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Eschscholzia californica

Eschscholzia californica                        Common name: California poppy

Family: Papaveraceae

Parts used: Aerial parts

Constituents: Isoquinoline alkaloids (californidine, eschscholtzine), flavone glycosides (rutin)

Medicinal actions: Nervous system relaxant, sedative, hypnotic, anxiolytic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, diaphoretic, bitter, diuretic, antispasmodic

Medicinal use: This herb has hypnotic effects similar to those of opium poppy much are much milder and non-addictive. It will regulate sleeping patterns and aid with pains, neuralgias, migraines, stress, nervous bowel, depression, anxiety and hyperactivity in children.

Pharmacology: 

  • Isoquinoline alkaloids (californidine, eschscholtzine) are hypnotic & sedative, though are non-addictive and do not cause disorientation.
  • Flavone glycosides and antispasmodic and blood vessel tonics.

Pharmacy: Infusion: 1 tsp/cup, infuse 10 min, 1 cup at bedtime to aid with sleep. Tincture: (1:2. 45%), 3-6ml QD. High doses will cause sleepiness, low doses induce relaxation.

Toxicity: No adverse effects within recommended doses. High doses may cause nausea and a residual hangover effect.

Contraindications:  None known.

Interactions: Caution with nervous system meds. May have addictive effects when combined with other sedatives.

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