I remember, how funny we thought in my childhood, that poppy-seeds stuck between our teeth. Now, as I have grown-up, I would not consider it to be funny, rather embarassing
if I smiled showing my poppy-seeds teeth. Luckily, it has not happened to me yet. But no matter if looking like a cheerful motor rider is funny or embarassing, poppy is a very important and essential food-stuff in our lives.
I still remember the beautiful white and purple-pink colored poppy flowers in my grandma's big garden. I remember as we strolled between the line of flowers, pick and collect the poppy heads, then broking them up, poured the seeds out. My grandma washed the seeds several times, then spread them on a plate surface letting the sun dry them properly. It was so nice to push my fingers amongst the seeds.
Nowadays, the process and quantity of poppy growing is stricktly regulated. The main cause that the poppy-head contains alkaloids that can be used for producing opium. The law determines that planting white-pateled poppy is forbidden, because it is considered to be a narcotic.
Poppy-seed itself is healthy and harmless. It is rich in vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, calcium, zinc, manganese, iron, potassium, copper, magnesium, vegetable fats, aminoacid. The black color of poppy comes from the big quantity of iron atoms.
Some of the greatest property of poppy is the disinfective, aneastetic and pain-killing effect (due to morfium). It relieves cough and cramps. As an oil, it is very useful against osteoporosis. Researches proved that poppy slows down the process of ageing, reduces high blood-pressure and cholesesterol-level, strengthens the immune system, prevents thrombosis and embolism, improves mental capacity and last but not least, it accelerates the healing of wounds.
Even the ancient Greeks and Romans consumed poppy, mainly mixed with honey. People in various regions considered it to be the symbol of abundance, joy, beauty and fertility. Future tellers used it as scent when they were predicting.
In our country, we mainly eat poppy food during the days of Easter and Christmas. But sometimes we make poppy-seed dishes in the weekdays. Everyone knows poppy-seed strudel, poppy-seed roll, poppy-seed cake, vermicelli dusted with grounded poppy-seed and sugar or poppy-seed eiscream. As they are very tasty and since we have learnt how many good features this plant has, I can recommend that it would be very wise to eat food-products made with poppy-seed more often.