Poppy Seed Tea

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Poppy seed tea is an herbal tea infusion using seeds from Papaver somniferum, the opium poppy plant.  The active opiate alkaloids are extracted into poppy seed tea by agitating a mixture primarily containing the poppy seeds and water.   The process of making poppy seed tea usually takes 30 minutes for beginners.  Once the tea is consumed, the effects are normally felt between 30-60 minutes.  I have detailed the entire process How to Make Poppy Tea on this site.

This post is for informational purposes only, I do not suggest growing or ingesting poppy plants in any form.  It is dangerous and can lead to possible addiction, especially if consumed regularly over long periods of time.


The Opium Poppy Plant

poppy seed tea flower


The opium poppy plant, Papaver somniferum, grows up to 5 feet tall.  The plant thrives with fertile soil and full sunlight.  Papaver somniferum is unique even amongst other poppy plants because it produces opiate alkaloids as a natural defense against predators.  Although a majority of the active opiate compounds are found in the pod walls, the seeds also contain a lower amount of these same alkaloids.  During the harvesting process, the seeds come into contact with the other parts of the flower.  The amount of the opiate compounds that the seeds contain varies widely from plant to plant.  The most common alkaloid found in poppy seeds is morphine, which usually comprises ~ 8%-14% of the total alkaloids.  Morphine is has been used for thousands of years to treat acute and chronic pain.  The other alkaloids contained in the seeds include codeine and thebaine.

Poppy Seed Tea: Types of Poppy Seeds

poppy seed tea seeds

The poppy seeds used for tea are obtained from the Papaver somniferum poppy plant mentioned above.  Most of the poppy seeds online and in grocery stores are derived from the Papaver somniferum plant.  The seeds also must be unwashed in order to have the active ingredients necessary to make poppy seed tea.  Most unwashed seeds are dark blue or black in color.  Consumers make sure to verify that the poppy seeds are actually labeled as unwashed.  This can usually be found by checking the outside of the package or bottle.

Poppy Seed Tea: Where to Find Seeds

Grocery Stores

Some individuals attempt to purchase the seeds in bulk from a local grocery store.  They often must ask employees whether or not the seeds are unwashed.  Another way individuals determine whether the seeds are unwashed is by looking for crushed up bits of the pods or stems in the bag or container.  These small pieces of sediment are usually light or dark brown and are can be very tiny.  Most people have started purchasing the seeds online due to convenience and expedited shipping times.

There is still a large number of consumers that purchase the seeds from grocery stores.  Tea drinkers find it easiest to check the natural or health food stores first.  Many of the national stores have already stopped selling bulk poppy seeds because they have lost money from people stealing the product.  Some individuals also run into another common problem.  Local stores may carry the seeds, but they don’t have the item in stock.  Chances are that there are several people in the average town/city looking for unwashed poppy seeds.  There may be hundreds in larger cities.  The stores also may carry unwashed seeds that are not very tasty or strong, and you can end up wasting your money.  Someone new to the tea can spend hours searching for seeds, which is why many tea drinkers suggest purchasing online.  It takes a little longer, but then it is delivered to their doorstep.

Purchasing Poppy Seeds Online

I suggest purchasing poppy seeds online for several reasons.  First, it is much easier to find unwashed poppy seeds online.  Second, the quality is much better online than anything you will be able to find locally.  Thirdly, prices are usually lower than what you find in the store.  One drawback is that you may have to wait for delivery, but next day shipping is usually available.  If you live in a big city, same day delivery may be available.  I have completed a List of the Best Seeds for Tea that ranks each brand.  I keep that list updated on a weekly basis to reflect changes in quality.  If you don’t want to visit that post, you can see my link below for Sincerely Nuts Poppy Seeds.  The Sincerely Nuts Poppy Seeds have consistently been high quality, and they have increased in quality recently.  They also currently have the best prices for great unwashed seeds.  The Amazon link for the 3 lb bag is listed below.  It is the best price per pound.

Sincerely Nuts Whole Blue Poppy Seeds 3LB Bag

Poppy seed tea has become more popular over the past ten years as opiate use has increased.  The other form of tea, Poppy Pod Tea, has decreased in popularity as it has become increasingly difficult to purchase poppy pods.  While poppy pods have become harder to find, it has become easier to obtain unwashed seeds online and have them delivered quickly.  There are several other factors that have helped contribute to the rise in popularity as well.  Poppy seeds are relatively cheap and easy to obtain, and they are sold legally in the United States and around the world.  Many analysts are anticipating a further increase in poppy seed tea use as it becomes even harder for people to obtain other pain relief products.

Why Poppy Seed Tea is Consumed

poppy seed tea benefits

Poppy seed tea is primarily consumed for its pain relieving effects.  It also has other euphoric and narcotic effects.  Use of poppy seed tea originated in parts of Central and Eastern Europe and Central and South Central Asia thousands of years ago.

Tea drinkers consume this beverage to obtain the following possible benefits: pain relief, anxiety reduction, lower blood pressure, mood improvement, anti-diarrheal, and sleep improvement.  Some people consume poppy seed tea to help with the withdrawals from other opiates.

Poppy seeds contain several vitamins & minerals such as calcium, copper, fiber, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and zinc.

I suggest reading my detailed guide of the Benefits of Poppy Tea.

Poppy Seed Tea: Negative Effects

poppy seed tea negatives

There are also possible negative effects associated with poppy seed tea.  This includes possible addiction.  For long term addictions, users may experienced severe prolonged withdrawal.  Specific negative side effects that may occur when drinking poppy tea include: feeling drowsy or sleepy, constipation (as with all opiates), urinary retention, slow breathing, and possible nausea.  The nausea could possibly be due to noscapine, and this negative effect is usually more common with first time uses.

For people that use poppy seed tea to help them with the withdrawal symptoms from other opiates, they are at high risk for becoming addicted to the tea.  In the end, they are just replacing one form of opiates with another.

It is extremely dangerous to mix consumption of poppy seed tea with other prescriptions.  Mixing the tea with other pain or anxiety medications can lead to slowed breathing that can ultimately lead to death.  Use common sense and don’t mix drugs without clearance from your doctor.


Poppy seed tea is becoming increasingly popular and is fairly easy to make.  This herbal tea is made using the seeds from the opium poppy plant, Papaver Somniferum.  The unwashed seeds contain opiate alkaloids which the plant uses as a natural defense mechanism.  There are several benefits and negative aspects associated with this potent drink, so potential consumers must be very vigilant and attentive when consuming poppy seed tea.  People need to weigh all aspects before consuming anything containing opiates, including poppy seed tea.

Poppy Seed Tea eBook

poppy seed tea book

If you would like to learn more about this subject, or you would like to support this website financially, I would highly recommend my new book.  This book includes all of the main details about Poppy Seed Tea.  It even has two detailed methods and recipes showing How to Make Poppy Seed Tea.  You can learn more about this book by clicking the picture above, or click the button below for purchase.

Note: The current price is limited to this weekend only.  This is to reward the first people that purchase the book.

Help Support this Poppy Seed Tea Community (It’s Free!)

You can help support this community without spending an extra penny.  If you’re planning on buying something (literally anything) on Amazon, click one of the Amazon links contained on this page before making your purchase.  This website will make a small percentage of your total purchase price for any items purchased within 24 hours of clicking the link.  You can purchase anything on Amazon, it doesn’t have to be something advertised on this website.  I sincerely appreciate your support, it helps me dedicate a sufficient amount of my time to enhance this free resource!

Anna and Sarah Unwashed Poppy Seeds: 5 Lbs England in Jar, GRADE A

Poppy Seed Tea: Comments

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Poppy Seed Tea: Discover the Secrets of this Homemade High
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Poppy Seed Tea: Discover the Secrets of this Homemade High
Poppy Seed Tea - This is a detailed description of this potent beverage. Learn all of the important facts concerning this tea.
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Poppy Seed Tea Recipe
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