The opium poppy is a plant that bears red, purple, pink and white flowers on a central bulbous pod that is usually about 3 to 5 feet in height. It is widely grown in countries such as North America, South America, Europe and Asia while Turkey, Australia and India are the major producers of this plant. When the plant is scratched, the pod produces milk latex called opium which contains a variety of opiates that include morphine and codeine. Leaves of the plant alternate in a simple clasping appearance while the capsule-shaped fruit expands like a disc.
The seeds are obtained from its flowers which are also known as khus-khus. These seeds are used in various forms of diets that provide great taste and many health benefits. Here are some of the most alluring uses and health benefits of the plant:
Adds flavor – The seeds add great flavor when used on bread, rolls, cakes and cookies.
Grinded form – People across the globe make use of the ground form of the seeds to dish up various types of desserts.
Sauces – The seeds can be used as a thickening agent for various kinds of sauces.
Cooking – Seeds are great to add on vegetables, noodles and fishes for that added aroma and flavor.
Opium – Famous for its properties, the seeds are storehouses for the drug which is essential in various herbal medicinal preparations. Unfortunately, some criminal minds use it as a narcotic drug which makes the illegitimate use of the seeds.
Mineral Source – The plant’s seeds are a great source for minerals such as copper, iodine, magnetism, manganese and zinc.
Enzymes – They help increase the enzymes in the body such as nuclease, lipase, emulsion and diastase.
Fatty acids – The seeds are a great source of fatty acids most especially omega-3.
Carbohydrates – The seeds provide essential carbohydrates that enhance energy levels to the human body for routine functions.
Digestion – These seeds are useful remedies for digestive problems in the human body.
Heart Disease – The presence of linoleic acid in the seeds tend to protect the body against heart attacks and other heart ailments.
Breast Cancer – Oil from the seeds can be helpful to treat cancer.
Here is a brief description of the recommended doses to take advantage of its benefits:
- Consume half a tablespoon full of poppy seeds a day to help with asthma and cough ailments.
- Drink a 25 ml decoction of the seeds once a daily to help with nervous system disorders.
- Cure insomnia by eating a twice daily serving of 4gm of paste made up of the seeds.
- For diarrhea, take in a 3 to 4 gm of paste made up of the seeds twice daily as well.
- In case of abdominal pain, take the seeds in powered form along with ghee.
- Create a paste made up of the seeds and apply it over swelling and joint pains for relief.