Red Poppy 

The red poppy is a herbaceous plant that belongs to the Papaveraceae family. The plant grows up to 2-3 feet in height and bears red flowers that are used in several herbal medicinal preparations. These plants grow naturally around Europe, Asia, and the United States and are quite well known for their medicinal properties. They are also used in craftwork and cooking. The analgesic, sedative, astringent, antispasmodic, carminative, and anti-inflammatory properties of red poppy are useful in treating many diseases and illnesses both physical as well as psychological.

Nutritional Information and Properties  

Red poppy contains alkaloids like rhoeadine, papaverine, and isorhoeadine that are responsible for its sedative properties. They also contain tannin, mucilage, mekocyanin, and meconic acid. The seeds of red poppy are a rich source of minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and even fiber. These are all important minerals that are required by the human body for the proper functioning of various organs. Red poppy is available in the form of capsules, extracts, topical applications, and powders for treating various health related problems.

Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses

  • The use of red poppy in the treatment of respiratory disorders is well known since centuries. Respiratory problems like asthma, whooping cough, and bronchitis can all be effectively treated with this herb. Red poppy petals are used in cough syrups to soothe irritated mucus membranes and provide relief from related symptoms. This herb helps ease chest congestion by softening the mucus so that it can be easily expelled from the lungs. You can even consume tea made from red poppy seeds or flowers for relief from coughs and colds.
  • Studies have shown that red poppy extracts are beneficial in treating agitation, nervous irritability, and anxiety related disorders. Red poppy contains various alkaloids that have sedative and relaxant properties that help in calming the mind. Other anxiety related disorders like insomnia, sleeplessness, and restlessness can also be treated with this herb.
  • Experts suggest that red poppy is a great natural ingredient for pain relief. It is also milder and safer that most other conventional medications and drugs used for pain relief. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is beneficial to people suffering from painful conditions like arthritis, rheumatism, sciatica, neuralgia, and lumbago pain. You can even apply red poppy seed paste externally for soothing joint pain and swelling. It can even be used for mild muscle aches and headaches. Red poppy is sold in extract or tincture form commercially for this purpose.
  • Red poppy seeds have powerful diuretic properties, making them a good cure for diarrhea. Other digestive system disorders like stomach pains, indigestion, colic, gas, constipation, and other gastrointestinal complaints can be eased and treated with red poppy.
  • The emollient properties of red poppy make it useful for treating skin problems like dry, itching, and scaling skin. It is also useful in the treatment of dandruff.
  • Red poppy is also well known for its anti-cancer and emmenagogue properties.

Other Uses

  • Red poppy is used in craft to make bouquets, wreaths, and various other floral decorations because of its aesthetic appeal.
  • People dry the seeds of red poppy and use it in cooking. Bakers use it to add a nutty flavor to pastries and other bakery items.
  • Red poppy petals are used in making floral inks and liquid dyes.
  • People also use them as bird feed mixed with seeds from other plants.