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Sleeping with the California poppy

The California poppy is widely used and promoted in modern herbal practices and is a treatment for stress, anxiety, insomnia, pain, and tension. It works with the central nervous system and provides feelings of relaxation and calm.

The California poppy has been one of my most favourite flowers ever since I was a child. The colour alone just brightens up any dark mood. They grow prolifically in South Africa, which makes sense as the climate in South Africa is very similar to California, which is their native habitat.

What always fascinated me was there was always this incredibly orange coloured spider that lived inside at least one of the poppy flowers of the plant. I loved to spend time watching the flowers to spot the spider. This is a perfect example of natures collaboration, adaption and camouflage to catch insects coming to the poppy for nectar and pollen.

Recently after coming off anti depressants that a psychiatrist put me on when I was diagnosed with severe depression. The allopathic doctors at the time said this depression likely had to do with the auto-immune disease I was diagnosed with, hyperthyroidism. I had very erratic sleeping problems detoxing from the tablets as well as a roller coaster of anxiety and emotional stress. As everything I had felt before was flooding back. I discovered California poppy tincture whilst working in the Health shop. What an amazing difference it made to the transition I was embarking.

It took 3 months before I started to feel steady. I had been taking the anti-depressants for 8 years. I attempted to stop taking them numerous times in the last 8 years but I ended up becoming too anxious in dealing with everyday scenarios and having insomnia which of course effected my waking day. My plan is to grow California poppy seeds this spring and harvest the entire plant. Clean it and prepare it to be steeped in alcohol for at least a month to make my own California poppy tincture. The roots when in seed are bright orange and colour the alcoholic medium an amber colour.

Apparently there is a saying among herbalists that the plant you need most will present itself to you when you need it.

The California poppy has been speaking to me for years I just didn’t have anyone to guide me to its purpose. But now I look forward to understanding her ways from growing her seed to watching her flowering.


Stress and anxiety reliever.

Helps with insomnia - sedative for aiding sleep.

Pain - Used by the indigenous tribes of North America to alleviate toothache, headaches and stomach ache.

Tension - works with the central nervous system to promote feelings of relaxation and calm.

Suitable for all ages - This herb is even suitable for babies, young children and the elderly.

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