Poppy seed


The opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) is grown for opium, opiates, or poppy seeds, which are used in cooking and baking throughout the world. Morphine, a strong pain killer, is the major alkaloid of the opium poppy. Opium and the drugs derived from opium are addictive and may cause sedation or slowed breathing.
All parts of the poppy plant contain morphine and codeine; poppy seeds contain morphine in different amounts and eating foods with poppy seeds may result in false positives for opiates in a drug test. Poppy seed cake, bagels, muffins, and rolls have not been shown to contain enough poppy seed to produce a false positive.
Poppy seed itself is not used for any medical condition. Poppy seeds and poppy seed oil have been used in diagnostic procedures and as a carrier and contrast medium.

Related Terms

Acetylcodeine, acetylmorphine, adormidera, aluminum, alpha-tocopherol, benzylisoquinoline alkaloids, breadseed poppy, brown mixture (BM), calcium, Californian poppy, campesterol, caproic acid, codeine, codeine-6-glucuronide, copper, cyclolaudenol, delta-5-avenasterol, diglyceride, dormideira, elixir paregorico (Brazil), Ethiodol®, fatty acids, fiber, gamma-tocopherol, garden poppy, hanka, heroin, hexanal, hexanol, iodized poppy seed oil, iron, kompot, linoleic acid, Lipiodol®, magnesium, morphine, morphine-3-glucuronide, morphine-6-glucuronide, narcotine (noscapine), oleic acid, Oleum papaveris Seminis, opioid, opium, palmitic acid, Papaveraceae (family), Papaver somniferum, papaverine, pentanol, pentylfuran, phytic acid, Polish heroine, poppy head, poppy seed, poppy seed tea (PST), poppy straw, protein, reticuline, sanguinarine, sitosterol, sterols, stigmasterol, tetrahydropapaveroline, thebaine, triglycerides, white poppy seed, zinc.
Note : Although some reference to other parts of the Papaver somniferum plant is made in this monograph, the main focus is on the poppy seed. California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) and opium poppy are two very different species; the former is not covered in this monograph.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Chemotherapy adjuvant (Grade: C)
Iodized poppy seed oil (Lipiodol®) has been used to improve the detection of tumors with standard methods in patients with cancer of the liver. It has also been used as an adjunct to therapy. The effect of poppy seed oil alone is not clear from available studies. Additional studies are warranted before a conclusion can be made.
Cognitive function (Grade: C)
Preliminary research suggests that Lipiodol® (iodized poppy seed oil) does not benefit cognitive or motor function in iodine-deficient children; however, urinary iodine levels improved. The effect of poppy seed oil alone cannot be determined from these studies. Additional research is warranted before a conclusion can be made.
Diagnostic procedure (Grade: C)
Poppy seeds and poppy seed oil have been used in diagnostic procedures and as a contrast medium. More studies are needed in this area.
Iodine deficiency (Grade: C)
Lipiodol® (iodized poppy seed oil) has been evaluated as a source of iodine in deficient individuals, particularly children. Positive results have been noted and maintained for at least one year. The effect of poppy seed oil alone has not been determined.