Clinical studies performed with California poppy included patients with chronic arthritis. The study showed that it can be effective in reducing chronic pain and helping patients sleep at night.
If you take the correct dosage, California poppy will help you sleep at night because of its pain relief and sedative properties. This makes it an ideal remedy for acute pain with or without insomnia.
Dr Wylde explained on The Dr Oz show that California poppy is an analgesic and sedative. This makes it an ideal alternative to analgesic medications. In the case of chronic pain, your condition would probably also benefit from an anti-inflammatory herb. In fact, California poppy was given with Devil's claw (an anti-inflammatory herb). The combination of analgesic and anti-inflammatory is important when treating acute and chronic pain. Often inflammation is involved in the condition and the anti-inflammatory herb will helpd reduce the pain by reducing the inflammation.
In this study, the majority of patients reported clinical benefits following 28 days of treatment. Benefits were observed after 14 days of treatment with continued improvement over the next 14 days (Day 28). After 14 days of treatment, benefits included reduced pain, patient could walk a longer distance without resting, reduced stiffness, sleep, reduced swelling, patient tolerates exercise, and improved flexibility in movement. After 28 days of treatment, benefits included increased mobility, decreased swelling, decreased tenderness, range of motion was less painful, reduced pain, climbing stairs less difficult, and increased flexibility. This study used a dosage equivalent to 2 grams of the dried herb top of California poppy and it was taken at night. The extract was a standardized extract. There was also a study done in patients with acute pain. In this study, 2.5 grams of the dried herb top were used. Pain was reduced in the majority of patients after 7 days. Both trials also used California poppy in combination with a strong anti-inflammatory herb called Devil's claw.
Dr Wylde presented a dosage to be taken and this is because both the analgesic and sedative effects are dose dependent. In other words, if you do not take enough it may not help you. However, this also means that you have to be cautious because of the sedative effects. Therefore, use caution if operating heavy machinery, driving a motor vehicle or involved in activities requiring mental alertness. Consumption with alcohol, other drugs and/or natural health products with sedative properties will result in an additive effect.
In my experience, the best time to take California poppy is at night. It will help relieve the pain and help you sleep. It was taken at night in the above trials. In terms of dosage, take the equivalent of 2 to 3 grams of the dried herb top (aerial part) of California poppy at night. There are concentrated extracts on the market that will make it easier for you to take this amount in a single capsule or tablet.
Prior to taking California poppy, I would consult with a health care practitioner if you are taking other pain or sleep medications. When used at the proper dosage and plant part, this herb is powerful so do not underestimate its potential effects.
There are products on the market that are a combination of California poppy and Devil's claw. If you want to obtain good relief: keep in mind the dosage of California poppy (at least 2 grams of the dried herb top) with or without Devil's claw. In the trial, the patients used 1 capsule at night of the product which contained the 2 grams of California poppy plus 1 gram of Devil's claw. They also took Devil's claw during the day as an anti-inflammatory remedy.
There are various sources of California poppy out there. The one used in the clinical studies described above were from CuraPhyte Technologies (www.curaphyte.com). The extract used in the trial was a standardized extract and it is available in health food stores (CuraPhyte brand) and via natural health professionals in their clinics (EnteriPhyte brand).
Response by Guy Chamberland M.Sc., Ph.D.