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Do you have anxiety? There’s a pharmaceutical drug for that. Are you depressed? Go visit your doctor for the latest prescription. Do you have aches and pains or insomnia? No worries, a trip to your local pharmacy will help with those ailments. What if I told you there was something Natural, legal and used for centuries to combat all of the health issues listed above, would you try it? If you said yes, check out this amazing flower called California Poppy.

California Poppy Health & Medicinal History 

California poppy is the state flower of California and is known for its amazing medicinal purposes. The flower is usually golden orange, hence its common name “golden poppy.” The stem of the flower grows 5 to 20 inches tall, with teal colored leaves sprouting from its base. The roots, seeds and leaves are all used for medicinal purposes once the flower reaches full maturity. As a member of the Papaver somniferum species, this complex plant is considered a sub-opiate because it produces a milder effect than its cousin the red poppy which is the source of opium. Its distinction is found in its ability to normalize psychological functions by influencing the neurotransmitters without depressing the central nervous system.

Therapeutic Properties of California Poppy

The main active ingredients are alkaloids such as chelirubine, sanguinarine and macarpine.  California Poppy also contains flavonglycosides. When these alkaloids are put into action, they produce a sedative, analgesic and antispasmodic effect. Contrary to its name, it contains a relatively small amount of opium compared to other flowers in the poppy family. It is relatively gentle depending on the dosage and has even been proven safe for children.

Uses For California Poppy

Now we will break down the various medicinal uses for this super flower.


  • May help calm rapid heartbeat
  • Aids in relaxation
  • Promotes a euphoric feeling

Depression Symptoms

  • Acts as a sedative
  • Relieves aches and pains  caused by depression
  • Promotes a euphoric feeling

Muscle Spasms

  • Calms muscle spasms
  • Reduces acute nerve pain caused by spasms
  • Promotes and regulates healthy blood flow


  • Calms the muscles
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Aids in clearing your thoughts near bedtime

Intellectual Capacity

  • Has been used for concentration in the elderly
  • Helps maintain a healthy memory function
  • Overall can improve your intellectual capacity

Tooth Pain

  • Relieves pain caused by a tooth ache
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Antimicrobial properties reduce the chances of infection around the tooth

Open Wounds

  • Reduces inflammation around the wound
  • Can work in numbing the area
  • Reduces the chances of infection

Head Lice

  • Kills head lice


  • Reduces bedwetting caused by nervous tension
  • Reduces bedwetting caused by anxiety in children


  • Promotes a calming nature in an overactive mind
  • Aids in the reduction of jitters due to ADHD
  • Promotes relaxation

California Poppy Preparation For Use

There are several different ways on how to prepare California poppy. Below I will list the steps needed for each method.

California Poppy Tea Infusion

You can either choose from using fresh California poppy plants or the dried one.

  • Get 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried herbs, and place it inside a cup.
  • Pour boiling water into the cup
  • Let it steep and cool down for about 10 minutes before drinking.

If using fresh California poppy:

  • Use 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh plant, and place inside a cup.
  • Pour boiling water into the cup
  • Let it steep and cool down for about 10 minutes before drinking.


Making a tincture is a bit more work but is far more potent and can be stored for longer periods of time. Some companies also offer liquid tinctures such as found on amazon here.

  • Measure out your herb of choice and put it into a 500ml mason jar. It should take up about a quarter of the jar.
  • Pour 80 proof vodka for dry California poppy or 100 proof Vodka for fresh California poppy slowly over the herbs, covering the herbs with about 2 cups of alcohol. (do not use rubbing alcohol, it is not safe for consumption.)
  • Close the jar and give it a good shake to let the elements come together.
  • Store jar in a cool dark place or in a brown paper bag away from sunlight.
  • Give it a shake daily for about 4-6 weeks to disperse the materials.
  • After the 4-6 week period, drain the contents into a large glass measuring cup by placing a tight knitted piece of cheese cloth over the mouth of the jar and secure it with a rubber band so none of the plant material escapes.
  • Funnel the liquid into dark bottles to store. Dark glass helps protect from light damage which weakens the potency of the end product.
  • Place in smaller dark tincture bottles for easy travel.

Smoking or Vaporizer

This method is best used with dried California poppy.

  • Place a small amount in your preferred smoking method (bowl, joint or vaporizer).
  • Smoke until you feel relaxed.
  • Best used before bed due to its analgesic properties that may cause drowsiness.

Topically (Tooth pain, Cuts, Head Lice)

You can use California Poppy’s roots and leaves topically to relieve topical pain from tooth pain, cuts or small wounds. Also used topically for head lice.

  • Place the root of the California poppy directly onto the tooth causing pain
  • Place the leaves or root directly onto the small cut or wound.
  • Place 30 drops of your California poppy tincture into 3 tbsp. of coconut oil. Apply to hair and let sit overnight. Wash out treatment in the morning.

Dosage for Children

It is safe for children to take California poppy, since it only has mild relaxant effects. tea infusions are a bit bitter but you can let them take a few drops of tincture (20 to 30 drops).

California Poppy Clinical Study

In a large 264-participant 3-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, researchers noted the anti-anxiety benefits of a combination therapy containing the mineral magnesium, the herb hawthorn and California poppy.

The study, done at the Innothera Laboratories in France, followed 264 patients suffering from generalized anxiety disorder of mild-to-moderate intensity. The results indicated that the combination treatment was more effective than placebo with no significant side effects.

Where can I buy California Poppy?

Click here to get dried organic California poppy on amazon.

Click here to get organic California poppy tincture on amazon.

After reading this article, would you try California Poppy? Do you think its Natural medicinal purposes are far better and cheaper than the synthetic prescription drug you may be taking for those aches and pains or anxiety? Personally, I feel there’s always a more natural and healthier alternative than any pharmaceutical drug but our bodies and experiences all differ. I say, try California Poppy out, take it slow and see if you love it. It’s worth a shot, right?

Sources: SleepDisorders, NaturalMentalHealthCare, Urban-HerbalRemedies, HerbalSupplementResource.