This is a picture from my garden. I just happen to live surrounded by orange poppies (California in the front and Icelandic in the back). I can't tell you how much I love it...it's like a poppy hug! Being in this ice cream sandwich style hug (me=ice cream; poppies=cookies) has really helped me appreciate these guys. Here is a detailed look at the profound medicine of this gorgeous, glowy, golden California poppy, Eschscholzia californica.
Safety First: Many customers have expressed concerned about taking California poppy in regards to drug tests. After several years of working with this plant, I have not had anyone test positive on a drug test, nor have I heard of this happening with other people in regard to this plant. I consider this to be a nonissue when the plant is used in moderation. All my dosage recommendations are low to moderate. Per herbalist Matthew Wood, this poppy is not depressing or narcotic in its effect.
For this plant I like looking at it through the doctrine of signatures. The doctrine states a plant's appearance and/or behavior is indicative of its benefit to our physical health. For example a walnut looks like the brain and is beneficial for brain health. I see plants as having intelligence to teach our bodies. When we take them in and ask for their help results can be profound. Let's see what California poppy can help us learn.
One notable behavior is that it opens and closes to the light. It opens in them morning and closes at night. They also close if there are lots of clouds, if it becomes too cold or windy, and during rain. This plant can teach us to be open when we are surrounded by brightness and warmth and to go ahead and enjoy ourselves when circumstances are less pleasant. The state flower of California is associated with living balanced in the face of much California style glamour (think of the many things that have attracted people to California: the gold rush, charismatic cult leaders, psychedelic lifestyle, groupies flocking to musicians, hollywood lifestyle/being close to "the stars"/becoming a star). All that glitters is not gold. This plant helps you enjoy the light others bring but go back to yourself and your own source of gold within. This plant has long been used to help people avoid glamorizing dark tendencies. For example, you may admire someone's music but not seek to act in a way similar to them in terms of their darker tendencies (ie drug use). Instead you enjoy their work and look at the beauty you bring to the world as well, perhaps exploring your own creativity.
Sleep signature: "The flower bud is enclosed in a cap-like, pointed green calyx, (see picture above) made of two fused sepals, unlike most flowers, which are held in the embrace of the calyx from below. As the flower begins to open the calyx cap lifts off and falls away, revealing a furled flower sitting on a circular pink platform-like receptacle, which remains during the flowering and seed stage of the plant." -from the Flower Essence Society
I think of these little hats as a sort of sleeping cap that reinforces its common use as a sleep regulator, including for children. Think: should you have your sleeping cap on more or less? In the same way that raspberry knows the perfect time to release the berry and helps female bodies release their uterine lining at just the right time each month, Cal poppy can help you get this sleep stuff right. A fun game with children is to run around and gather these caps, which slip off easily, and make a tea with them. This tea can be relaxing on a chamomile level but only if you are needing relaxing, it will clear your head if you are needing to be less sleepy. A great kids (and adults) insomnia tea blend: hawthorn leaf, california poppy and chamomile. Or for lazy teens (some adults too!) a flower essence of california poppy and poke (flower essence only--the material plant is poisonous).
Overall I think this is a pretty sunny plant to be used so often used for sleep and so-called, "rock and roll lifestyle" (including tinnitus from loud music, lol). I am beginning to see it as helping us get our sleep to work better for us (by sleeping the right amount) and perhaps moderating our nightlife, in favor of seeing the value of sunshine, both our internal glow and those times when we can absorb it from our environment.
Try this herb as a simple tincture, in our True to You blend, or find a California poppy flower essence and please tell me your experience.
Pro tip: If you like flower essences but want to help a child or someone else who wants to avoid alcohol you can get the medicine by putting 4-5 drops in their shampoo, bubble bath, liquid soaps, toothpaste--anything like that. They will get little doses on a regular basis and in time it will bring change.
People who haven't experienced flower essence healing personally may be a little skeptical. I personally cured myself of an autoimmune disorder I had had for over 20 years with a couple drops of a flower essence taken every 3 months for about a year and a half.
FLOWER POWER is real!
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