Medicinal uses of Opium (Poppy Seeds)

About Opium or Poppy Seeds

Commonly called as Opium, it is the source of many narcotics like morphine and heroin. The meaning of its botanical name is “sleep inducing Opium”. It has been used since ancient times for its sedative properties. Opium acts on the nerves and relieves pain. Excess quantity produces sedative effects on the brain and nerves.

Opium is grown widely in India. The Arabs were the primary people who spread the cultivation of Opium Seeds. They are now cultivated in India, Turkey, France and other European countries.

Opium is normally dried and used. This is because the sedative properties get reduced when dried. The specialty of Opium is that they do not have any side effects. Hence, they are safe to be consumed by children and pregnant women.

Common and Botanical Names

The botanical name of Opium seed is Papaver somniferum and belongs to the family Papaveraceae. Common names of Opium or Poppy seeds include Opium, Khaskhas, Apheem, Aaphim postadaanaa, Aphini, Aalan, Avil, Oriental poppy etc. In Tamil, poppy seeds are called as Kasa Kasa.

Primary Medicinal Uses

Nerve Disorders

Opium is very effective in treating nerve disorders in the body. When taken over time, the medicine increase the strength of the body nerves.


Poppy seeds are very effective in treating diarrhea. The seeds are powdered and mixed with milk and consumed. They also cure the stomach pain caused due to excessive heat and dehydration. Opium is rich in fiber which helps in absorbing the water and thereby easing digestion.

The seeds can be roasted and powdered and mixed with honey and consumed. This is an alternate way of consuming Opium for diarrhea.


Opium is very effective in treating insomnia. They work on the nerves and bring peaceful sleep. You can consume a spoon of poppy seed oil before going to sleep.

Effective Coolant

Opium is an effective coolant for the body. They are ground and consumed. They reduce the body heat and keep the body cool.

Good Cholesterol levels

Opium increases the HDL or good cholesterol levels in the body. It increases the blood lipid profile thereby prevents strokes and artery diseases. It helps keep the cholesterol under control and reduces the blood pressure in the body.

Body Resistance

Poppy seeds increase body resistance. They increase the disease resistant properties of the body.

Kidney Stones

Opium seeds have the property to reduce calcium absorption. Hence they have the property to reduce the formation of kidney stones.

Rich Source of Nutrients

Besides being rich in fiber, the seeds are good source of Vitamin B. They also contain thiamine, folic acid, niacin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, etc. They are also rich in minerals like zinc, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, etc.

Pain Reliever

Poppy seeds are used as painkiller and muscle relaxant. They have been used to relieve toothaches and cures spasms.

Additional Uses

Poppy Seed Oil

Poppy Seeds are mainly used for extracting poppy seed oil which has many medicinal uses.


Poppy seeds are widely used in cooking as a flavoring agent.


Opium seeds are very effective in treating asthma. A spoon of the opium seeds are ground and consumed regularly for curing asthma.

Black circles

Opium seeds are very effective in removing dark spots. When a paste of the seeds is prepared and applied below the eyes, the dark circles get removed.


Poppy seeds are ground as a paste and applied over the itching area. This cures the itching.

Ornamental Plant

Poppy plants are widely used for ornamental purposes.. It is also called as garden Poppy.


Poppy seeds are used as main ingredients in preparing cough syrups and decoctions.


  • Poppy seeds should be taken in small quantities. Excess quantities are addictive in nature. Consuming excess opium seeds lead to health complications in the body.
  • Poppy seeds are difficult to grind. Some countries have special machines for grinding poppy seeds. Countries like India use Ammi and Kallu for grinding poppy seeds.
  • Poppy seeds test positive for presence of drugs in the body.

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