Poppy is a wild plant that produces a distinctive red flower. In particular, it is very common in fields that are not cultivated during the spring. Furthermore, man has understood since ancient times the soothing and healing properties of this flower. Plus it is a good indicator of the lack of pollution in the field. In fact, the poppy is a very delicate plant. Therefore it is very sensitive to herbicides or other polluting sources. Furthermore, in many places, free fields are increasingly reduced. In fact, nowadays, outside the cities it is possible to see almost exclusively cultivated areas or woods. The origin of this plant is from Asia Minor.
DISCOVERY OF THE PROPERTIES OF THE POPPY
That is, that area corresponding to present-day Turkey and neighboring areas. In particular, it has very appreciated properties thanks to its alkaloid content. In fact, all this gives it high soothing and healing properties, that is, they are used as cough suppressants. Furthermore, morphine, widely used in medicine, is extracted from the substances contained in the poppy. In fact, these alkaloids act at the level of pain receptors.
In particular, the alkaloid most present in the poppy is morphine which acts on mu-type nerve receptors. That is, it produces an initial state of euphoria followed by a depressive phase. In addition, at higher doses it can also have narcotic effects.
Then these alkaloids can be classified into the category of opioid analgesics. So with relaxing effects on involuntary smooth muscles and, for this reason, it can act on cough, problems due to kidney stones. In addition, it can help with proctological problems. Then the morphine that is extracted from this plant can obviously have positive effects if taken in small doses. In fact, a moderate use of it will produce a light sedative hypnotic action. That is, a quantity of alkaloid potentially harmful to health can be introduced into the body only through the chemical extraction of the alkaloid.
ANALGESIC AND SOOTHING EFFECT
Then through the morphine extraction process. Then light doses of the alkaloid could be extracted with a mild treatment of the poppy. That is to use the soothing and healing properties of this plant without running the risk of making the negative effects prevail. In fact, a moderate use of the poppy can evere analgesic effects, against insomnia, especially the seeds have a good dietary and soothing effect. In addition, the opium extracted from the poppy had a very widespread recreational function especially in the past
So, opium dens were widespread in many cities. In particular in those of the Ottoman Empire. In the past, opium had very high prices in the West. Hence it was considered a very refined product and was used only by a few wealthy Westerners. On the other hand, in the East, opium dens were widespread at prices that were also accessible to various segments of the population. That is, people smoked in particular places where they could drink, smoke opium using a hookah and listen to music. These clubs are still popular in Istanbul.
In fact they are often close to the Bazaar and are frequented by wealthy people. That is, the frequenters of these places smoke, often order the typical Turkish coffee and admire the magical atmosphere of the Bosphorus. The use of the poppy was also a custom of popular tradition. In fact, it was a habit of many farmers to prepare relaxing herbal teas for their children with this plant. That is, they boiled dried poppies to prepare a herbal tea that favored sleep especially for children.
Poppy seeds can be white or black and have a sedative effect on the nervous system. They also have a good calcium and manganese content. In addition, they have a high content of antioxidants which therefore fight free radicals. That is, they are effective in preventing oxidative stress. Therefore they have a positive action, similar to that of fruits and vegetables in fighting radicals.
That is, those molecules generated by metabolism that have an oxidizing effect on tissues and DNA. So that is added to the known soothing and healing properties. In addition, it is useful to remember the phytosterol content of poppy seeds. In particular, phytosterols have a structure similar to that of cholesterol.
EFFECT OF REDUCING CHOLESTEROL
So they compete with it for absorption from the gut. That is, they reduce it. In particular, a moderate but constant introduction of phytosterols in the diet can reduce blood levels of LDL cholesterol by more than 10%. That is, it performs this effect by competing with the cholesterol absorption sites. In addition, it is known that a significant portion of the cholesterol present in the blood is of endogenous production.
That is, it is produced by our body. In fact, cholesterol is an essential substance for life as it is an essential component of some hormones. In addition, an excess of endogenous production, that is caused by congenital factors, cannot be controlled with food. That is, we could reduce the introduction of dietary cholesterol but we should act differently to reduce the internal production of it. In particular, the best natural substance to reduce the production of endogenous cholesterol is monacolin K.
That is, a substance present in significant quantities in poppy and fermented red rice. The main producer of cholesterol in the body is the liver which produces a variable quantity between 600 and 1000 milligrams per day. In addition to these are added the approximately 300 milligrams that should be introduced with the diet. Congenital excessive production of cholesterol would therefore not be sufficiently controlled by diet alone.
In fact, the introduction of cholesterol via food is a minority. So if the excess of cholesterol is mainly due to the cholesterol of endogenous production, it is necessary to act differently. In particular, the effects of monacolin K in reducing the production of endogenous cholesterol have been demonstrated. In particular, the edible parts of the poppy are petals and seeds. That is, they can be used to prepare tinctures but above all infusions, syrups and decoctions.
In particular, the sedative and decongestant effect of this plant is used. So it will be useful to let 6 or 7 grams of petals soak in boiling water for 10 minutes and then filter. Therefore, use this infusion to improve the quality of sleep, especially for children and the elderly. In addition, the poppy alkaloids can also be a valid remedy for coughs. That is, we can boil 40 grams of poppy flowers in about half a liter of water for 10 minutes.
Then add 600 grams of brown sugar and mix while continuing to boil until we get a thick mixture. In addition, poppy-based infusions can also be valid remedies against colds, tonsillitis, sore throat, fever. In conclusion I would like to state that. as with most medicines and medicaments, it is important not to exceed in quantities. That is, do not use opium poppy because it contains excessive amounts of alkaloids. Also use the common poppy that can be collected in unpolluted soils. In particular, however, I recommend getting the maximum benefit from this plant by not exceeding the daily dose of about 6 grams.
doc. Massimiliano Mangafà