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Poppy Seeds

(S) Ahiphena, serpent's poison,' for its narcotic properties

(C) Ying su qiao

Part used: seeds (non-narcotic)

Energetics: pungent, astringent, sweet/heating/ sweet VK- P+

Tissues: plasma, blood, muscle, bone, marrow and nerves

Systems: nervous, digestive, respiratory, circulatory

Actions: astringent, carminative, antispasmodic, sedative, analgesic

Indications: diarrhea, dysentery, children's diarrhea, abdominal pain, poor absorption, cough, insomnia, nerve pain

Precautions: gastritis, colitis, high Pitta

Preparation: infusion, powder (250 mg to 1 g)

Poppy Seeds are similar in properties to nutmeg and are often used in conjunction with it. They are a good astringent for the intestines, possessing carminative and stomachic properties, thus also increasing Agni while promoting absorption. They are effective for nervous digestive disorders of children or of high Vata types. They strengthen the villi of the small intestine. As a spice, they are antidotal to the gasproducing properties of legumes.

Their quality is tamasic. They induce sleep and, in long term usage, dull the mind and so may inhibit awareness, though they do help bring down high Vata psychological imbalances. As a nervine they may be used with valerian.

One-quarter ounce of poppy seeds can be simmered in one pint of water along with one teaspoon each of nutmeg and ginger powder and taken three times a day immediately after meals for nervous digestion. A cup may also be taken before sleep to promote rest.

   
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