So, my daughter, has suffered from occasional anxiety attacks over the years. Though they are infrequent now, it was AWFUL to watch her go through this debilitating attacks! She just told me about how she’s been researching everything growing in her garden, and their uses. Foraging like her Mom, Yay! She has an incredible amount of California Poppies (Eschscholzia californica) and Orientale Poppies growing in her garden and was reading about them when she came across a recommendation to make tea out of them. Apparently, the California/Orientale Poppy tea is used to treat anxiety, depression, insomnia, restlessness, lack of focus, etc. It is an excellent natural muscle relaxer and just fabulous for relaxing, in general.
Since the California and Orientale poppies don’t have any of the opioid effects that other poppies do, the medicinal uses are really amazing and also, completely legal. So, you can cut down your poppies after they’ve bloomed, or right as they’re in their last stage of life, and take the WHOLE thing, roots, stalks, and pods (she said she makes sure that the seeds are thrown down onto the garden bed again so that they’ll grow again next year) and she chops them into little pieces, about a half inch long, or so.
1 c. chopped poppies, about a 1/2 inch long (root, stalk, leaves, and pod)
4 c. water
You will need a colander and a small pot… make sure the colander can fit into the pot at least as much to submerge the poppies
optional: Stevia, honey, agave syrup, lemon, or pineapple juice
Take your poppy pieces and chop them up into half inch or so pieces. I cut the pods in 1/2, too. Next, boil 4 cups of water. After it boils, you’ll want to let it cool down to about 150 degrees. It has to be 150 degrees or below, or it kills all the plant compounds that are helpful. This takes a little while, so, if you’re impatient, like me, you can just use a meat thermometer to test the temp. of your water. If not, just be patient, put on some Joni Mitchell, and dance around while you wait.
Ok, once the water is the right temperature, take your colander, and throw your poppy pieces into it. You’ll want to make sure that your colander has small enough holes in it, so that the pieces don’t go through it. If they do, no worries! You can always strain it again through a coffee filter, cheese cloth, nylon, or just a plain old piece of cloth. I’m just impatient, like I said, so waiting for for something to strain through cheesecloth is just annoying to me…
Anyway, steep your poppies for about 15-25 minutes. You can steep it for as long as you want, up to two hours if you want to, but the tea isn’t very tasty as it is, so the longer the stronger… both medicinally, and taste-wise.
I sweeten it with pineapple juice, because it’s strong, so it masks the taste. I gulp it down as fast as I can. It’s bitter, which means its working! So chill, chill it! It hits about 3-5 minutes after consumption, so it’s perfect for an anxiety attack that comes on fast! I’m even going to keep some of the poppies from my garden and hang them and dry them in my kitchen, that way I can have tea in the winter, too! I was really
surprised at how well this worked, for me. I’ve struggled with shoulder, back, and neck pain for the past four years, and have ALWAYS been on the lookout for something that works – this really worked for me. I hope it does for you!
Clare (Dorothy’s Daughter)
P.S. If you have any questions, let me know! You can post your questions below, and I’ll reply, as soon as I can! Either that, or email me at Clare.Parsons.Art@gmail.com with the subject as “Romaine Calm Poppy Tea”
C’s Word of the Day: amapola – poppy
Tip of the Day – The EASIEST way to differentiate though, is the leaves – if they’re spiny, you are good to go. The spiny leaves mean they are Oriental Poppies. If the leaves are smooth and kind of waxy, be careful and DO NOT USE! The smooth leaved poppies are Opium Poppies and should NOT be used for consumption EVER. It’s illegal and dangerous. With that said, be safe, foraging always has a bit of a dangerous edge to it, so be careful and enjoy!
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