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Scientific Name: Eschscholzia californica

Constituents:

  • Isoquinoline alkaloids (californidine, eschscholtzine, reticuline & chelerythrine)
  • Flavone glycosides (rutin)

Medicinal actions:

  • Analgesic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antispasmodic
  • Anxiolytic (lower doses)
  • Nervine Relaxant & Sedative (hypnotic at higher doses)

Mechanism of Action & Pharmacology:

  • Isoquinoline alkaloids are sedating, though are non-addictive and do not cause disorientation, and ethanol extracts have demonstrated binding to serotonin receptors 5-HT(1A) and 5-HT(7). Has also been shown to inhibit enzymatic degradation of catecholamines as well as the synthesis of adrenaline, dopamine b-hydroxylase and monoamine oxidase.
  • Chelerythrine (an alkaloid constituent) is a protein kinase C inhibitor in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, decreasing pain induced by heat or chemical stimulation.
  • Flavone glycosides are antispasmodic and blood vessel tonics.

Pharmacy:

  • Infusion
  • Tincture

Safety & Toxicity Concerns:

  • High doses may cause nausea and a residual hangover effect.
  • Avoid in pregnancy & lactation due to unknown effects.

Interactions:

  • Caution with nervous system medications (e.g. antidepressants & dopaminergic). May have additive effects when combined with other sedatives and barbituates.

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