Californian Poppy

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The Californian poppy (Escholtzia californica Cham.) has sedative properties, and hypno-inducing that makes easy to fall asleep, improves sleep quality, reduces anxiety and irritability without causing depression of the central nervous system and does not affect mental alertness.
By virtue of the antispasmodic characteristics is suitable to combat the night muscle contractions, as the flavonoids in the plant optimize the condition of the microcirculation.

Additional findings identified are those against headache and anti-spasmolytic on enteric muscle structure. The active ingredients are the alkaloids in nulceo isoquinoline ring-system (allocriptopine, protopine, marcapine, chelidonine sanguinarine, criptopina). Other alkaloids were found to be the 12-OH-diidrochelirubine and 10-OH-diidrosanguinarine.


The Californian poppy is used in the treatment of insomnia and anxiety, often in synergy with other herbs. Certain active ingredients existing in the extract, possess the characteristic of blocking the synthesis of catecholamines and enzymatic degradation as well as stop the monoamine oxidase B and dopamine-beta-hydroxylase.

Another capability of the Californian poppy is to limit the processes of dimerization and peroxidation of the enkephalins, increasing, in fact, the action. A possible affinity exists between the alkaloids of the Californian poppy and those of Papaverum sonniferum has led to the hypothesis, by some authors, to have similar action.

Indeed, the Californian poppy is also capable of a spasmolytic outcome on the smooth muscle of the ileum, as well as of conduct calming and sleep-inducing. However, there is no evidence to show the onset of dependence on the Californian poppy or extracts thereof.
The anti-headache activity of this plant is more relevant to vasomotor conformations. There are no known applications on pregnant women or during lactation and for this reason we do not recommend the use in these subjects.