California Poppy Medicinal Uses

January 22, 2018

California Poppy Medicinal Uses

The California poppy is native to the western United States, including California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and south into Baja California and Mexico. When the Spanish explorers first saw coastal California, these poppies covered entire stretches of the hillsides. They called California the Land of Fire in honor of the golden poppy-covered hills. Relatively low-growing, the plant can range from 2 inches to 24 inches tall. Its most obvious feature is the bright orange-yellow flower. This plant grows well in areas that have been disturbed. It is tolerant of drought and it self-sows easily. The poppy does not contain opium, although it is used as a milder remedy for many of the same conditions. This is the state flower of California.

Key Medicinal Uses

Internally – California poppy can be used as a sedative to aid sleep without the side effects one can get from prescription sleep medications. It is also used for colic and pain in the gall bladder. It stabilizes the psychological state of the patient. Sometimes this herb is used to treat chronic bedwetting. Historically, the Native Americans used the sap of the poppy to relieve pain from toothaches, ulcers and sores. It has also been used for headaches and anxiety.


Externally – California poppy can be applied directly to a sore area to relieve the pain. The Native Americans also cooked the plant in oil to make a tonic for the hair.

Other Uses – California poppy is used for depression, sleep issues, long-term mental and physical tiredness, nerve pain, various psychiatric conditions, blood vessel problems, sensitivity to weather changes, and sedation. Try the ETS medicinal Sleep Helper Tea, to feel the effects of this beautiful healing agent.