Papaver rhoeas Linn
    Fam., Papaveraceae.
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Opium and It's Preparations

Common Names: Flores Rhoeados; Flos Papaveris; Corn Poppy. 

Part Used: Petals and Capsules.   

Medicinal Usage: Anodyne and expectorant.     

Preparations: Extract, Tincture, Infusion and a Syrup. Formerly it was official in many national pharmacopeias in the form of a bright red syrup e.g. Syrup of Red Poppy.  

Habitat: The Red Poppy is a native of Europe and the British Isles. The poppy is also naturalised in North America. It grows in great abundance, especially on disturbed ground. 

Constituents: The ripe fresh capsules contain the same milky sap that is found in the Asiatic, Papaver somniferum. Extracts prepared from them have been found to exhibit the properties of Opium. The quantities of alkaloids present tend to be variable. However the amounts recovered does not cover the cost of preparation. The major alkaloids present are, isorhoeadine, papaverrubines, protopine, rhoeadine and stylopine.

Notes: The major alkaloid present is rhoeadine, which is sparingly soluble in water and alcohol. Its tinctorial powers are prodigious. 1 part in 10,000 of water, will turn the water a purplish red. 1 part in 200,000 of water will produce a rose red solution. Even dilutions of 1 in 800,000 will produce a distinct red hue. Although the preparations are no longer official, The Red Poppy is still widely used in folk medicine. The seeds are utilised for the preparation of fine fixed oils.  

The Extra Pharmacopoeia (Br) 1958.