Sleeping poppy (Papaver somniferum L.)


An annual plant with a spindle-shaped root, upright stem up to 1 m tall, planted with regular incised-lobed gray leaves; flowers solitary, large, 8-12 cm wide, with a 2-leaf falling calyx and a corolla of 4 pale purple or pink petals with a dark spot at the base, with numerous stamens and a short pistil with a sessile multi-beam stigma; the fruit is broadly ovoid, up to 7 cm long and 2-3 cm wide, a capsule that opens with holes under the apical disc; the seeds are numerous, small, bluish-black. Poppy blooms in June-July. Poppy is bred as an ornamental plant, sometimes as a weed.

Contains active substances:

The whole plant contains alkaloids, the main one being morphine.

Medicinal use:

Babies are given a decoction of immature poppy pods to sleep well; crushed seeds are mixed with honey and eaten with liver diseases; flowers and seeds are given to children as sleeping pills; a decoction of immature heads is drunk for insomnia, a decoction of flowers for diarrhea.

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