Plant of the Papaveraceae family , the poppy, also known as opium poppy, is the plant used to obtain opium. Scientific name Papaver somniferum L. , its flower can be white, pink, purplish or red. Its latex, very similar to that of the rubber tree, extracted from the still unripe fruit of the poppy, contains morphine, codeine, papaverine and other substances, and is what we call opium.
Poppy seeds are widely used in cooking, but the acquisition of seeds is controlled by ANVISA in Brazil. Unlike opium, however, the seeds are extracted when the plant is already dry. Although the seed is not prohibited here in the country, its planting on a large scale is.
Used in salads, pastas, breads, cakes, fruit salads, cookies and various things, poppy seeds are also used for medicinal purposes. It has been receiving medicinal applications for many years, for example in Mesopotamia, where it was used in the form of tea to treat insomnia and constipation, and later the Babylonians and Assyrians also used it to produce medicines. In the year 1803 morphine was developed when Friedrich Sertürner researched and observed the effects of opium.
Properties, benefits and care
The poppy has effects related to sleep, as it contains alkaloids with a sedative action. It is widely used in infusions to eliminate symptoms related to anxiety and stress, in addition to treating coughs, asthma, whooping cough, bronchitis, and being indicated for those with inflamed airways. In addition, it can also be used to combat toothaches, as its petals, when prepared in infusion, have analgesic action.
It has narcotic and hypnotic properties, so its consumption must be controlled. It is necessary to follow the indicated doses correctly to avoid any problems. When grown at home, keep out of reach of children and animals.
How to prepare and consume?
The infusion should be made with the proportion of 6 poppy petals for each cup of water. Boil the water, turn off the heat and add the petals, leaving to rest for ten minutes. Consume a maximum of three cups a day.
The syrup can be made with the infusion prepared with 170 ml of water and 10 g of dry petals. The preparation is the same as mentioned above, and must be strained afterwards. Add 340 g of brown sugar and mix until it has a syrupy consistency. Consume between two and four dessert spoons before bed.
Long-term use is contraindicated, as it can cause dependence due to the presence of morphine.