The main active ingredients are alkaloids such as chelirubine, sanguinarine, and macarpine. Other alkaloids are present in minor concentrations. The herb also contains flavon-glycosides.
Gentle in effect, the major health properties of this herb are sedative, analgesic, and antispasmodic in action.
The California poppy is a member of the poppy family and somewhat distantly related to the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum).
While the California poppy does contain some sedative alkaloids, it contains no real opium.
The most common use of this herb is in diffusion for treating the various physical and psychological conditions including insomnia, bedwetting (incontinence), anxiety and nervous tension, particularly in children.
Because of its sedative properties, the California poppy can be used in the treatment of behavioral disorders such as ADD, ADHD in children and young adults. An experienced therapist should be consulted before using the plant for this purpose.
In addition, this herb has also been used to improve intellectual capacity, memory, and concentration in the elderly.