Poppy

Poppy

An annual plant with a whitish-coloured, fibrous taproot - A fragile, cylindrical, upright stem (50-70 cm), with branches and covered in coarse hair - Alternate leaves, deeply divided into narrow, elongated, serrated and pointed leaves, covered in hairs, a varying depth of green in colour, sometimes with a yellowish hue - Large, bright red, single flowers, that bloom from May to September - The fruit is an ovoid and conical shaped pod that contains a high number of small brownish coloured seeds.

Latin name

Papaver rhoeas L

Origin

North Africa, Eurasia.

Used part

The flowering herb.

Active components

Alkaloids (rhoeadine, thebaine, protopine): have a calming and sedative effect.

Flavonoids: antioxidants.

Anthocyanins: antioxidant responsible for the bright colour of the petals.

Mucilage: emollient properties.

Usage

In the Anglo-Saxon world, poppies symbolise the memory of the soldiers that fell in combat during the First World War. The young leaves that sprout before the plant flowers can be eaten raw, for example, in salads. Their flavour is similar to that of a cucumber, with a hint of hazelnut. They can also be cooked like spinach, for example, with fried shallots and cream. The red petals can be used as an edible decoration, as well as to make a liqueur. The young green fruit is delicious. The seeds can be pressed to produce an edible oil. This oil is an excellent substitute for olive oil and can be used in vinaigrettes or for cooking. Poppy seeds are also used in patisserie. Thanks to their anthocyanin content, the petals are used to make a plant-based red ink. Poppy calms irritation in the throat, and soothes a cough. It is therefore used as a cough suppressant in cough pastilles or syrups. Poppy flowers have a long history of medicinal use. The flowers and the petals are used as analgaesics, emollients, expectorants, hypnotics and sedatives. In the past, they were pulped and used to promote sleep in children. Their sedative effect has been scientifically proven. 1

Bibliographical references

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The health claims that feature on our website in relation to the plants contained in our products are compliant with the list of health claims awaiting final assessment by the Community authorities (cf. website of the European Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/nuhclaims/). However, they may be subject to modification following their assessment by the national competent authorities.

The health claims relating to other nutrients or substances contained in our products that feature on our site are compliant with Regulation No. 432/2012 of the Commission of 16 May 2012 which establishes a list of authorised health claims authorised in relation to food products, other than those in reference to the reduction of the risk of disease as well as community-based development and child health (cf. website of the European Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/nuhclaims/).