written by Sarah Mann, Naturopath
I was visiting Canberra recently and driving through the suburbs had the wonderful surprise of passing rows and rows of pavement and front lawn and gardens bright with the orange glow of the Californian Poppy. It was a beautiful sight to see so many happily at home in people’s gardens.
The Californian Poppy is part of the Papaveraceae family and used in Herbal Medicine. Unlike it’s opiate fellows, Californian poppies contain non-narcotic opium alkaloids amongst it’s medicinal constituents.
An insight into the Californian Poppy’s therapeutic nature is seen in watching the way they move with the wind. It is as if the flowers absorb the impact of the breeze and channel it into a smooth, consistent, buffered, calm sway. Californian Poppy when used medicinally is calming. It is a calming sedative and an anodyne, relieving pain.
Californian Poppy’s pain relieving actions assist many types of pain especially neuralgia, period pain, tooth ache, and pain from trauma, accident and injury. It is especially suited to pain where there is clenching, upset and agitation, and for pain that causes difficulty sleeping.
Californian Poppy is used for insomnia and sleep troubles, it’s calming and relaxing action supporting the let go needed for easing into a restful sleep. Californian Poppy is indicated especially where sleep trouble is caused by over stimulation or nightmares.
Californian Poppy is used particularly when there is agitation in it’s many forms and faces , like hyperactivity and agitation with pain. Californian Poppy is helpful where there is fixed and unyielding mental perspectives, helping the person to make shifts and changes from a calm and centred point, relieved of agitation with space for new thoughts and ideas to emerge.
Californian Poppy is bitter and cool in quality. Like we see with it’s action in the wind, Californian Poppy buffers stimulation and aggravation, streaming it into a calm and collected response.