Some science behind the scenes

Poppy tea

Poppy tea is never ever made from poppy straw or the dried seed heads as the alkaloid content is ‘wrong’.  It is done, you can see it on the Internet, but I am not sure why anyone does because as one user said:

“dried pod tea sucks like  donkey balls and it gives you dizziness, and crap peripheral effects”.

But maybe it is an act of desperation.  Dried poppy straw tea tastes even worse than poppy heads and has even worse effects, occasional projectile vomiting appears to be normal.

Poppy tea is made from the unripened seed pods of papaver somniferum.  It is a little wasteful, as you have destroyed the seed pod ensuring this is the only dose you will be able to get from the plant and resulting in no seeds for future crops.  But whereas opium is illegal, poppy tea is not.  Poppy tea is probably only really feasible if you grow your own poppies. They must be papaver somniferum and ‘unadulterated’ varieties.  This is a recipe from a reputable source [a grower and seed supplier].

To prepare a tea, 1-2 hands-full of unripe seed capsules should be boiled in water for 15-20 minutes. Another and more efficient way to prepare a tea is to pulverize the capsules, add lemon juice, boil with some water for a few minutes and let it stay put for 10-30 minutes. Due to the acidic character of the solvent, the taste is quite sour, but it may be neutralised by alkaline additives”.

You can also put the mixture in a blender and then filter it afterwards adding the lemon juice to bring out the alkaloids.  Mekkonium was one of the oldest recipes for ingesting opium and was just this – chopped opium capsules in water.  The Greeks though then drank the extract with wine.

According to Dale Pendell in Pharmakopoeia,  a social worker named Eric Detzer, who was a poppy addict for many years, used to drop 6 to 12 poppy heads into a food processor add a cup of hot water and whizz them up.  It apparently made a milky green juice which he then put through a strainer and drank.


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