The Opium Poppy and its Mineral Rich Seeds.



The opium poppy is used for both its edible seeds and for medical opiate, including among others morphine and codeine. In Latin its name means "sleep-bringing poppy" but it's not the only poppy used as a sedative. The north American Indians traditionally used the Golden Poppy to treat toothache and insomnia. 


A commercial field of opium poppies


 A ripe poppy seed head


The shape of the poppy seed head (right) is used in northern Russian architecture to describe the bulbous dome shaped church roofs (below).


Church on Kizhi Island, Russia


The opium poppy seed is an important crop both for its seeds and its oil, about 40% of the seed. It is the only species in the poppy family that is grown on a large scale as a crop.


The poppy seed is very rich in Calcium, about 12 times more per gram than milk. It is also high in Phosphorus, Zinc and Manganese.

Poppy seeds are so tiny (see below) that you need a special poppy seed grinder to release the oil to make a paste although you can use a mortise and pestle.


Poppy with larger sesame seeds


Poppy Seeds v Milk

Generally in Europe and the USA the price per RDA of Calcium (800mg) is about the same for poppy seeds as for milk but poppy seeds contain many more essential minerals per 100g than milk with:

12 x Calcium, Ca
195 x Iron, Fe
26 x Magnesium, Mg
9 x Phosphorus, P
5 x Potassium, K
20 x Zinc, Zn
160 x Copper, Cu
1700 x Manganese, Mn
6 x Selenium, Se

Data from the United States Department of Agriculture


Magnoliophyta: Magnoliopsida: Magnoliidae: Papaverales: Papaveraceae: Papaver: Papaver somniferum