Tag Archives: Poppy

Papaver rhoeas

Botanical Name: Papaver rhoeas
Family: Papaveraceae
Genus: Papaver
Species: P. rhoeas
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms: Corn Rose. Corn Poppy. Flores Rhoeados. Headache.

Common Names: Common poppy, Corn poppy, Corn rose, Field poppy, Flanders poppy, Red poppy, Red weed, Coquelicot, Shirley Poppy

Habitat :Papaver rhoeas is native to Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to N. Africa and temperate Asia.
Parts Used: Flowers, petals. It is a common weed of cultivated land and waste places, avoiding acid soils. Becoming far less frequent on cultivated land due to modern agricultural practices.
Description:
Papaver rhoeas is an annual plant. It is is a variable, erect annual, forming a long-lived soil seed bank that can germinate when the soil is disturbed. In the northern hemisphere it generally flowers in late spring, but if the weather is warm enough other flowers frequently appear at the beginning of autumn. . It grows up to about 70 cm in height. The flowers are large and showy, 50 to 100mm across, with four petals that are vivid red, most commonly with a black spot at their base. The flower stem is usually covered with coarse hairs that are held at right angles to the surface, helping to distinguish it from Papaver dubium in which the hairs are more usually appressed. The capsules are hairless, obovoid in shape, less than twice as tall as they are wide, with a stigma at least as wide as the capsule. Like many other species of Papaver, the plant exudes white to yellowish latex when the tissues are broken.

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It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles, self.The plant is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses: Border, Massing, Seashore, Specimen. Prefers a well-drained sandy loam in a sunny position. Does not do well on wet clay soils but succeeds in most other soils. Plants usually self-sow freely when growing in suitable conditions so long as the soil surface is disturbed. There are several named varieties selected for their ornamental value. A polymorphic species, varying in leaf shape and flower colour. When growing in cereal fields, poppies decrease the yields of nearby cereal plants. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Naturalizing, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring or autumn in situ.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Oil; Seed.
Edible Uses: Colouring; Oil.

Seed – raw or cooked. Much used as a flavouring in cakes, bread, fruit salads etc, it imparts a very nice nutty flavour. The seeds are rather small, but they are contained in fairly large seed pods and so are easy to harvest. The seeds are perfectly safe to eat, containing none of the alkaloids associated with other parts of the plant. Leaves – raw or cooked. Used like spinach or as a flavouring in soups and salads. The leaves should not be used after the flower buds have formed. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. Said to be an excellent substitute for olive oil, it can be used in salad dressings or for cooking. A syrup can be prepared from the scarlet flower petals, it is used in soups, gruels etc. A red dye from the petals is used as a food flavouring, especially in wine.

Constituents: Papaver Rhoeas is very slightly narcotic. The chief constituent of the fresh petals is the red colouring matter, which consists of Rhoeadic and Papaveric acids. This colour is much darkened by alkalis.

All parts of the plant contain the crystalline non-poisonous alkaloid Rhoeadine. The amount of active ingredients is very small and rather uncertain in quantity. There is great controversy as to the presence of Morphine. Also it has not been determined whether Meconic Acid, which is present in opium, is a constituent.

Medicinal Uses:
Anodyne; Cancer; Emmenagogue; Emollient; Expectorant; Hypnotic; Sedative; Tonic.

The flowers of corn poppy have a long history of medicinal usage, especially for ailments in the elderly and children. Chiefly employed as a mild pain reliever and as a treatment for irritable coughs, it also helps to reduce nervous over-activity. Unlike the related opium poppy (P. somniferum) it is non-addictive. However, the plant does contain alkaloids, which are still under investigation, and so should only be used under the supervision of a qualified herbalist. The flowers and petals are anodyne, emollient, emmenagogue, expectorant, hypnotic, slightly narcotic and sedative. An infusion is taken internally in the treatment of bronchial complaints and coughs, insomnia, poor digestion, nervous digestive disorders and minor painful conditions. The flowers are also used in the treatment of jaundice. The petals are harvested as the flowers open and are dried for later use. They should be collected on a dry day and can be dried or made into a syrup. The latex in the seedpods is narcotic and slightly sedative. It can be used in very small quantities, and under expert supervision, as a sleep-inducing drug. The leaves and seeds are tonic. They are useful in the treatment of low fevers. The plant has anticancer properties.

Other Uses:
Dye; Ink; Oil; Pot-pourri.

A red dye is obtained from the flowers, though it is very fugitive. A syrup made from the petals has been used as a colouring matter for old inks. The red petals are used to add colour to pot-pourri.
Known Hazards: This plant is toxic to mammals, though the toxicity is low. The seed is not toxic.

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papaver_rhoeas
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/popred63.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Papaver+rhoeas

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.

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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.

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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).

click to see

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

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

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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.

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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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