Not being able to sleep well causes us to wake up tired, exhausted and irritable with repercussions on everyday life. The California poppy is a well-known remedy for counteracting insomnia. Today we will therefore talk about its calming properties and in addition we will also try to understand its synergies to improve its sedative action. In fact, we can anticipate that scientific studies have observed that in order to have a significant improvement in the quality of sleep, it is necessary to increase the quantity of California poppy taken beyond the indications considered safe or to associate other remedies, and this is safer and more feasible. So, let's see how to make the most of the properties of the California poppy to sleep better and wake up regenerated.
California poppy, properties against insomnia
The California poppy, or Eschscholzia californica, contains several active ingredients including alkaloids, such as protopin, californidine and allocritopin, which are found only in this plant. Thanks to these characteristics, the California poppy is characterized by sedative, analgesic and anxiolytic properties (Fedurco et al, Biochem Res Int., 2015). However, as anticipated, to have a significant effect on the quality of sleep, it is recommended to combine the California poppy with other remedies, such as valerian, lemon balm, passionflower or melatonin. But let's go deeper into this aspect.
California poppy and valerian to improve sleep quality
Valerian, with its sedative and anxiolytic action, has been tested in combination with California poppy to treat sleep disorders. It has been observed that this association is very powerful, being able to improve the quality of sleep. In particular, after a month of taking the supplement, the time spent in bed while asleep increased. Not only that, the number of nocturnal awakenings fell by 25% and anxiety was reduced by 50% (Abdellah et al, J Tradit Complement Med, 2020). In the current study, one supplement tablet contained 80 mg of California poppy extracts and 32 mg of valerian extracts. The volunteers took 4 tablets of this supplement every day.
More herbs together for a broad-spectrum action against insomnia
There are remedies nowadays that offer a different combination. In particular, a combination of California poppy extracts, melatonin, vitamin B6, passionflower extract and lemon balm is proposed, in order to act both on falling asleep and on deep sleep. Already after two weeks of treatment with this supplement, the quality of sleep improved, the time to fall asleep was reduced and the time spent in bed asleep increased, thus making it a valid remedy in case of mild to moderate insomnia (Lemoine et al, Complement Ther Med, 2019).
Bedtime herbal tea
Without resorting to supplements, even with a simple herbal tea you can take advantage of the synergy between plants with a useful action against insomnia. Ask in chemist's or herbalist's shops to have an equal parts blend of lemon balm, valerian, and California poppy prepared for you. Bring a cup of water to the boil, remove from heat and add a teaspoon of herbal tea. Let it rest for 5 minutes, drink about half an hour before going to sleep.
California poppy, warnings and contraindications
The California poppy, especially if taken in the form of an extract, can interact with some drugs such as anticoagulants and drugs for blood pressure (Manda et al, Planta Med, 2016). Tea made from California poppy is considered safer but in any case it is always better to ask your doctor for advice. Avoid in pregnancy and breastfeeding.