With its vibrantly colourful annual flower, the California poppy is a wonderful asset to brighten the garden in summer and yet it has so much more to offer as a great antidote to stress. It is the state flower of California, native to the west of North America and is also found growing in southern France, Australia and Chile. It was first described by Adelbert von Chamisso (c.1820), a naturalist on a Russian ship, the Rurik, on a scientific expedition to California in 1810. On seeing hillsides apparently on fire with their covering of the poppies, he named the genus in honour of his close friend Johann Friedrich Eschscholtz, a Baltic German botanist who was also the expedition's physician. The flower is usually golden orange in colour, hence its common name ‘golden poppy’.
California poppy is a member of the Papaveraceae family, cousin to the infamous opium poppy, but far less powerful. The leaves and flowers have a wonderfully relaxing effect and constitute a great ‘feel good’ herb with subtle euphoric properties. The plant was used for colicky pains and toothache by the native Americans and early settlers and was first introduced to Europe as an ornamental. It began to be used as a medicine in the last century, when it rapidly gained a reputation as a non-addictive alternative to the opium poppy, and a safe remedy to calm excitability, restlessness, anxiety, pain, tension and insomnia in adults and children alike.
California poppy contains isoquinoline alkaloids (including californidine, sanguinarine, escholzine, protopine, crytpopine, chelidonine), flavone glycosides (including rutin, quercetin and isorhamnetin) carotenoids and essential oil. It acts as a nervine, sedative, analgesic, febrifuge, antispasmodic, anxiolytic, thymoleptic, antihistamine and uterine stimulant.
It is an excellent herb for the nervous system and can be thought of as a gentle balancer to the emotions and a calming remedy for times of stress; research has borne out its sedative and anxiolytic properties. It is suitable for calming both children and adults, helping to reduce anxiety and tension in the day and induce sleep at night without side effects of drowsiness or stupor. It can be used to ease depression, restlessness and agitation, and is especially good for people who find it hard to let go and relax and push themselves too hard, often to the point of exhaustion.
Its antispasmodic action relaxes muscles throughout the body, making it a useful remedy for soothing tense, aching muscles and treating stress-related gut problems, IBS, colic and gallbladder pain. It can also be used for relieving tension headaches and is excellent for treating bedwetting in children, asthma and spasmodic coughs where there is a stress element; in fact it can be added to prescriptions for a wide variety of stress-related conditions. By calming the nervous system California poppy influences the heart and circulation. It slows a rapid heart, relieves palpitations, and reduces blood pressure.
Ms Mona Yang
sales02 at 3wbio.com
Eschscholzia californica Extract Images