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The yellow herbs of summer: California poppy.

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Very good for sleepless nights.

Picking

This garden-grown beauty (up here, that is) flowers all summer (except this year, cos we've had nothing but rain, dreariness, cold wind, rain, and rain). Pick the aboveground parts and dry them, or make a fresh herb tincture.

Uses

Tea: a tea of California poppy is as relaxing as a tincture, but it's not as nifty when you've been tossing and turning - and tossing and turning. There, the tincture has a distinct advantage: you can keep it on your bedside table and just take a dropperful when you feel you've tossed and turned enough for this night.

Tincture: make a fresh herb tincture: 1:2 95 % (100 g (or 1 oz) fresh herb to 2 dl (or 2 fl.oz) of 95 % (or 190 proof) alcohol). Let sit in a tightly closed jar out of the sun for 1-2 weeks, strain, bottle, label.

Take 10-15 drops every 10 minutes or until you fall asleep. Usually you drop off after the first dose, but occasionally it takes 2 or 3. A good combination is 1 part each of California poppy and milky oats tincture (Avena sativa) or SJW tincture (Hypericum perforatum or similar species). (Or a combination of equal parts of milky oats and SJW). Any of these tincture combos are popular with insomniac clients, up here. (Of course, it also helps to address the cause of insomnia ... mostly lifestyle (as in, no exercise, no daylight in the middle of the day, too much stress, etc.), but coffee is extremely popular in Finland, and that's quite apt to keep you awake, if you drink too much of it, or drink it too late in the day.

California poppy is also nice for the recovering opiate addict: it binds to the same spots in the brain as opiates, without the addictive or mindblowing effects. It calms those binding sites which would otherwise shout for opiates. Nice.

Tattoo: pull up a root (it's a straight taproot, quite easy to pull), break it open, and apply the bright orange juice to your skin. The tattoo won't even last for a day. Nice for those kids who yell "moooo-mmyy!" when you paint them with dandelion juice or grindelia gum: just rub it off and dry those tears dear, there, see? that wasn't so bad, was it?

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Related entries: Herbs for sorrow - Celandine tattoos - Yellow herbs: SJW - Dandelion - Goldenrod - Yellow bedstraw - Elecampane - Mullein - Calendula



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