California Poppy

Family: Papaveracea

Genus & Species: Eschscholzia californica
Common Names: California Sunlight, Cup of Gold, Golden Poppy
Overview: The California Poppy is an ephemeral but tenacious perennial that is native to the Western United States and Northern Mexico where it can be found in a wide range of soils. [1] This herb is mostly known for its mild sedating and pain-easing actions; however, it’s also effective for relaxing blood vessels and healing damaged skin. While this herb is a cousin of the opium poppy, it contains none of the potent and addictive alkaloids of its infamous relative. In fact, some Native American nations were known to use this herb as a sedative for children because of its gentle action. [2]  
Therapeutic Properties: Analgesic, anxiolytic, hypnotic, sedative, antispasmodic, vulnerary, hypotensive, nervine
Typical Uses: Like many herbs, California poppy can have a range of actions depending on how it’s used. When the herb is used topically, either infused into an oil or as a poultice, its vulnerary and analgesic properties will be most prominent. Many different Native American nations would crush the plant and apply it as a compress to ease pain, increase blood flow, and expedite the healing process. [3] Alternatively, the herb can be tinctured or infused into a tea which will bring outs its sedative, hypotensive, and anxiety-reducing effects. California poppy is truly an ideal herb for anyone suffering from insomnia or a nervous heart. [2]


1. Eschscholzia Californica | Missouri Botanical Garden

2. California Poppy | Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary & Supply

3. Herb of the Week: California Poppy | House of Citrine