Sunday, February 8, 2015

Yellow garden flowers!

As I was weeding in my garden before Christmas I noticed a new plant  had popped up:

I let them be as the bright yellow flowers were really nice. The plant grew quite big and eventually I took it out and put it in the green bin. It is now a few months later and where it grew a lot of little plants have started growing. What to do, keep them or not? 
After some investigation I today concluded that it is Californian poppies (Eschscholzia californica). So I will happily let them grow big and harvest and dry the plant as it is a medicinal herb as summarised below from the website: 
          California poppy has a reputation of being a milder, non-addictive alternative to other poppies, and can be used for pain relief, anxiety and hysteria.The native Americans use California poppy for colic, sleeplessness and griping stomach pains. It is often used to counter excitability and nervousness in children, and has promise for hyperactive children as well. When used as a tea before bed, California poppy promotes long, restful sleep and is often used as a treatment for insomnia. This wonderful herb can also be smoked for relaxation.As it is completely safe, mild and non-addictive, this gentle poppy is completely legal and has the potential to be of benefit in assisting with opiate addiction and withdrawal: drinking a strong tea or smoking the herb as often as needed, has been used to help overcome heroine, morphine and opium cravings. It has also been known to assist in interrupting cannabis and tobacco habits. California Poppy contains the alkaloids berberine, sanguinarine, protopine, and allocryptine. It also has several antioxidants including rutin and zeaxanthin. Its aqueous extract has sedative and anxiolytic (anxiety reducing) properties, tests show that it appears to possess an affinity for the brain's benzodiazepine receptor.See:

    1. Klvana, M.; Chen, J.; Lepine, F.; Legros, R.; Jolicoeur, M. (July 2006). "Analysis of Secondary Metabolites From Eschscholtzia Californica by High-performance Liquid Chromatography". Phytochemical Analysis 17 (4): 236-242.
    2. MacLeod, B.P.; Facchini, P.J. (2006). "Methods for Regeneration and Transformation in Eschscholzia Californica: A Model Plant to Investigate Alkaloid Biosynthesis". Methods in Molecular Biology 318: 357-368.
    3. Rolland, A.; Fleurentin, J.; Lanhers, M.C.; Misslin, R.; Mortier, F. (August 2001). "Neurophysiological Effects of an Extract of Eschscholzia Californica Cham. (Papaveraceae)". Phytotherapy Research 15 (5): 377-381.

        This will increase my own organic herbal tea selection to three:

        1. Peppermint tea
        2. Lemon balm tea (Melissa Officinalis)
        3. Californian poppy tea