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Herbal Tip – California Poppy as a treatment for Insomnia, Anxiety

California Poppy

Common Name:  California poppy
Botanical Name:  Eschscholzia californica
California poppy is best known as the beautiful state flower of California.  However the plant also offers many useful medicinal benefits which most people often aren’t aware of.  The main active properties of California poppy are alkaloids such as chelirubine, sanguinarine and macarpine.  California poppy acts as a mild sedative (promotes calm state and induces sleep), analgesic (pain reliever) and antispasmodic (relieves spasms of involuntary muscle). While California poppy does contain some sedative alkaloids, it contains no real opium like the traditional Poppy plant.
The parts of the California poppy plant which are commonly used in medicine include the root, leaves and seeds.  It is somewhat bitter tasting, with very subtle euphoric properties.  The plant parts are dried and used for medicinal purposes in the form of an infusion, tincture and powder.

The most common use of this herb is in an infusion for treating insomnia, anxiety, and nervous tension or agitation. Because it effects are so gentle, it is often used to treat children with these conditions.  California poppy is also often used to treat bedwetting (incontinence).  The plant promotes relaxation, and may also be used to treat depression, fatigue (chronic mental and physical tiredness), nerve pain, and behavioral disorders such as ADD/ADHD in children and young adults, especially when in combination with other key botanicals as treatment.

California poppy is a beautiful bright and ‘happy-looking’ plant with many beneficial uses for modern medicinal treatment of various disorders.  Huna Apothecary grows our own organic California poppy in our Organic Botanical Garden in Manitoba, Canada, and we appreciate its beautiful pop of colour that its blooms offer throughout the summer months.


Note- These statements have not been reviewed by Health Canada or the FDA, are not meant to provide medical or health diagnoses or treatment.  Please see your doctor or naturopath to discuss whether this or other herbal treatments are right for you.


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