In California, the transition from late winter to early spring is quite remarkable. It is the perfect time to take advantage of the lush green rolling hills and colorful wildflowers popping up everywhere in the landscape.
As landscape designers, we love to incorporate native plants into our garden. By doing so, we honor our local soils and mirror our surrounding environments. California landscapes are well-known for is the golden state flower, California Poppy. Botanically known as Eschscholzia californica.
The California Poppy bright, delicate, orange flowers excite our visual senses. And it alerts us Spring is around the corner. What many people don’t know is, this native California flower possesses so much healing medicine within its petite form.
For centuries, the Native American peoples used the whole plant. It was boiled in a tea or steamed as a vegetable food. The medicinal remedy was used as skin treatment, remedy for toothaches, headaches, sores and calm sick babies. Unlike the Middle Eastern poppy which is more potent, this delicate flower can be used by anyone, except those who are pregnant.
The CA Poppy should be harvested fresh in the Spring, removing whole plant at its base. Take the fresh stems, leaves and flowers, fill a large mason jar half way. Cover with boiling hot water. And let sit for 1hour to 24hours. Strain and sip hot or cold. Depending on your taste it may be bitter. I find this California wild flower sweet to taste with an earthy undertone.
This plant is abundant in many backyard gardens. It can be found growing in edges of patios of our outdoor spaces. And it can be found hiking in open spaces with lush landscape. This plant can be easily taken as tea. The transformative and heal effects from this plant when taken as a tea are relaxing, reduce of anxiety, stress, calms an over heightened nervous system, aids in depression and restless sleep. Drinking a cup before going to bed for a week or two has known to have profound effects in treating insomnia and restlessness.
On an energetic level, the plant represents the beginning of Spring. In many ways it absorbs the heart essence of the sun. It can ben felt when drinking its medicine, you also receive a taste of the sun energy. Drinking Poppy Tea can help ground ground you, focus, and calm your busy mind. The next time you are hiking or visiting someone’s backyard garden oasis, take a moment to look for the California Poppy, it may be the remedy you are needing at that very moment!
For centuries the CA Poppy has been an iconic focal point for artist painting the CA Landscape, now you understand the true essence of this wonderful plant.