California Poppy: Benefits, Uses, Dosage, and Side Effects – Healthline

California Poppy: Benefits, Uses, Dosage, and Side Effects – Healthline

California poppies are beautiful flowers that grow wild in many parts of North America.

In addition to beautifying landscapes across the United States, this plant may offer some medicinal benefits. It’s often touted for anti-anxiety and sleep-inducing effects, but you may wonder whether these claims are backed by evidence.

This article explains everything you need to know about California poppies, including their supplements and potential health benefits.

The California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) is a flower that belongs to the Papaveraceae or poppy plant family. It’s the state flower of California but grows in many other U.S. states, including Arizona, as well as in Northern Mexico (1, 2).

California poppies grow abundantly along roadsides as native wildflowers and are also commonly grown in gardens.

California poppy flowers range in color from orange to yellow and are a food source for pollinators like bumblebees. They’re also known as “cup of gold” and “California sunlight” because of their bright, cheery color (3).

How is California poppy used?

In addition to being a popular flower amongst gardeners, the California poppy is used for medicinal purposes.

Supplements containing California poppy extract, including tinctures and capsules, are said to have calming effects. Proponents claim that these supplements promote relaxation, reduce mild pain, and enhance sleep.

In fact, the California poppy has long been used in folk medicine for its sedative properties (4).

California poppy supplements are commonly mixed with other calming herbs like valerian, but some supplements contain only California poppy extract.


The California poppy is the state flower of California. It grows wild in many areas of the United States and is also a popular garden flower. It’s typically marketed as a natural sleep enhancer and commonly combined with other calming herbs like valerian.

The California poppy contains a variety of plant compounds, including alkaloids. These compounds act on GABA receptors, which are distributed throughout your central nervous system.

GABA receptors respond to the neurotransmitter gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), which inhibits neuron firing. It’s one of the main neurotransmitters responsible for sleep regulation (5).

Drugs or compounds that enhance GABA receptors — increasing the amount of GABA in your body — have sedative effects, while those that inhibit GABA receptors have stimulative effects (6).

Alkaloids in California poppy, including protopine and allocryptopine, interact with GABA receptors. While studies are limited, some research suggests that the extract of this plant has sedative properties when used as a supplement (4).

All the same, owing to a lack of research, it’s not suggested to use California poppy to treat any health conditions.

May promote …….


Natural medicines