California poppy
Eschscholzia californica

California poppy - Eschscholzia californica (in the Papaveraceae or Poppy family)

Part used: Whole plant.

Taste/smell: Bitter.

Tendencies: Cooling.

Dosage: Infusion: 1-2 teaspoons per cup of water; or 1:1 fresh liquid extract: 20-60 drops 1-4 times per day.

Use: (a) Sedative, (b) Antispasmodic, (c) Mild anodyne with a reputation of being used as a milder substitute for its relative, Opium poppy. It is often used for children with colic and agitation.

The main constituents are californidine, eschscoltzin, protopine, N-methyllaurotanin, allocryptopine, chelerytrine and sanguinarine.

Contraindications: Due to the results of studies on animal uteri, the California poppy should not be used in pregnancy due to the uterine stimulating effects from the alkaloid, cryptopine.

Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.