Poppy, Ying Su Qiao

Papaver somniferum

Native to western Asia, Poppy is an annual plant that has been cultivated in many countries throughout the world because of its strong analgesic properties and strong constituent profile. The cultivation of poppy is highly regulated because of toxicity and habit-forming effect. In ancient Sumeria, poppy was referred to as the “joy plant” for its sedative, relaxant and euphoric effects. In Chinese Medicine, the poppy seeds are used to astringe the lungs and large intestine to relieve pain. Poppy seeds are high in protein and linoleic acid which helps to lower blood cholesterol and treat cardiovascular issues. The most powerful component of this plant is the high alkaloid content in the milky latex of the pods. Alkaloids like morphine, codeine, thebaine and papaverine have helped us to create important and powerful pharmaceutical medications, but also come with high toxicity and strong addictive qualities.

Parts Used:

seeds, leaves, pods, and milky latex from unripe pods

Key Actions & Healing Properties:

  • Mild sedative/relaxant
  • Sedative Analgesic (pain relieving)
  • Expectorant
  • Antitussive (prevent/relieve cough)
  • Central nervous system depressant