06 Nov Poppy and Its History
Poppy and Its History
The homeland and cultivation source of poppy, which holds great importance for Turkey, is Anatolia. It is stated in many sources that traditional poppy agriculture has been carried out in Anatolia since 3000 B.C. In time, poppy agriculture spread from there to the surrounding regions and then to India and China, most probably with the influence of Islamic medicine and Muslim traders. While poppy cultivation and opium production and trade were carried out freely in Turkey until the year of 1933, Narcotics Monopoly Administration was founded in 1933 and the controlled poppy cultivation and production started since then.
The word poppy (Haşhaş in Turkish) must be a name derived from the imitation of the sound produced by seeds when the capsule of the plant is shaken. It can be thought that its oldest name ‘haššika’ found in the cuneiform Hittite tablets, was also derived from the same sound.
Poppy (Papaver somniferum) is a plant species of Papaver genus from the papaveraceae family. Poppy grows well in places with moderate rainfall where summers are hot. Turkey’s Aegean and Central Anatolian regions, particularly the most Afyonkarahisar province, also including Denizli, Konya, Istanbul, and Burdur are the provinces where poppy is cultivated hugely. It is known that poppy grows naturally in Balıklı Village plateau of Şavşat District of Artvin Province.
Benefits of Poppy
• Latest studies have proven that the compound in the poppy seed oils increases fertility of women.
● Anti-inflammatory characteristics of poppy seed reduce skin inflammations.
● Poppy seed supports digestion and helps to prevent constipation.
● Vitamin C content in poppy helps to produce collagen in order to keep the digestive tract tissues healthy. Thus, skin and hair health improve.
● Antioxidant substances that are present in poppy seeds support heart health. Moreover, Vitamins B2 and B6, and linoleic acid help minimize the risk of heart diseases.
● As it is rich in magnesium, poppy relaxes the muscles and makes it easier to sleep. It also improves sleeping pattern in cases of chronic insomnia.
● You should be careful about the amount of poppy seeds you will consume. If consumed too much, poppy may be addictive because of its opioid content.