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Botanical Name(s): Papaver Somniferum
Family Name: Papaveraceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Papaveraceae
Genus: Papaver
Species: P. somniferum
Popular Name(s): Poppy Seeds, Aphium Opium Poppy, White Poppy, Posta, Plant of Joy, Mawseed, Common Garden Poppy
Parts Used: Seeds, Flowers.
Habitat: Cultivated on large scale in India, at altitude of 1500m - 2100m

The term papaver somniferum means the “sleep bringing poppy”, which refers to the narcotic property of some of the opiates. Also known as opium poppy, it is an annual plant reaching 3 to 5 feet height. It bears brilliant white, pink, purple and red flowers, grown on a central bulbous pod. When scratched, the pod produces milky latex called opium, which contains a variety of opiates, including codeine and morphine. The leaves are alternate, simple, clasping and toothed. Fruits are like a capsule, with an expanded disc at the top and over small holes. Minute seeds are dispersed through the small holes. Poppy is widely grown as an ornamental flower throughout Europe, North America, South America and Asia. Australia, Turkey and India are the major producers of opium poppy. Live opium poppy plants and seeds are sold widely by seed companies and nurseries in the western world, including the United States.

Plant Chemicals
(+)- morphine, thebaine, codeine, oripavine. moisture, 4.3–5.2; protein, 22.3–24.4; ether extract 46.5–49.1; nitrogen-free extract, 11.7–14.3; crude fibre, 4.8–5.8; ash, 5.6–6.0; calcium, 1.03–1.45; phosphorous, 0.79–0.89%; iron, 8.5–11.1 mg/100 g; thiamine, 740–1,181; riboflavin, 765–1,203; and nicotinic acid, 800–1,280 mg/100 g; carotene is absent, iodine, 6 mg/kg; manganese, 29 mg/kg; copper, 22.9 mg/kg; magnesium, 15.6 g/kg; sodium, 0.3 g/kg; potassium, 5.25 g/kg; and zinc, 130 mg/kg; lecithin, 2.80%; oxalic acid, 1.62%; pentosans, 3.0–3.6%; traces of narcotine and an amorphous alkaloid; and the enzymes diastase, emulsin, lipase, and nuclease. Poppyseed oil cakes are estimated to have 88 feed units per 100 kg, 27.5% digestible crude protein and 25.6% digestible true protein. Per 100 g the seed is reported to contain 533 calories, 6.8 g H2O, 18.0 g protein, 44.7 g fat, 23.7 g total carbohydrate, 6.3 g fiber, 6.8 g ash, 1448 mg Ca, 848 mg P, 9.4 mg Fe, 21 mg Na, 700 mg K, a trace of b-carotene equivalent, 0.95 mg thiamine, 0.17 mg riboflavin, and 0.98 mg niacin.

Uses & Benefits of Poppy