Getting to know Poppies

This season the chief planted some deer proof garden flower mix & North American wildflower mix.

He knew us girls would love it and it was beneficial for keeping the deer at bay as well as invoking pollinators.

Hard to believe that the all these beautiful photos came from these 2 seed packs!

As they began to bloom, he soon noticed something was eating the flowers off the long stems of an unidentified hairy flower bud.

But wasn't this suppose to be a "deer-proof flower mix"? Σ(・ิ¬・ิ)

We were intrigued and had to find out what was so delicious. ...Would we even get to see any bloom?

As space would allow, I matched some shirely poppy flowers to the hairy stems and leaves that were munched at. What was taking a liking to it, was yet to be caught.

As my green blood got the best of me I instinctively (perhaps foolishly) nibbled at one of the soft as a rose petals 'to see what I could see'. It was pleasant, as my palate is also of the green kind, and my spirit was immediately embracing this lovely plant.

While these Shirely poppies are quite alluring with their airy, papery petals, if you have ever had the pleasure experiencing the fiery, golden ~yet soft & delicate luminescence of the California Poppy you know how incredibly captivating this flower can be.

Can you imagine sailing over the ocean blue and spotting an array of brilliant essence lighting up the coastal hillsides? It's no wonder the Spanish settlers of California 1, settled & 2, called the coast "the land of fire".

Yet long before the European's came over, the Native's were indeed utilizing this plant's sedative qualities. And no, this plant is not to be confused with its' cousin, the opium poppy.

Both Shirley & California Poppy contain no opiates, are non-addictive and safe.

In fact it has a history of being used regularly for children, to help them sleep. Since it derives its sedative qualities from different alkaloids (than the opium poppy), and is useful in dealing with many forms of pain and anxiety, one can find conflicting information about this plant.

As with all information shared here, it is for your own evaluation & responsibility to utilize it as one sees fit. Each individual reacts a bit differently to herbs, likewise each one has different needs so I encourage you to try it with respect of its constituents and see what you think, accountably.

For instance, I can drink a half cup of 7 flowers, steeped for a half hour and conk completely out. While the chief drinks the whole cup (same brew) and it has no effects on him whatsoever. He is a night owl and could use some sleep aid whilst I have no trouble falling asleep. And fyi, I'm no feather weight but I am sensitive to any kind of altering substance.

Like the more common Morning Glory, the California Poppy will open and close in response to the radiance of the sun.

If you find the sun hiding in a midday overcast, chances are the silky petals will pull back into itself just like they do in the night sky.

California Poppy will close up entirely

Shirely Poppy will close only partially.

Perhaps this is why its archetypal form and gesture of this flower is said to involve the polarity of inner containment and outer movement?

Personally, I can extend myself so much outwardly that I will get a headache. It is a reminder that I too need care. Teas with these types of gifts, are tremendously helpful in unwinding the energy within ~ allowing for a more balanced flow, in my case to receive.

(Now I know for this kind of utilization, 7 flowers steeped for a half hour may in fact be too much for me and I plan to cut back the next time.)

The flower essence of the California Poppy is reported to entice radiant heart-centered spirituality & strong interior alignment for values and choices.

If you are working on patterns of imbalance with anxiety, attachment to illusion or grandeur, superficial spirituality or fantasy, external glamour or escapism through psychedelic drugs or other out-of-body activities this essence is recommended.

Flower essence is the vibrational imprint of a flower that has been transferred and stabilized in water. Then you drop this essence into your water for administration. Often used for emotional well-being, soul development, and mind-body health. For more about how to make a flower essence go here.

As a tea 1-2 teaspoons of the dried petals in a cup of boiled water, simmer for 10-15 minutes. (Said recommended dosage is one cup, three times a day but not for me!)

My first brew was 7 flowers per cup but generally speaking when available, I use fresh and about a handful, steeped to one's liking. ...The longer a brew, the more concentrated.

(FYI when using leaves for tea, they bitter faster so long brewing times are not usually preferred. Some flowers can be more bitter than others, this one I think not, but again I am use to bitter. I actually like it.)

This was my second attempt for the chief, a much stronger brew.

Poppy Cough syrup recipe for children: Add 100g of the dried petals in 1/3 of a liter of boiling water with the juice from a 1/2 lemon and then allow it to stand for eight hours.

Then add 2.5kg of sugar and allow it to simmer for a while (5-10 minutes).

The cough syrup can be used for children up to 15 months using 5ml (1 teaspoon) daily. For older children 10-30ml (2-6 teaspoons) daily.

One can tincture Poppy as well.

Grind the flower to a fine consistency to release juice and expose surface area.

Using a pint glass mason jar, for fresh flowers fill jar 2/3 to 3/4 full. If you have dried finely cut flowers, fill jar 1/2 to 3/4 full.

Pour alcohol to the very top of the jar. Cover plants completely! Select a high-quality, clear, and low-flavor liquor like vodka or grain alcohol. Personally, I do not like alcohol tinctures and prefer using glycerites. If this is the case the only note here would be if you are using dried flowers, the glycerite should be diluted with distilled water at a 3:1 ratio (3 glycerite to 1 water). Leave about an inch head space here.

Cap your jar. (Use wax paper if you are using the metal screw down lids to protect against corrosion.)

Your jar should appear full of herb, but herb should move freely when shaken.

Store your tincture in a cool, dark, dry place.

Shake several times a week, and check your alcohol levels. (If the alcohol has evaporated a bit and the herb is not totally submerged, be sure to top off the jar with more alcohol. Herbs exposed to air can introduce mold and bacteria into your tincture.) Likewise for the glycerite.

Allow the mixture to extract for 6 to 8 weeks.

Strain, bottle & label! Seriously don't forget to label. (Yes, I've tried to get away with it before.)

Our belief that we have been given everything that we need to live life abundantly is over and over again revealed to us in so many wonderful ways.


Receive them.

It's all around us!


Eschscholzia californica (AKA, California poppy, golden poppy, California sunlight, cup of gold) is a species of flowering plant in the Papaveraceae family, native to the United States and Mexico.

Papaver rhoeas (AKA, common poppy, corn poppy, corn rose, field poppy, Flanders poppy, or red poppy) is an annual herbaceous species of flowering plant in the poppy family, Papaveraceae. This poppy is notable as an agricultural weed (hence the common names including "corn" and "field") and after World War I as a symbol of dead soldiers. The Shirley Poppy is cultivated from the Papaver rhoeas.




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