Quiescent California Poppy: A Medicinal Chill Factor


/kwē-ěs’ənt, kwī-/
Being quiet, still, or at rest; inactive.

The California poppy is arguably the most lovely and fitting of state flowers for the Golden State, but it’s relief of anxiety, seasonal affective disorder, insomnia, pain, liver disease and bladder problems is where the real gold is found. This gleeful plant even stops bedwetting! Let’s talk about this sunshine mimicking, poppy in terms of transitioning medical health and preserving the mind.


It is a perennial or annual growing to 5–60 in (13–152 cm) tall, with alternately branching glaucous blue-green foliage. The leaves are ternately divided into round, lobed segments. The flowers are solitary on long stems, silky-textured, with four petals, each petal 2 to 6 cm (0.79 to 2.36 in) long and broad; flower color ranges from yellow to orange, with flowering from February to September. The petals close at night or in cold, windy weather and open again the following morning, although they may remain closed in cloudy weather. The fruit is a slender, dehiscent capsule 3 to 9 cm (1.2 to 3.5 in) long, which splits in two to release the numerous small black or dark brown seeds. It survives mild winters in its native range, dying completely in colder climates. (Wiki)

The Facts…

Scientific Name: Eschscholzia californica

Useful Parts: All parts above ground are traditionally used.

Ethnobotany: California poppy leaves were used as medicine by Native Americans, the seeds are used in cooking and the pollen was used cosmetically.

Popularity: As the official state flower of California Eschscholzia californica , is quite the poppy-lar (Ok, maybe not the best pun). However, as a Californian I bask in her lovely flowers, which won out over the Mariposa Lily (Romneya coulteri) in 1890, however this was not made official until her  highness’ golden flower finally took the crown in 1903. April 6 is designated California Poppy Day.

Using it…

Internal Use

  • The California poppy leaves and flowers are used in alcohol tincture form, typically, to relieve anxiety, nervousness, restless, agitation, insomnia, pain and bed wetting through taking an alcohol based tincture or making a tea.
  • Liver and bladder issues may also be aided by taking a tincture or tea made of the whole California poppy plant.

Interesting found factoid…

“A more recent usage for Eschscholzia is in the treatment of heroin addiction and withdrawal. Donna Odierna, herbalist and director of the H.E.A.L.T.H. Needle Exchange clinic in Oakland, California, uses Eschscholzia as the primary ingredient in her clinic’s “Kick Juice,” along with smaller amounts of Vitex agnus castus, Avena sativa, Piper methysticum and Verbena officinalis(2001).”

California poppy appears to be safe for most people when taken appropriately by mouth for three months or less. There isn’t enough information to know if California poppy is safe for longer term use.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of California poppy during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Surgery: California poppy can slow down the central nervous system, causing sleepiness and other effects. There is some concern that California poppy might slow down the central nervous system too much when combined with anesthesia and other medications used during and after surgery. Stop using California poppy at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Here at The Pot Lab we always want to be sure that you can access our natural organic library of non-GMO, professionally formulated herbal extracts. If you are interested in trying out our California Poppy Tincture, please click this link to go to our Compassion Shop!

Happy Healing!

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