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California Poppy - Herbal Wisdom Wednesday

californiapoppy eschsholzia californica herbalism herbalwisdomwednesday herbblurb herbs moonriseherbs nervine sedative herbs

Common Name: California Poppy


Latin Name: Eschscholzia californica 


Family Name: Papaveraceae


The Blurb: This herb and flower is one of my favorite plants of all time! It is our state flower, and I always love seeing the bright pop of color these flowers have on grassy hillsides. California poppy is an amazing sedating nervine and shows great benefit for those who suffer from insomnia or acute/intense anxiety. It’s relaxing for the body and mind. The leaf is typically used for medicinal purposes, and is usually taken in tincture (my favorite way to take it) or teas and sometimes in capsule form. It’s very tasty with some glycerin added into the tincture. During times like this it may be tempting to turn to other things to release stress or anxiety but California poppy is an excellent choice to take before bed, some of the best nights I've slept have been from taking just a small amount of California poppy. Be mindful of interactions with other sedating herbs and be careful when trying it as some people may feel more sedated than others. It may be best to try before bed time or in late afternoon if you're feeling anxious and need to wind down. Don't take it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding unless it is cleared safe by a doctor or herbalist but it is best to stick with the mild nervines that are very safe for pregnancies or babies (Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Milky Oats, etc.). For the rest of us who are scared or nervous with the world right now, try a few drops or a tea blend with this amazing plant in it and blissful sleep should hopefully come that night. 


Characteristics: California poppies have four bright orange petals that make this plant very visible from far away. The petals almost have glossy look to them. The leaves are thin and feather like, and have a light pale green color to them. The plants do not grow very tall but can be found in larger bushels. California poppies grow in many different environments, from the mountains to sandy cliffs by the beach. These flowers typically bloom from late spring to late summer. Although now found in different states and even in Europe, California poppy is naive to the west coast predominantly from southern Oregon to southern California.

*A word about California poppies, from my understanding it is illegal to harvest them when you do not own the land or do not have permission to harvest from the land owners. These poppies pop up in many people's yards around this area, so find a friend or scope around your own yard if you wish to harvest them. 

-Maisie Moore

You can plant your own with locally made seed kits!  Find them here:

 The bulk herb is available here:

 This delicious heart-soothing formula from local herbalist Candice Brunlinger:



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