What The Wizard of Oz can tell you about California Poppy

What The Wizard of Oz can tell you about California Poppy

The Wizard of Oz is a fever dream, literally. This bizarre old Hollywood film is full of flying monkeys, wicked witches and... adaptogens? That's right! The scene in which Dorothy falls asleep in a field of poppies is based on fact. Those just might be California poppies, a flower native to North America and known for its sedative properties.
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Historically used in folk medicine and made in tinctures or supplements, California poppy is an interesting paradox of a flower. In high doses, one can experience pain relief, relaxation and sleep enhancement. But in lower doses, poppies can induce euphoria and a stimulating response.

How does it work?

California poppies contain plant compounds called alkaloids. Alkaloids impact the GABA receptors in the brain, which are linked to the central nervous system, regulating our nerve cells. Compounds that enhance our GABA receptors have sedative effects, and compounds that inhibit them have a stimulative impact.

The alkaloids present in the California poppy flower are protopine and allocryptopine. Their interactions with the GABA receptors can help explain the poppies said sedative and lifting effects, depending on dosage of course.

Where to try it?

You can stimulate and invigorate with these golden beauties while you sip on our white wine alternative, Sharp. We use a small dose of this flower along with other interesting botanicals like clary sage and nettle leaf to enhance and sharpen the mind. 

Unlike traditional wine in which the alcohol is used for stimulation or sedation, there aren't the same negative side effects. Dorothy awakens from the poppy field without a hangover, in fact drinking Sharp will be plenty replenishing. At Three Spirit, we view our alcohol alternatives as not missing out on something or trying imitating something that isn't there, but adding something beneficial instead.

Latin Name: Eschscholzia californica 

Why we love it: Proponents claim that these supplements promote relaxation, reduce mild pain and enhance sleep. In fact, the California poppy has long been used in folk medicine for its sedative properties.

Function: Modulates the effects of stress and invigorates the body

Flavour: Sweet and warm initially, followed by a gentle alkaloid bitterness.

Extraction method: Ethanolic extraction

Actives: GABA agonists

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