Dried poppy pods have been a source of wonder and amazement for many years. The dried poppy pods you are interested in is the genus Papaver Somniferum, also known as the “opium poppy”. These poppies are very popular for hobbyists and floral arrangements due to their large size. They can also be used in other ways. Opium is easily extracted from the poppy pod and morphine is derived from opium. Codeine and other pain killers are obtainable from poppies. The other poppy species do not have this property. The pain killing drugs vital to surgery and after surgery treatment in hospitals are derived from poppies.
Poppy seeds can be used to make an herbal tea. Some find poppy tea to be very calming and relaxing, similar to commonly available herbal teas such as chamomile tea.
Most recommend using dried poppy pods to make poppy tea instead of poppy seeds.
UPDATE Aug 18, 2011: Everyone is still out of dried poppy pods!I just spoke at lenght to my poppy supplier. They are one of the largest suppliers of dried poppy pods in the US, their warehouse is in Arizona. They say that the poppy crop was very bad this year and they are totally out of stock until next year. They also said EVERYONE is out of poppies so DO NOT try to order poppies because they probably will not arrive. Suppliers can not ship what they do not have.
How To Use Dried Poppy Pods
There are many accounts on the internet of the best way to use dried poppy pods. The following is really the easiest and best. Obtain your dried poppy pods from your source preferably on in the United States if that is where you live. Often dried poppy pods they will come with a hole in them, this is because their seeds have been removed. This is fine as we are not interested in the seeds. Poppy seeds make great tea but dried poppy pods area much better because you can control the taste better.
There will still be some seeds in the dried poppy pods. You can put these in your tea if you want but do not go out of your way to save them. It is the dried poppy pods we are really interested in. Ok, so now you have your dried poppy pods. Put 3-4 in a blender and blend on the highest speed for about 3 minutes until you have a relatively course powder. This dried poppy pods powder will be used to make your tea. Now boil 2 cups of water. Let the water cool for about 2 minutes. A french press like the one used to make coffee is great for making dried poppy pods tea. A picture of the french press I use is below. This is a picture I took myself of my press sitting on my kitchen table. I show this to so you will know I am not some marketing person just trying to sell stuff on the internet. Pour the 2 cups of very hot water in the french press, dump in your powdered dried poppy pods and stir it up and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. Plunge the handle down to filter out the poppy pod material and pour yourself a cup of tea. Sip it slowly over the course of 20 minutes and enjoy the melow, relaxed taste.
Never pour boiling water on the dried poppy pods. You do not want to cook them, you just want to extract the alkaloids for full flavor from the dried poppy pods. I do not want to say too much about the taste as it might ruin your fun; kinda like spoiling a good movie for someone. Just know that the taste is VERY good. You will be saying you wished you had known about dried poppy pods sooner.