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Poppy Seed

  • Papaver somniferum
  • Origin: Turkey
Poppy Seed


Common Name

Standardized: opium poppy
Other: poppy

Botanical Name

Papaver somniferum L.
Plant Family: Papaveraceae



The familiar blue poppy seeds used to flavor noodles, breads, and bagels and to make poppy seed kolachi (a Czech pastry) are produced by the same plant used to make opium. Poppy seeds contain only trace amounts of opium, not enough to get a high, but enough to influence a drug test. Experienced testers can tell the difference between use of heroin and consumption of poppy seeds by the presence of thebaine, a chemical only found when the person tested has been eating the seeds.


Poppy seeds contain 40 to 50% fatty oil, although only about half the oil in the seed can be removed by pressing. Poppy seeds are rich in linoleic acid and oleic acid, unsaturated fatty acids that useful in human nutrition.Among the volatile components of poppy seeds, aliphatic hydrocarbons and aldehydes have been reported. The distinctive aroma of poppy seeds is due to 2-pentylfurane.

Parts Used

Dried seed, whole or crushed.

Typical Preparations

Dried seed, sometimes crushed and canned.


While poppy seeds can be pressed for oil, they are most commonly used to flavor and to add flavor, texture and color to noodles, breads, and pastries. To bring out a nutty flavor, toast or crush before use. Most culinary grade Poppy seeds have been steam sterilized and are not of germination quality.


Specific: No known precautions.
General: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.