Soporific oil poppy – soporific oil poppy (harvesting and storage)

Ukrainian name – poppy soporific olive, popular name – poppy. 

The poppy family is Papaveraceae.

Boxes are used for medicinal purposes.

The plant is not found in the wild. It is cultivated almost throughout Ukraine, mainly in forest-steppe regions. For medical purposes, high-morphine varieties bred on industrial plantations are grown – Novinka, Lubensky 6, Lubensky 7, etc.

All parts of the plant are poisonous. Similar forms and varieties of poppy are grown in household plots as a food plant. The cultivation of the sleeping pill opium poppy is prohibited by a law approved by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.

The crop is harvested in dry weather with specially equipped combines after the bolls are fully ripe, when they become yellow-brown in color, break when squeezed in the hand, and when shaken, the sound of seeds is heard in them. If unripe wet boxes are removed, the quality of threshing deteriorates, and if harvesting is late, the amount of morphine decreases.

The mixture of parts of the bolls with an admixture of seeds obtained after combine harvesting is dried in the open air or under canopies with good ventilation, spreading a thin layer (3-5 cm) on tarpaulins or fabrics and stirring occasionally. Then, on screens or grain cleaning machines, the seeds are separated from the bolls and stem parts.

The yield of dry boxes is 3-7 c/ha.

According to GOST 6517-76, the raw material consists of a mixture of pods crushed into pieces with the remains of fruit-bearing plants of various lengths, the tops of the stems and parts of the leaves. The outer surface of the stems and capsules is from light yellow to brownish-gray, the inner surface is grayish-brown. The smell is peculiar. The taste is not determined – poisonous! Parts of the boxes should be at least 60%, the content of morphine is 0.18%. In raw materials, no more than (percent) is allowed: darkened, blackened and moldy parts – 5, crushed (passing through a sieve with a hole diameter of 1 mm) – 10, organic impurities (parts of other plants and poppy seeds) – 3, mineral impurities – 1.

Packed in bags weighing 10-15 kg. It is stored in the group of toxic and potent raw materials in dry, well-ventilated rooms in a packaged form on pallets or racks.

Storage period up to 3 years.

The pods contain all sorts of alkaloids, mostly morphine. Morphine is obtained from them, which is used as an analgesic and sedative.

More than 40 pure, complex and semi-synthetic alkaloid products are used from the soporific poppy and other varieties. Alkaloids are very poisonous, cause a chronic disease with a manifestation of addiction – morphinism.

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