California Poppy Seed Extract
Recognized by its beautiful orange flowers, California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) grows across North America. Native Americans utilized this plant in their daily meals and their medicine. In this article, we will cover how California Poppy improves sleep, helps you relax, and more.
Alkaloids And Their Biosynthesis
Benzylisoquinoline alkaloids are metabolites with a wide range of effects, including relaxation and discomfort relief. California Poppy plants produce these alkaloids.
Sanguinarine is a major benzylisoquinoline alkaloid originating from California Poppy. This alkaloid inhibits bacterial growth, and is even an ingredient found in toothpaste . Other alkaloids extracted from Eschscholzia californica are californidine, escholtzine, and caryachine .
WRKY transcription factors play a role in alkaloid biosynthesis across plant species. California Poppy possesses 50 WRKY genes, with different expression levels across plant parts .
Benefits Of California Poppy Seed Extract
California Poppy seed extract can improve your sleep. In a study, mice received between 100 and 200 mg/kg body weight of California Poppy extract. Doses above 100 mg/kg induced sleep in mice .
The alkaloids act on GABA receptors. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter which can promote sleep .
A study included 22 individuals who struggled with sleep. They received a maximum of 4 pills every night for a month. The pills contained 80 mg of California Poppy extract and 32 mg of Valeriana officinalis extract.
The results after one month were:
- Sleep struggles decreased by 30%
- Total duration of sleep increased by 30 minutes
- The efficiency of sleep increased from 78% to almost 85%
- Waking up during the night decreased by 25% .
30 patients with similar sleep issues received 20 drops of either Eschscholzia californica or Passiflora incarnata (passionflower) extract at bedtime for 40 days. Individuals in the California Poppy group slept 59 minutes longer than the passionflower group .
California Poppy seed extract promotes relaxation. In a mice study, California Poppy extract dosage of 25 mg/kg body weight induced calm behavior .
Moreover, another study demonstrated similar results. Mice received 25 mg/kg body weight of California Poppy extract. The staircase test showed anti conflict effects in the California Poppy group. Additionally, the poppy seed group spent more time in the lit box during the light/dark choice test .
Another study included 264 individuals. One group received a placebo, and the other group received tablets containing Crataegus oxyacantha and Eschscholtzia californica extracts for 3 months. Individuals experienced significant improvement in their mood. They also reported increased feelings of calmness .
California Poppy seeds impact discomfort relief. A mice study showed that supplementation with this plant extract reduced discomfort in mice. Animals performed less discomfort-reducing activities, such as twitching, jerking, and stretching .
A rat study dealt with effects of California Poppy extract on discomfort perception and peripheral nervous system issues. The injection dose was between 100 and 300 mg/kg body weight.
A single dose significantly reduced discomfort perception in rats. Thermal and other stimuli had no effects on rats, as California Poppy extract inhibited the aching sensations .
Side Effects Of California Poppy Seed Extract
As California Poppy seed extract promotes relaxation and calmness, supplementation can cause slowed breathing and sleepiness.
In the human study, the pill containing 80 mg of California Poppy extract (and one more ingredient) caused frequent urination in one participant .
11.5% of participants who received Eschscholzia californica extract (plus another plant extract) had mild digestive issues in another human study .
California Poppy seed extract is a safe and effective sleep and relaxation remedy. However, it’s not for everyone, as some people experience some side effects. When in doubt, consult a qualified naturopathic doctor before introducing a new supplement.
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Dr. Nattha Wannissorn, PhD, is a scientist who makes health research accessible to the general public through health and wellness blogs. She received her PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of Toronto and BA in Molecular & Computational Biology from the University of Pennsylvania.
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