Papaver somniferum*

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Drug Free Partnership. (n.d.). What are these Drugs?. Retrieved from: http://www.drugfreepartnership.com/Tricyclic%20Antidepressants.html

Botanical Name: Papaver somniferum
Common name: Opium Poppy, Mawseed (Grieve, 1971, p. 651)
Family: Papaveraceae (Grieve, 1971, p. 651)
Parts used: Capsules, flowers (Grieve, 1971, p. 651)

History/Folklore: Opium is extracted from the poppy heads before they have ripened (Grieve, 1971, p. 651). Opium and morphine do not produce the same calmative and hypnotic effects which characterize it’s use in man (Grieve, 1971, p. 652)

Constituents: Alkaloids: Morphine Narcotine, Codeine, Thebaine, Narceine, Papaverine, Codamine and Rhoeadine (Grieve, 1971, p. 651)

Actions

  • Hypnotic (Grieve, 1971, p. 652)
  • Sedative (Grieve, 1971, p. 652)
  • Astringent (Grieve, 1971, p. 652)
  • Expectorant (Grieve, 1971, p. 652)
  • Diaphoretic (Grieve, 1971, p. 652)
  • Antispasmodic (Grieve, 1971, p. 652)
  • Blocks experience of pain (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 365)

 

Traditional Indications*

  • Pain relief (Grieve, 1971, p. 651)
  • Calm excitement (Grieve, 1971, p. 651)
  • Diarrhoea and dysentery (Grieve, 1971, p. 651)

 

Cautions & Contraindications

  • Sufficient doses can paralyse both heart and spinal chord (Grieve, 1971, p. 653)

 

*In Australia Opium is schedualed in any form except the alkaloids noscapine and papaverine (Australian Government, 2013, p. 284)

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