).……...(3).…..(4)...…(5).…….

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), 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%

The opium poppy is the principal source of most naturally occurring ?-opioid receptor agonist opioids. The opium poppy is, by definition, the root source of all opioids considered opiates. Opiates are extracted from opium and poppy straw. Opium (also called “raw opium”) is the latex harvested by making incisions on the green capsules (seed pods). Poppy straw is the dried mature plant except the seeds, harvested by mowing.

From opium and poppy straw, alkaloids are extracted such as morphine, thebaine, codeine and oripavine. Morphine is the predominant alkaloid found in the varieties of opium poppy plant cultivated in most producing countries

It is hardy to zone 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a rich well-drained sandy loam in a sunny position. Requires a moist soil but does not do well on wet clays. Prefers a sandy loam or a chalky soil. Plants often self-sow in British gardens. The opium poppy is a very ornamental plant that is often cultivated in the flower garden. There are many named varieties, some of which have been developed for their edible uses. The plant is widely grown, often illegally, in warm temperate and tropical climates for the substances contained in its sap. These are often used medicinally as pain killers, especially in the treatment of terminally ill patients suffering extreme pain, they are also used for their narcotic effects by some people. These substances are highly addictive and lead to a shortening of the life span if used with any frequency. In cool temperate zones the plant does not produce sufficient of the narcotic principles to make their extraction feasible and cultivation of the plant is perfectly legal in Britain. Plants have ripened their seeds as far north as latitude 69°n in Norway. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring or autumn in situ

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves; Seed.

Edible Uses: Oil.

Seed – raw or cooked. Much used as a flavouring in cakes, bread, fruit salads etc, it imparts a very nice nutty flavour. The crushed and sweetened seeds are used as a filling in crepes, strudels, pastries etc. Highly nutritious, the seed contains about 22.7% protein, 48% fat, 9.8% carbohydrate, 7.1% ash. It is also a good source of lecithin. The seeds are rather small, but there are large numbers of them contained in capsules 3cm or more in diameter and so they are easy to harvest and utilize. The seeds are perfectly safe to eat, containing very little if any of the narcotic principles. However, although the seeds contain no narcotic alkaloids, analysis of the urine following their ingestion may produce similar results to the analysis of the urine of morphine or heroin addicts. Edible young leaves – raw or cooked. They must be used before the flower buds have formed. In some countries they are eaten at the seedling stage. One report says that the leaves do not contain any narcotic principles. Some caution is advised, see notes at top of the page. A high quality edible drying oil is obtained from the seed. It has an almond flavour and makes a good substitute for olive oil.

Chemical composition:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.

Seed (Fresh weight)
*533 Calories per 100g

*Water: 6.8%

*Protein: 18g; Fat: 44.7g; Carbohydrate: 23.7g; Fibre: 6.3g; Ash: 6.8g;

*Minerals – Calcium: 1448mg; Phosphorus: 848mg; Iron: 9.4mg; Magnesium: 2.3mg; Sodium: 21mg; Potassium: 700mg; Zinc: 0mg;

*Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.95mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.17mg; Niacin: 0.98mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses:
Anodyne; Antispasmodic; Antitussive; Astringent; Diaphoretic; Emmenagogue; Expectorant; Homeopathy; Hypnotic; Narcotic; Sedative.

The opium poppy contains a wide range of alkaloids and has been a very valuable medicine, especially useful in bringing relief from pain. Its use (especially of the extracted alkaloids opium and morphine which it contains) can become addictive, however, and so it should be treated with extreme caution and only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The dried juice (latex) from the unripe green seed vessels is a rich source of the active alkaloids, including morphine, . It is extracted by making shallow incisions in the capsules as soon as the petals have fallen. Care must be taken that the incisions do not penetrate to the interior of the seed capsules. The latex exudes from the capsules and dries in contact with the air – it is then scraped off. This latex is anodyne, antitussive, astringent, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative. As well as its pain-relieving properties, the latex has also been used as an antispasmodic and expectorant in treating certain kinds of coughs, whilst its astringent properties make it useful in the treatment of dysentery etc. A homeopathic remedy is made from the dried latex. This is used in the treatment of a variety of complaints, including constipation, fevers and insomnia.

In folk medicine poppy heads were used in poultices to cure earache and toothache and a remedy for facial neuralgia was to lay the warmed leaves on the skin.  Medieval doctors pounded the seeds with those of sea holly and mixed them with wine to make a lotion for washing the ears, eyes and nostrils of those suffering from insomnia.  Another cure was to mingle the juice with milk and other agents and make them into sleeping pills.  An infusion made from the powdered capsules of poppy was once applied externally to sprains and bruises and a poppy flower poultice applied to excessive redness of the skin.  A flower compress reduced inflammation and helped watering eyes and also helped to banish dark circles around the eyes.  Morphine, heroin, codeine and papaverine are all derived from the milk juice of the opium poppy.  One poppy product, laudanum, an addictive tincture of opium, was a universal cure-all, widely prescribed by doctors in the 19th century-its abuse celebrated by De Quincey, Coleridge and Baudelaire, among others. It was frequently administered to relieve pain and calm excitement, and was also used in bad cases of diarrhea and dysentery.  It has both hypnotic and sedative effects.  Opium tincture and extract may be used internally to treat depression.
TCM:  Contains the leakage of Lung qi: for chronic coughs; binds up the intestines: for chronic diarrhea and dysenteric disorders; Stabilizes the lower burner: for polyuria, spermatorrhea or vaginal discharge; Alleviates pain: for any kind of pain, especially that of the sinews, bones or epigastrium.

Pharmacological Effects: Morphine is a very strong analgesic; in fact, it is the standard by which all other analgesics are judged.  It raises the pain threshold and also reduces the pain reflex.  That is, even though the pain sensation is still perceived, it is no longer regarded as particularly uncomfortable.  Codeine has approximately 1/4 the analgesic effect of morphine.  Morphine and codeine are both hypnotics, but they induce only a light and restless sleep.  Morphine is a strong and highly selective respiratory depressant.  The dosage that acts in this manner is lower than an analgesic dosage.  Codeine’s effect on respiration is much weaker than that of morphine.  Also a strong cough suppressant.  Morphine causes peripheral vasodilation and histamine release, which can lead to orthostatic hypotension.  Morphine in very low doses causes constipation by increasing the resting tone and markedly decreasing propulsive contractions in the wall of the gut, while decreasing the secretion of digestive juices.  The constipating effect of opium is only really noticeable at the start of the treatment.  It soon diminishes and can if necessary be corrected with small doses of rhubarb or the like

Other Uses:
The seed yields 44 – 50% of an edible drying oil. Very good for lighting, it burns for longer than most oils. The oil is also used in paints, soap making etc.

Ornamental cultivation :
A red opium poppy flower used for ornamental purposes .Once known as the “common garden poppy”, live plants and seeds of the opium poppy are widely sold by seed companies and nurseries in most of the western world, including the United States. Poppies are sought after by gardeners for the vivid coloration of the blooms, the hardiness and reliability of the poppy plants, the exotic chocolate-vegetal fragrance note of some cultivars, and the ease of growing the plants from purchased flats of seedlings or by direct sowing of the seed. Poppy seed pods are also sold for dried flower arrangements.

click to see the picture

It has been suggested that, since “opium poppy and poppy straw” are listed in Schedule II of the United States’ Controlled Substances Act, a DEA license may be required to grow poppies in ornamental or display gardens. In fact the legal status of strictly ornamental poppy gardens is more nuanced, and destruction of ornamental poppy installations or prosecution of gardeners (except those caught extracting opium via capsule scarification or tea extraction) are virtually unheard of. During the early spring, opium poppies can be seen flowering in gardens throughout North America and Europe, and beautiful displays are found in many private planters, as well as in public botanical and museum gardens (e.g. United States Botanical Garden, Missouri Botanical Garden, North Carolina Botanical Garden, residential garden, Seattle, WA, and residential garden, Hartford, CT).

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Many countries grow the plants, and some rely heavily on the commercial production of the drug as a major source of income. As an additional source of profit, the seeds of the same plants are sold for use in foods, so that cultivation of the plant is a significant source of income. This international trade in seeds of Papaver somniferum was addressed by a UN resolution “to fight the international trade in illicit opium poppy seeds” on 28 July

Known Hazards: This plant contains a number of very toxic compounds, many of which are extracted and used as pain killers etc in medicine. They are also used to make various highly addictive narcotic drugs. However, in the cooler climate of Britain these compounds are not formed in sufficient quantity to make their extraction worthwhile. There are no toxins in the seeds.

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

Resources:
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Papaver+somniferum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papaver_somniferum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

http://www.chiangmai1.com/chiang_mai/sub/papaver.shtml

http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/germ/Papa_som.html

Opium Poppy

A field of opium poppies in Burma.

Image via Wikipedia

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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Poppy Seeds

Scientific Name(S): Although a variety of members of the genus Papaver are called poppies, P. somniferum L. and p. bracteatum Lindl. are important commercially and medicinally. Family: Papaveraceae

Common Name(S): P. somniferum: Opium poppy, poppyseed poppy. P. bracteatum: Thebaine poppy, great scarlet poppy.

General Description
Poppy Seeds are tiny nuttytasting, bluegray seeds inside capsules on Papaver somniferum, a yellowishbrown opium plant indigenous to the Mediterranean.

Plant Description and Cultivation
An annual, reaching 30-120cm (1-4ft), the lobed leaves have a blue tinge. The flowers are white to purple; those of Papaver rhoeas, red. They grow up to 12cm (5in) in diameter. The Eastern wild varieties usually sport lilaccoloured blooms. Many wild species occur, such as the Corn Poppy (P. rhoeas), often seen in cornfields. Some varieties are grown ornamentally. When the flowers fade, a capsule remains, rounded and crowned with a star-shaped stigma. On drying, it splits, casting out myriad seeds in the winds. There are nearly one million seeds to the pound (0.5kg). Wild varieties flower from June to August, cultivated varieties in July.

 

Poppy Plants

Poppy plant….>…..(1)….…(2)..….…(3)..……….

Geographical Sources

Poppies are native to Mediterranean regions, India, China, Turkey, and Iran. Today, Holland and Canada are the main producers of poppy seeds.

Uses (Traditional and Ethenic)
The seeds are an important food item, and contain healthy oils used in salads worldwide.
Poppy Seeds are used to flavor breads, cakes, rolls, and cookies in European and Middle Eastern cooking.Poppy seeds are widely consumed in many parts of central and eastern Europe. The sugared, milled mature seeds are eaten with pasta or they are boiled with milk and used as filling or topping on various kinds of sweet pastry. Some consider this cuisine tradition to have Pagan roots In Turkey, they are often ground and used in desserts. In India, the seeds are ground and used to thicken sauces and preparing different vegetable dishes.Sometimes they use the poppy seed paste in the prepatration of motton and chicken dishes too. The seeds are also used in noodle, fish, and vegetable dishes in Jewish, German, and Slavic cooking.Poppy seeds are widely used in Bengali cuisine.

Poppy Seeds are a classic addition to buttered egg noodles, fruit salad dressings, and fragrant yeast breads. Poppy Seeds add nutty flavor and texture to cookies, cakes, breads, strudels, pastry crusts, and pancake and waffle batters.

click to see the pictures…>..(1).……..(2).………(3).…....(4).…...(5).…...(6).….

Although the drug opium is produced by “milking” latex from the unripe fruits (“seed pods”) rather than from the seeds, all parts of the plant can contain or carry the opium alkaloids, especially morphin and codeine and they have several uses in the preparation of different types of drugs and medicines.

Constituents—The most important constituents of opium are the alkaloids, whichconstitute in good opium about one-fifth of the weight of the drug. No fewer than twenty-one have been reported.

The principal alkaloid, both as regards its medicinal importance, and the quantity in which it exists, is Morphine. Next to this, Narcotine and Codeine are of secondary importance. Among the numerous remaining alkaloids, amounting in all to about 1 per cent of the drug, are Thebaine, Narceine, Papaverine, Codamine and Rhoeadine.

Meconic acid exists to the extent of about 5 per cent combined with morphine. This acid is easily identified, and is important in toxicological investigation, as corroborative of the presence of opium.

Meconin and meconiasin exist in small quantity only. Mucilage, sugar, wax, caoutchouc and salts of calcium, and magnesiumare also contained in opium, and sulphuric acid is found in the ash. The presence of starch, tannin, oxalic acid and fat, common constituents of most plants, indicates adulteration, as these substances do not occur normally in the drug. Powdered poppy capsules stones, small shot, pieces of lead, gum, grape must, sugary fruits, and other mechanical impurities, have also been used as adulterants of opium. The drug should not contain more than 12 1/2 per cent of moisture.

Attributed Medicinal Properties
Western poppy syrup is an anodyne and expectorant. Eastern poppy is an anodyne and narcotic. Cough mixtures and syrups are also made from this variety, which is further used as a poultice with chamomile. An infusion of seeds is said to help ear and tooth ache. The seeds have appetising qualities. The use and dangers of poppy plant derivatives, such as morphine, heroin and codeine, are well known. In the Middle Ages an anaesthetic was produced called ‘the soporific sponge’, an infusion made of poppy, mandrake, hemlock and ivy that was poured over a sponge and held under the patient’s nostrils.

Poppy seeds are effective for fever inflammation and irritation of the stomach. Powdered and mixed with honey they are a recommended cure for dysentery. The oil is used in soaps and in artists paints.

Poppy has been used to relax smooth muscle tone, making it useful in the treatment of diarrhea and abdominal cramping, and used as sedative analgesics and antitussives.

Hypnotic, sedative, astringent, expectorant, diaphoretic, antispasmodic.

The drug was known in very remote times and the Greeks and Romans collected it. It is probable that the physicians of the Arabian school introduced the drug into India, as well as into Europe. It was originally used only as a medicine, the practice of opium eating having first arisen, probably in Persia.

Opium is one of the most valuable of drugs, Morphine and Codeine, the two principal alkaloids, being largely used in medicine.

It is unexcelled as a hypnotic and sedative, and is frequently administered to relieve pain and calm excitement. For its astringent properties, it is employed in diarrhoea and dysentery, and on account of its expectorant, diaphoretic, sedative and antispasmodic properties, in certain forms of cough, etc.

Small doses of opium and morphine are nerve stimulants. The Cutch horsemen share their opium with their jaded steeds, and increased capability of endurance is observed alike in man and beast.

Opium and morphine do not produce in animals the general calmative and hypnotic effects which characterize their use in man, but applied locally, they effectually allay pain and spasm. Owing to the greater excitant action in veterinary patients, the administration of opium does not blunt the perception of pain as effectually as it does in human patients.

The British Pharmacopceia Tincture of Opium, popularly known as Laudanum, is made with 3 OZ. of Opium and equal parts of distilled water and alcohol, and for immediate effects is usually preferable to solid Opium. Equal parts of Laudanum and Soap Liniment make an excellent anodyne, much used externally.

Medicinal Uses:
In folk medicine poppy heads were used in poultices to cure earache and toothache and a remedy for facial neuralgia was to lay the warmed leaves on the skin.  Medieval doctors pounded the seeds with those of sea holly and mixed them with wine to make a lotion for washing the ears, eyes and nostrils of those suffering from insomnia.  Another cure was to mingle the juice with milk and other agents and make them into sleeping pills.  An infusion made from the powdered capsules of poppy was once applied externally to sprains and bruises and a poppy flower poultice applied to excessive redness of the skin.  A flower compress reduced inflammation and helped watering eyes and also helped to banish dark circles around the eyes.  Morphine, heroin, codeine and papaverine are all derived from the milk juice of the opium poppy.  One poppy product, laudanum, an addictive tincture of opium, was a universal cure-all, widely prescribed by doctors in the 19th century-its abuse celebrated by De Quincey, Coleridge and Baudelaire, among others. It was frequently administered to relieve pain and calm excitement, and was also used in bad cases of diarrhea and dysentery.  It has both hypnotic and sedative effects.  Opium tincture and extract may be used internally to treat depression.
TCM:  Contains the leakage of Lung qi: for chronic coughs; binds up the intestines: for chronic diarrhea and dysenteric disorders; Stabilizes the lower burner: for polyuria, spermatorrhea or vaginal discharge; Alleviates pain: for any kind of pain, especially that of the sinews, bones or epigastrium.

Pharmacological Effects: Morphine is a very strong analgesic; in fact, it is the standard by which all other analgesics are judged.  It raises the pain threshold and also reduces the pain reflex.  That is, even though the pain sensation is still perceived, it is no longer regarded as particularly uncomfortable.  Codeine has approximately 1/4 the analgesic effect of morphine.  Morphine and codeine are both hypnotics, but they induce only a light and restless sleep.  Morphine is a strong and highly selective respiratory depressant.  The dosage that acts in this manner is lower than an analgesic dosage.  Codeine’s effect on respiration is much weaker than that of morphine.  Also a strong cough suppressant.  Morphine causes peripheral vasodilation and histamine release, which can lead to orthostatic hypotension.  Morphine in very low doses causes constipation by increasing the resting tone and markedly decreasing propulsive contractions in the wall of the gut, while decreasing the secretion of digestive juices.  The constipating effect of opium is only really noticeable at the start of the treatment.  It soon diminishes and can if necessary be corrected with small doses of rhubarb or the like.

 

Side Effects of Poppy:

Poppy is known for its highly addictive qualities and has been associated with poisoning and demonstrating symptoms of sedation and sluggishness, and abdominal contractions.

Toxicology: The abuse potential of opium has had an enormous impact on most societies. Deaths due to respiratory depression have been reported and heroininduced deaths are reported commonly. As little as 300 mg of opium can be fatal to humans, although addicts tolerate 2000 mg over 4 hours. Death from circulatory and respiratory collapse is accompanied by cold, clammy skin, pulmonary edema, cyanosis and pupillary constriction. Thebaine has an LD50 of 20 mg/kg in mice.

Significant attention has been focused on the fact that morphine and codeine can be detected in significant amounts in urine following the Ingestion of foods prepared with poppy seeds. After the ingestion of three poppy-seed bagels, urinary codeine and morphine levels were 214 ng/ml and 2797 ng/ml, respectively after 3 hours. Analysis of poppy seeds indicated that an individual consuming a single poppy-seed bagel could ingest up to 1.5 mg of morphine and 0.1 mg of codeine. Opiates have been detected in urine more than 48 hours after the ingestion of culinary poppy seeds. These results confirm that a positive finding of morphine or codeine in urine may not always be due to the ingestion of drugs of abuse.

The Mexican poppy (Argemone mexicana) L. has been associated with poisoning, demonstrating symptoms of sedation, sluggishness and abdominal contractions in rats fed its seeds.

Culinary uses:
In India poppy seeds are usually ground with other spices and used to thicken curries for meat fish and vegetables. Poppy seeds are cooked with jaggery and coconut enveloped in a case of flaky pastry and deep fried to make a delicious sweet called karanji. They are also sprinkled over naan bread and cooked in a clay oven called a tandoor. In Turkey poppy seeds are made into sweet halva and in the middle East they flavour bread and desserts.

Taste and Aroma
Poppy Seeds have a slightly nutty aroma and taste.

History/Region of Origin
Since antiquity, poppies have symbolized honor. Women in second century Crete cultivated poppy plants for opium and Hippocrates suggested opium in medicine. Islamic and Arabian countries used opium as a medicine and narcotic in the sixth century. By the 17th century, Asians used the poppy plant as an opiate. Europeans began trafficking the drug in the 19th century, culminating in the Opium Wars, in which China lost control of the industry. The Greeks used the seeds as flavoring for breads in the second century, and medieval Europeans used them as a condiment with breads.

Help taken from:en.wikipedia.org and www.culinarycafe.com

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

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