California Poppy Herbal

California Poppy

Eschscholzia californica

PART USED: Aerial portion

PROPERTIES: Sedative, Nervine, Antispasmodic, Muscle Relaxant, Analgesic, Antimicrobial

SYSTEMS AFFECTED: Nervous, Urinary, Muscle

POSSIBLE USES: insomnia, depression, bed-wetting in children, anxiety, muscle tension

The common uses of this herb are for insomnia, incontinence (especially in children), nervous tension, and anxiety. Because of its sedative properties California Poppy is beginning to be used in behavior disorders such as ADD and ADHD in both children and young adults. This herb is also being used to improve intellectual capacity, memory, and concentration in elderly patients. California Poppy is not considered narcotic and can be taken in either teas and tinctures or applied topically in lotions and liniments.

The antispasmodic properties of this herb relax tense muscles throughout the body while the analgesic properties reduce the pain that the tightness has caused. The relaxing of muscles has an effect on many anxiety related problems such as stress-related gut problems, IBS, colic, and the pain of gallbladder issues. Tension headaches also respond well to low doses of California Poppy. California Poppy is used as a remedy for very high fever, rapid pulse, and for quieting persistent spasmodic coughs.

By calming the nervous system California Poppy influences the heart and circulation by slowing rapid heart beats, relieving palpitations, and reducing blood pressure. California Poppy should be avoided during pregnancy.

From a Chinese medicine point of view, California Poppy cools heat in the mind, making it an excellent remedy for irritability, over-achieving, over-analyzing, and for OCD.