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Rosolaccio, a poppy, a type of wild poppy that we will often happen to see in our area. It almost seems made of paper, the petals wrinkle in the wind but I, like many others, love its color and simplicity. It also has other advantages that are worth discovering.
Spontaneous annual herbaceous plant, in scientific jargon called Papaver rhoeas, the corn poppy belongs to the Papaveraceae family as immginable, and is found in various parts of the world so much so that it can be defined as “cosmopolitan”. In Italy and throughout Europe or almost, it depends on the climate, but also in Asia and Africa.
Its taproot root is white and branched, the plant looks like a rosette of leaves from which stems gradually develop, hairy, straight, branched and even 1 meter and more high. The leaves are oval and long, but the protagonists are the flowers, large, never in clusters but always alone. They are composed of two sepals which, when falling, give way to 4 petals very strong and bright red color. At the base of each petal, there is a black dot.
A particular feature of the rosolaccio flowers is to be hermaphrodites and devoid of nectar, when they leave room for the fruits they turn into ovoid capsules that contain the seeds useful for the reproduction of the plant. They spread with the blowing of the wind.
One of the characteristics of the rosolaccio is thesmell it gives off, very strong, in addition it produces a milky white and acrid juice. Like the opium poppy, this type of poppy also contains substances that produce a slight narcotic effectthey certainly don't have the same power!
Infesting plant, therefore certainly not rare to find, where the climate favors its growth, the corn poppy contains alkaloids such as readin, reagiin, rearubin I and II, tannins, mucilage, dyes and anthocyanins. It's all in the liquid that if the capsule is carved which contains the seeds, flows, always as happens with the opium poppy.
Free of active ingredients, the seeds of the corn poppy are edible, we often find them employed in the confectionery and bakery industry, or for processes that lead to the extraction of an oil with a strong soothing and emollient power. In the kitchen they are also found the sprouts of this poppy, raw in salads or cooked and added to soups or polenta. For the sweet tooth, there are recipes that see them fried with flour and eggs to make pancakes.
THE petals of the corn poppy are the most used part, we can harvest them around May or June and dry them in the shade, in ventilated places, waiting for them to become even more red. Better to keep them in airtight containers glass but not to eat them, only to admire them or use them for decoration works.
You can also prepare a decoction with the petals of corn poppy, as well as using them for their bright red color that brings joy. This way, you take advantage of them sedative power mild but useful for fighting insomnia. Alkaloids can also be used in case of persistent cough, whooping cough and bronchial asthma. Then there are those who believe that an infusion of corn poppy petals can cure earaches or dental abscesses but it has to be proven.
Rosolaccio in pregnancy
In pregnancy, an infusion of corn poppy petals is excellent for the effects just explained, plus there is a more symbolic link between this flower and the world of children. The name poppy, of Celtic origin, derives from the name "pappa" due to the custom of mixing its latex in the pappa dei children so that they slept for a long time. Who knows, if consumed during pregnancy, it will not bring good luck to new mothers who fear known insomniacs.
Rosolaccio: side effects
Although it has a lot of effects milder than the opium poppy, the corn poppy must always be consumed in minimal doses in order not to risk intoxication and poisoning.
Other uses that do not involve risks are those that see it as a dye: let's try to put a shirt to be dyed in a decoction of flowers left to infuse for a few hours, boiling everything together for an hour. To experiment with this new coloring method or for the pleasure of making this brightly colored flower bloom, you can also buy the seeds on Amazon and less than 7 euros, for a pack of 100.
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