Living with chronic pain can be a daily struggle. On top of the physical discomfort, there is the endless cycle of medication. Prescription pain medications can also become addictive, posing additional health risks when taken in excessive doses for extended periods of time.
California poppy seed is a natural alternative to pain medication that is non-addictive while producing the same life-changing results. On the March 22 episode of "Dr. Oz," Dr. Mehmet Oz was joined by guest Bryce Wylde, an expert in alternative medicine. Wylde recommended individuals currently taking prescription pain medication try California poppy seed for relief, stating this natural pain reliever can be just as effective as Percocet and Vicodin. California poppy seed works by telling your brain to increase your opiate receptors, which automatically decreases the pain you feel.
Where It Comes From
The California poppy is the official state flower of California, but it can also be found in Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico. Native Americans first discovered medicinal properties of California poppy seed, using the pollen to cover skin blemishes and in cooking to enhance flavor.
California poppies are also referred to as "golden poppies" due to their golden orange in color and are legal to pick. The plant produces fruit, which averages between three and nine centimeters long. Once the fruit has matured, it splits apart into two pieces, revealing the black and dark brown seeds.
Other Benefits of California Poppy Seed
While California poppy seed acts as a pain reliever, it also has other health benefits:
Many people use California Poppy Seed as a natural sleep inducer. They report that it works as soon as you take it and can bring restful, refreshing sleep for people who suffer from insomnia.
Relieves anxiety or tension:
Due to the sedative effects of this poppy, many use it to treat anxiety or tension. It’s also been used to help treat incontinence in people who have trouble with it during high levels of stress.
Since it’s natural, with no known side effects, it’s an effective and safe anti-anxiety remedy for children. Those with behavioral problems, such as ADD or ADHD have found the California Poppy Seed to be just as effective as the prescription medication they take for their disorder.
Boosts cognitive function:
The elderly can also benefit from this natural remedy. It can improve the intellectual capacity for those suffering from memory or concentration issues due to aging.
Due to the antimicrobial properties of the California Poppy Seed extract, the tincture can be applied directly to cuts and scrapes to help decrease the risk of infection and speed up healing.
How to Properly Take California Poppy Seed
While you would use the actual seeds of the poppy in cooking, if you are looking to use California poppy seed for medicinal purposes, it’s most effectively used as a tincture, or alcohol extract. For pain relief, the average dose is between 15 and 25 drops of California poppy seed extract three times a day. California poppy seed is also available in herbal form. You can create a tea by adding two grams of the herb to about five ounces of water.
Taking California poppy seed can produce a false negative on a drug test, since they are legal, natural opiates. If you are scheduled to give a urine sample, inform the test practitioner you are taking California poppy seed or avoid taking them as a supplement.