Health Benefits And Uses Of Poppy Seeds


Poppy seeds are nutritious and are commonly used as a condiment while cooking. These seeds owe their origination in Orient and Greece. You may also find these seeds grown in different countries like India, China, Turkey, Iran, Holland and Canada. Poppy Seeds are popularly known as khus khus in Hindi, Kasakassa in Tamil, Posto in Bengali, Gasagasaalu in Telugu and Kas kas in Malayalam.

poppy seeds

Apart from offering good taste, these seeds are also advantageous in providing health benefits to human body. Poppy seeds have a distinct nutty flavor that makes them make any salads, pastries and gravies taste delicious. These tiny seeds have a great texture and can add richness to all dishes. The seeds are in slate blue color and are smaller in size.

As these seeds are taken from dry pods or the fruits of the poppy plant, it is completely free from the side effects, when compared to the opium poppy plant. Plus, the poppy seeds do not have any narcotic properties. The seeds of the poppy plant are a potent source of calcium as well as carbohydrates that make an excellent source of energy.

What is History Of Poppy Seeds?

Poppy seeds are said to be the native of the Middle East region, as their origin dates back to 3400 BC. Earlier, the poppy plant was widely cultivated by the Egyptians, Babylonians and Assyrians. The Romans used a mixture of wine, honey and poppy seeds for helping their sportsmen perform well in the 1st Olympic Games. The Arab and Islamic people used this plant as a narcotic during the 6th century.

Why Use Poppy Seeds Regularly?

Poppy seeds contain high amount of dietary fibers, electrolytes, minerals and vitamins that enables your circulatory system and body organs to perform perfectly. It also has anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant properties to improve the immunity of the body while controlling the early cell damage, when used regularly.

Top 10 Health Benefits Of Poppy Seeds

The following are some of the top health benefits of using poppy seeds.

1. Analgesic Abilities

Poppy seeds are said to possess excellent analgesic properties that helps it to ease all kinds of aches and pains effectively. It has morphine as an active component and is known for its pain relieving prowess. It is widely used in medicines that support quick healing, as the seeds have zinc that can improve the metabolism rate and promote the recovery process. It can help in relieving headaches, body pains and aches.

2. Boosts Immunity System

The presence of zinc in the poppy seeds helps it to improve the overall strength of your immune system. The significant level of zinc in this humble seed helps in kindling the white blood cell production while promoting the response of your body towards the foreign agents and substances.

3. Promotes Vision Health

It is true that the vision health deteriorates as you age, but it is now easy to stop the vision health from failing with poppy seeds. It has antioxidant compounds that protect the eyes and zinc in the seeds lowers the occurrence of issues like macular degeneration.

4. Supports Heart Health

Iron is one among the key minerals found in the poppy seeds. Iron is a major component that is vital for the production of red blood cells. It is possible to improve the blood flow by eating these seeds rich in iron. This seed can promote the oxygen flow in the body and can keep the symptoms of anemia at bay. The presence of linoleic acid in poppy seeds protect human body from heart attacks and other heart disorders.

Poppy seeds act as source for lot of other variety of minerals like iodine, manganese, magnesium, zinc and copper.

5. Improves Digestion

If you are facing issues like diarrhea or constipation, then it indicates that your body needs fiber content. Equipped with a high amount of dietary fiber, poppy seeds can improve the peristaltic motion and bulks up the stools for regulating the bowel movements. Plus, these seeds have the ability to soothe the inflammation or pain in the gut while improving its functions.

6. Prevents Type 2 Diabetes

Having poppy seeds will be a preventative measure against Type 2 Diabetes, as it has high levels of zinc mineral. Having these zinc rich seeds would help you stay diabetic free.

7. Support Nervous System

Most often, people ignore the need of calcium in their body, as it aids in the proper functioning of the nervous system. Poppy seeds have the essential amount of calcium and useful minerals that helps it to perform like a nerve tonic to treat nervous disorders and improves its overall functions.

8. Promotes Bone Density

As discussed earlier, the presence of calcium in the poppy seeds helps in improving the bone density. Plus, it can prevent bone damages by improving the overall bone strength to prevent it from getting weak as you age. It also protects the body against all bone related disorders like osteoporosis.

9. Acts Like A Vasodilator

Poppy seeds have anesthetic abilities that enable it to protect the heart effectively. It has potassium that helps it to double up as the vasodilator to ease the buildup of tension in your blood vessels and in the arteries while regulating the blood flow to the organs. It also prevents the development of chronic medical conditions like heart attacks, cardiovascular issues, stroke and atherosclerosis.

10. Cures Mouth ulcers

Ayurvedic states that using poppy seeds can be a great relief for mouth ulcers, as it can lower the excess body heat. The cooling effects that these seeds have helped it to offer good relief for the mouth ulcers. The analgesic properties of these seeds help in lowering the pain associated with the mouth ulcers.

Poppy Plant Flower Seeds

Top 20 Uses Of Poppy Seeds

Let us look at some of the best ways to use poppy seeds.

  1. Adding Flavor – Poppy seeds are good at adding flavor to a number of food items like breads, rolls, cookies and cakes. You may depend upon these seeds to add delight to your party menus.
  2. Grinded form – People across the globe make use of ground poppy seeds in dishing up various types of desserts. Grind poppy seeds with other cooking ingredients while making soups, gravies and kormas to enhance the flavor.
  3. Sauces – Poppy seeds are also utilized as thickening agents for various types of sauces available in the market.
  4. Cooking – Poppy seeds are also used in cooking different dishes like vegetables, noodles and fishes to add flavor and aroma to these items.
  5. Opium – Seeds of Poppy plant are store houses for opium, which is considered as a useful ingredient for preparing various herbal medicines. However, criminal minds treat it as a narcotic drug and make illegitimate use of these seeds. Thus, we must make use of opium present in poppy seeds in medicines rather than making drugs.
  6. Important ingredients – It also offer a number of ingredients, which include thiamine, riboflavin, lecithin, oxalic acid, pentosans and amorphous alkaloid.
  7. Enzymes – It also help in enhancing the enzymes like diastase, emulsin, lipase and nuclease in the human body.
  8. Fatty acids – These seeds are also good sources of fatty acids, especially the omega-3 fatty acids, which are required by human body to ensure good health. Thus, you may consume these seeds in various forms and foods to supply these acids to body.
  9. Carbohydrates – Poppy seeds may also be considered as good sources of carbohydrates and thus, these are helpful in enhancing the level of energy supplied to human body for routine functions.
  10. Joint Pain – Make a paste of poppy seeds with water and apply it on the joints with pain and inflammation to get good relief.
  11. Mouth Ulcer – To get instant relief from mouth ulcers, consume it by adding some sugar to the poppy seeds and crushing it.
  12. Skin Care – Make your face look radiant and moisturized by applying the paste of raw milk and poppy seeds.
  13. Insomnia – Mix poppy seeds powder with hot milk to cure insomnia, anxiety and restlessness.
  14. Improves Appetite – If you are facing loss of appetite lately, have a milkshake or fruit juice to improve your appetite.
  15. Respiratory Diseases – Get good relief from whooping cough, asthma and other respiratory issues by making a concoction with poppy seeds, water and sugar.
  16. Itchy Skin – If your skin is itchy or has a burning sensation, make a paste with pre-soaked poppy seeds with lemon juice and apply it on the affected area.
  17. Dark Circles – Mix a teaspoon of lemon juice and half teaspoon of poppy seeds powder to remove dark circles under your eyes.
  18. Indigestion – Make an herbal tea by brewing a teaspoon of poppy seeds with hot water and straining it. Mix honey and consume to treat cough, indigestion and cough.

Now that we have helped you realize the benefits of poppy seeds on health and ways to use it, make sure that you use these humble yet beneficial seeds in different ways while staying in the pink of health. However, remember not to consume a lot of poppy seeds, as it can make you feel sleepy for several hours.



  1. I am a disabled vet suffering from what they(va) think is gulf war syndrome. I read in an article that the raw oil from the seeds have been found helpful in treating some of the more severe symptoms of GWS. I was wondering if you had heard of anything related to that and where could I find info on how much to take and where to get pure oil.

  2. Although, I’m not sure how poppy seeds can help with GWS, it has been long known in the muslim world, that poppy seeds offer a great deal of health benefits, including strengthening the immune system. Some say it strengthens the immune system by 200 times. although i’m not sure exactly how much you should take, I would start with a tablespoon everyday early in the morning before you eat anything else. you don’t have to take the pure oil because that tastes nasty, you can just eat a tablespoon of poppy seeds, it doesn’t taste bad.

    I hope that helps

  3. Poppy seed is also used with soap to give it medicinal value. It is used in some very good soaps. It also helps in curing the lice problem. One could make a paste of poppy seeds and mix it with lime juice. This paste could be applied on skin to give a fast relief from the itching skin. It is primary beneficial on the dry itch. There are lots of benefits of poppy seeds and it is a wonder plant. The root of the plant has lots of medicinal properties. A paste made out of roots of the poppy plant could be applied on fever or could be applied on the body to cure the burning sensation.

  4. The oil which is extracted from the roots of the plant are used in perfumes. The oil has lots of medical benefits too. It is used to make medicines which in turn is used to treat psychological health like anxiety, hysteria, nervousness and hysteria attacks. It is also used for skin related ailments. Some of the other benefits of khas khas also includes its use in muscle and bone related ailments like muscular aches, arthritis or rheumatism. So, you might see that khas khas is nothing but a medicine shop with lots of herbal benefits. It is one of the most misunderstood herb too.

  5. very good informative article.
    how long should poppy seeds be consumed so as not to make it a habit. how to distinguish its use as a medicine or sedative in terms of quantity and length of use

  6. “However, criminal minds treat it as a narcotic drug and make illegitimate use of these seeds. Thus, we must make use of opium present in poppy seeds in medicines rather than making drugs.”

    Wow. This is really bias. Let me guess, this was written by an American?

  7. “However, criminal minds treat it as a narcotic drug and make illegitimate use of these seeds. Thus, we must make use of opium present in poppy seeds in medicines rather than making drugs.” Pharmacies are full or “medicines” that kill us. Who legitimize those drugs?

  8. Poppy seeds mixed with baby food creates a lovely paste to put on toast and is beneficial to energy levels of the body and mind, especially in the morning.

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