Californian Poppy, Pain and Endometriosis research

What is it?

Californian Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) is native to Northern America and is the state flower of California. In herbal medicine today, the aerial parts of the plant are extracted including its flowers, leaves and stems.

Traditional use

It has long traditional use within Native American and Hispanic societies as an effective pain reliever (analgesic) and is renowned to be able calm and soothe agitated, anxious and sleep deprived states

Clinical research

Research shows that Californian Poppy interacts with GABA – a primary neurotransmitter that promotes calm affect and relaxes muscle tension. Californian Poppy useful in heart palpitations, anxiety and muscle spasm.

Californian Poppy is high in plant chemicals called ‘alkaloids’, such as eschscholzine and californidine which is what makes this herb mild sedative and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties.

Pain is reported as the most debilitating complaint of endometriosis (if you know, you know!) and many specialised gynecological herbalists find Californian Poppy helpful in people suffering from symptoms such as nervous tension, sleeplessness and anxiety/pain.

Californian Poppy is less common to find in the shops (In France, pharmacies sell a licensed herbal product combined with Hawthorn Flowers).


It’s the ‘safe cousin’ of Opium Poppy (Papaver somniferum) which is illegal to use due to its highly addictive properties, due to it’s opiate plant chemical constituents.

Californian Poppy is safe for children (traditionally the root was chewed to soothe tooth ache and beneficial with bed wetting in children). It rarely shows any unwanted side effects and has no addictive qualities. In fact, it is being used part of treatment protocols in drug rehabilitation centers in the states.

It is advised to use this herb under supervision from a healthcare professional.


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