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Poppy seeds are popular in the culinary world, whether used as a pastry ingredient or brewed as tea. Their nutty and fruity taste can be irresistible to many people, which is one of the reasons why it's such a well-loved ingredient. When prepared as tea, poppy seeds may offer numerous health benefits, including mood improvement, pain alleviation and stress reduction.1
However, poppy tea's safety has often been questioned because of its possible toxicity and opiate content, especially when the they are improperly harvested or prepared incorrectly. Some batches of poppy seeds may contain high amounts of opiate alkaloids, including morphine and codeine.2 To learn more about poppy seed tea, its benefits and the proper preparation, continue reading this article.
What Is Poppy Seed Tea?
Many people may be familiar with poppy plants due to their vibrant and eye-catching flowers, which are usually in full bloom in the late spring or early summer.3 But aside from the pop of color, the poppy plant is the source of numerous properties, although not all of them may be categorized as inherently good.
One of its most infamous products is opium, a narcotic substance taken from the sap inside unripe opium pods. This drug is extremely addictive and may lead to dangerous and, at times, fatal complications.4 This is one of the reasons why poppy seeds have been cited to have specific side effects when taken in excessive amounts.
However, this doesn’t mean that poppy seeds are necessarily bad. It all boils down to moderation and the proper handling and preparation of the seeds. Poppy seeds are loaded with calcium, iron and zinc, which means that they may offer you incredible health benefits once you add them to your diet.
In fact, poppy seed tea is known for its sedative and anti-diarrheal effect. Not only that, but it may also help dull painful conditions due to its analgesic properties, and may positively influence a handful of other body systems.
Unfortunately, the abuse or insufficient knowledge about this tea has led to a few fatal incidences. The most recent case happened in 2016, when a college student passed away after drinking a potent batch of poppy tea.7 If you're planning on trying this tea, it's important that you're aware of your own threshold and sensitivities. It's also imperative that you test each batch of poppy seed tea to make sure that you're not unknowingly ingesting high amounts of the opiate alkaloids.
What Health Benefits Can You Get From Poppy Seed Tea?
Even though there have been numerous controversies on the safety of poppy seeds, they do contain numerous nutrients and active components that may help the body function more efficiently. Here are some of the health benefits poppy seed tea may offer:
What Nutrients Can You Get From Poppy Seed Tea?
Poppy seeds are filled with vitamins and minerals that are crucial in optimizing and maintaining the skeletal, immune and muscular systems. Some of which include calcium, phosphorus, niacin, folate and iron. When brewed as tea, these minerals may transfer to the liquid, giving your health a boost.