|Botanical Nomenclature||Papaver Somniferum|
|Common Name||Opium Poppy|
|Distinguishing Features of the Plant||Papaver Somniferum is an annual plant growing from 1 to 1,5cm, with oval, wavy, thoothed leaves and large, white, violet or crimson flowers. The flowering lasts from May to August, after which takes place the harvesting.|
|Part of the Plant with Active Substances||Capsules, seeds, leaves, flowers, opium (dried latex from the immature seed pods-fruits)|
|Active Substances||Morphine, narkotine, codeine, papaverine, thebaine, narceine (alkaloids of opium, the dried latex which is produced by the plant and dried by the air), resin, grease, wax, albumin|
|Pharmacological Effects - Therapeutic Applications||The whole plant has hypnotic, analgesic, sedative, astringent, expectorant, sudorific and spasmolytic properties. Also it is recommended for the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery and cough, while in folk medicine the herbal tea is administered for the treatment of asthma, bruises, runny nose, colic, conjunctivitis, headache , migraine, hypertension, neuralgia, rheumatic pain and toothache. Finally, the plant is used for extraction and production of morphine, codeine, noscapine (seed's infusion).|
|Method of Administration||The plant is administered as analgesic and sedative in the form of syrup. In the pharmaceutical industry it is widely used for the extraction of the alkaloids. Opium is commercially available as analgesic in the form of injections, tincture (1: 5 parts of herb's extract and mixture of ethanol-water 1: 1), ointment, powder and infusion, mainly for external use.
Warning: The use of herb preparations is not recommended without seeking advice from your physician or pharmacist. The substances they contain may interact with the subscribed drugs that the patient already takes, thus eliminating their therapeutic efficacy or inducing toxicity. They may also burden further weakened vital functions of the body thus exposing the patient to increased morbidity and life threatened conditions.
|Toxicity- Adverse Effects||The whole plant is toxic and addictive. Typical side effects after plant's consumption are miosis, psychological and emotional disorders. Overdosing causes cardiac arrhythmias, pulmonary edema, respiratory depression, loss of consciousness and eventually death.|
|References||1) Bιβλίο: Τα φαρμακευτικά βότανα και οι θεραπευτικές τους ιδιότητες, Λάμπρου Π. Σπύρου, Αγροτικός εκδοτικός οίκος, Αθήνα 1981, Β' τόμος, σελίδες: 366-369 2) Βιβλίο: Οδηγός των φαρμακευτικών φυτών, Paul Schauenberg, Ferdinand Paris, Εκδότης Μ. Γκιούρδας, Αθήνα 1981, σελίδες 44-45, 3)http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/papaver_somniferum.html 4)http://www.drugs.com/npp/poppy.html 5)http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/popwhi64.html|