California Poppy

Eschscholzia californica

Poppy Family (Papaveraceae)

Energetics: cooling, relaxing
Taste: bitter
When to harvest: Harvest aerial (above ground) parts of mature plant during the growing season. Flowers can be deadheaded (removing dead flowers) to keep flowering for longer.
Identification: California poppy has feathery bluish, greyish green leaves, and yellow or orange 4-petaled flowers. It likes dry, sunny areas and grows up to 60cm tall. It develops long, narrow seed pods that are very distinctive. California poppy is an annual in some parts of the world and a short-lived perennial in other parts.

California poppy is known for its calming, sedative, and pain relieving effects. In particular, and has similar indications to its relative, opium poppy. However, it is not addictive and is safe for all ages.

Nervous system

California poppy is calming and can help alleviate anxiety, insomnia that results from pain or repetitive thoughts, as well as ADHD and insomnia in children.


Toothache pain; headaches; menstrual pain; intestinal cramping; post-surgical pain; injury pain; sciatica; shingles.

Circulatory system

California poppy can help relax blood vessels, calming the heart. This is another way it can impact restlessness that settles in around the heart that may show up as palpitations or high blood pressure stemming from stress (Briggs, n.d.).

Plant Preparations


  • Tincture
  • Infusion
  • Glycerite
  • Vinegar


  • Oil
  • Poultice
  • Compress
  • Fomentation


Avoid during pregnancy. May enhance the effect of narcotic drugs (Merrick 2021).

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