The California poppy, Eschscholzia californica, is a flowering plant native to the United States, primarily California, but it can also be found in Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and northern Mexico.
History of California Poppy
The California poppy has a rich history in its ecological role and significance.
Native American Use
Long before European settlers arrived, Native American tribes in California used the California poppy for medicinal and practical purposes. They utilized the plant for its sedative effects to address ailments like toothaches and insomnia. Additionally, the seeds were used as a food source, and the plant was used for dye.
The California poppy was introduced to European audiences in the early 19th century. Adelbert von Chamisso, a German naturalist, named the flower after his friend Johann Friedrich Eschscholtz during an exploratory voyage to the West Coast of the U.S.
Who California Poppy is Perfect For
How to Enjoy California Poppy
The main active ingredients in California poppy are alkaloids, including benzylisoquinoline alkaloids (BIAs) and protopines. These alkaloids are thought to be responsible for the plant's sedative, anxiolytic, and analgesic effects.
California poppy works by interacting with the body's neurotransmitters, including gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps to calm the brain and promote relaxation. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood and sleep.
The alkaloids in California poppy bind to GABA receptors in the brain, which increases the activity of GABA. This leads to a calming and relaxing effect. The alkaloids also bind to serotonin receptors, which can help to improve mood and sleep.
In addition to its effects on GABA and serotonin, California poppy may also have other mechanisms of action. For example, it has been shown to inhibit the production of certain enzymes that break down neurotransmitters. This can help to increase the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, which can have a calming and relaxing effect.