A Detailed Guide On How To Make Poppy Seed Tea

Poppy seed tea can be a controversial theme, especially if you start discussing it with a bunch of people where everyone has an opinion of their own.

I have a rather good experience with this beverage because I always tried to make it properly and according to instructions.

I started drinking this tea when I was stressed out and had troubles sleeping for a long time.

During that same time, my husband discovered he has problems with hypertension. I've been doing a lot of research online and talking to friends and doctors, and learn that when drank responsibly and in small amounts, poppy seed tea can help with all of these problems.

If you too are experiencing similar health problems, you should consider trying out this tea.

In this text, I'll explain to you how to make poppy seed tea correctly, but also how to drink it and how it can aid your health.

Proven benefits of poppy seed tea

Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to talk you into drinking poppy seed tea if you don’t want to, but the truth is that there are many ways this drink can contribute to your health and help ease or treat some difficulties.

I didn’t quite believe it until I have tried it.

If you drink it responsibly, poppy seed tea can deliver the following health benefits:

  • Boosting your mood: Poppy seeds contain psychoactive compounds which can relax your mind and muscles, thus improving your mood. As with typical painkillers, this tea also provides a sense of pleasure, while eliminating depressive episode.
  • Relieving the pain: The most famous function of poppy seed tea is relieving the pain, the main reason why codeine and morphine are derived from poppy. It is a good idea to drink it during a post-surgery period, extended illness or if you are recovering from an injury.
  • Lowering the blood pressure: Because it can relax mind and muscle, poppy seed tea can also lower the blood pressure and slow the heart rate.
  • Helping with chronic stress: All of the useful poppy seeds’ properties contribute to relaxing and minimizing the levels of stress in the body.
  • Delivering undisturbed night of sleep: While poppy seed tea can’t be viewed as a permanent cure for insomnia or any other sleep disorder, it can be used occasionally before sleep as a powerful sedative.
  • Regulating the bowel movements: This is especially useful if you are struggling diarrhea.

What are the risks of drinking poppy seed tea?

So, knowing all these perks of drinking poppy seed tea, why are people so afraid of using it?

Well, this is a very reasonable point of view, and I too was very skeptical when it comes to using it. This tea has narcotic properties, thanks to ingredients like benzylisoquinolines and phenanthrenesPhenanthrenes is used in the production of codeine and morphine. 

When consumed in high concentrations and regularly poppy seed tea can cause addiction, and similarly like with painkillers and heroin overdose, lead to a fatal outcome. 

How to buy poppy seeds?

Considering these dangers, you may think it is very difficult to purchase poppy seeds, but in fact, this is far from being true.

Many local and national stores offer poppy seeds, and you can also order some online.

The last couple of times when I was doing the shopping, I learned that it is much better to buy unwashed seeds and to previously do thorough research of the brand. However, I prefer ordering poppy seeds on Amazon.com, because the choice is much richer. Also, buying at natural or health stores will probably enable you to find the best product and for the best price.

As for the amount, one pound is more than plenty for your first time, and later you will figure out just how much is the best for your needs.

What are the other ingredients you’ll need?

Naturally, poppy seeds are not the only ingredient you will need.

You should also buy a small bottle of lemon juice, 32oz Gatorade bottle, one gallon of water and a flavor enhancer if you don't like the bitter taste of the tea.

Of course, instead of using lemon juice, you can squeeze actual lemons (one or two, depending on their size), if you prefer things au naturel.

Gatorade bottle is the perfect size and shape and has a wide top, which makes it ideal for preparing the tea, but you can also use one-gallon water jugs.

Prepare your kitchen and the supplies for making poppy seed tea

Now you need to prepare the supplies you will need for making your first batch of poppy seed tea:

  • Plastic funnel to help pours the seeds without spillage. If you don’t have one at hand, you can make a funnel out of paper. 
  • Colander or strainer which is necessary if you are not using a Gatorade bottle to separate the seeds from the liquid. Cheese cloth can be a valid replacement, but it won’t save you the mess, especially if you are not careful.
  • Cup or drinking glass can be used to hold the tea, and you can also use it to drink out of it.

Start with a small test batch

You can't be sure how you will react to poppy seed tea and how you will like it.

Because of that, you shouldn't start by making large amounts of this drink.

It is best to start with a small batch to master the process, make sure it is the correct strength and that you are satisfied with the result.

Here is the recipe for preparing tea out of half a pound of poppy seeds.


  • ½ pound unwashed poppy seeds
  • 2 – 3 cups of water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Gatorade or water bottle


  1. Pour the seeds into the bottle (if you are using regular water bottle do that through the funnel).
  2. Add warm, not boiling, water to the bottle. The water should be approximately two or three inches above the seeds.
  3. Add squeezed lemon or lemon juice.
  4. Close the bottle and shake the mixture gently for no more than three minutes. This way, you will wash off the active compounds and infuse the tea effectively. Depending on the type of seeds, the water should be somewhere between mild yellow and dark brown.
  5. Strain out the seeds and leave only the liquid to drink.

It is imperative to understand that not all poppy seeds are equally strong, and some can be significantly more powerful than others.

When you first prepare tea with seeds from one brand, you should be very cautious when it comes to the amount. It is always best to start with a minimal amount of seeds, and if you notice the tea isn't strong enough, you can increase the amount the next time.

Potential side effects of poppy seed tea

I like to be well informed about everything I am eating or drinking, especially if that substance/ingredient has harmful properties or potential side effects.

As I have already mentioned, it can be very addictive if you are drinking it regularly and a lot, but it can also cause the following issues:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Stomachaches
  • Drowsiness 

Long-term use of poppy seed tea can lead to nausea, respiratory problems, irritability, constipation, and itchiness.

High quantities can cause coma, or as I have already mentioned, be fatal.

How much is too much?

As for the amount, it is tricky to determine unless you have the expensive testing equipment, but you can use the method I have mentioned above.

Always have this in mind: the less – the better.

And how often is too often? Mental addiction comes before physical, and if you notice you are craving poppy seed tea you should quit for a while.

The maximum you could use without experiencing symptoms of addiction one cup three times a week. Still, you shouldn't be doing so all the time; when you feel your problems are relieved, you can stop drinking this beverage for some time.

Bottom line?

Many of my friends said that I was crazy for trying out poppy seed tea for insomnia and stress, but the result speaks for themselves. I have never before and never after had a better night of sleep.

However, this doesn't mean I instantly decided to drink poppy seed tea often. Since the first time I tried this tea, I have bought seeds frequently, but I have drank it only in extreme situations, and never more than two days in a row.

The preparation can be complicated, especially the dosage. Start with as little of seeds as possible, and don’t lose sight that poppy seeds have psychoactive properties, and use them only for good.

Barbara Whitney

For the last 20 years, I’ve been cooking, preparing, researching, and gathering recipes, tools, and knowledge about food and the way we prepare it. Raising two lively boys and spoiling one great husband later, it’s safe to say that I’ve optimized my kitchen to deliver the best possible meal, no matter the occasion.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 17 comments

Thank you for this information.

    Barbara Whitney

    My pleasure!


    yes can you tell me how I can store if it makes more than one cup of tea in the icebox or do you just.. throw it away or how do you use it. what you made more thanyou want to drink, more than one cup of tea?

      Barbara Whitney

      I’d recommend making it in small portions so that you don’t have any leftover tea to store. That’s always the best way to go.
      However, if you do end up with some of it left, you can strain the seeds (this is a must) and store it in the fridge for a maximum of two to three days. Beyond that point, the safest course of action is throwing it away.
      Hope this helps!

Marc doxen

That sounds like an excellent idea to promote euphoria when otherwise conditions are less than Optimum. I have an extremely high tolerance due to regular injuries from work a motorcycle accidents, however I will try small doses at a time such as small shot glasses. Thank you very much for this information as I believe it will be therapeutic.

    Barbara Whitney

    My pleasure, Marc! Thank you for the kind words!


Hi! I have chronic pain and get opiates prescribed from my doctor and would like to go a more natural way. Question: after you drain the water from the seeds- can the seeds be saved for another dose later?

Thanks so much,

    Barbara Whitney

    Dear Kati,

    I am so sorry to hear about your chronic pain. Unfortunately, my advice might not be of much help this time. I don’t know if you can reuse poppy seeds and I couldn’t find any information on that topic.

    I think that once you pour hot water over them, poppy seeds will lose their potency. A study published in European Food Research and Technology found that rinsing poppy seeds in hot water (60 degrees Celsius or 140 degrees Fahrenheit) might reduce their morphine content up to about 70%, which is actually great news for food purposes, but if I understand correctly, that is not what you are looking for.

    However, due to your health problems and prescribed therapy, I think it’s best if you stay away from poppy seed tea.

    As you know, combining poppy tea with any other drugs, especially CNS depressants such as benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan, etc.), barbiturates (Phenobarbital, Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, Tuinal), antihistamines (Allegra, Alavert, Benadryl, Claritin, Dimetane, Tavist, Zyrtec), other opioids (Codeine, Fentanyl, Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora, Abstral, Onsolis, Hysingla, Zohydro ER, Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Vicodin, Dilaudid, Exalgo, Demerol, Dolophine, Methadose, Kadian, OxyContin, Oxaydo, Percocet, Roxicet, naloxone) or alcohol is extremely dangerous.
    Alkaloids in poppy tea have sedative and anticonvulsant effects. When combined with other drugs, these effects are multiplied which can often be lethal.

    So, please, don’t take poppy seed tea lightly. Think twice.

    Hope you will find some other natural pain remedy that will work better for you.




      After the initial use of my seeds or Poppy Straw, I allow them to air-dry until the next batch of tea. The poppy Straw goes into the compost, and I will make a batch of lemon poppy seed muffins with the seeds.
      Truly frugal.


What brand of poppy seeds do you use? I cant find any anywhere about a good brand/price.

    Barbara Whitney

    Hi, K!
    I’m glad you’re taking the time to do your research, rather than buying whatever comes your way.
    It took me a while to track down some reliable brands, but I’m currently on my second bag of Nut Cravings Whole Blue England Poppy Seeds and so far, so good.
    Give them a try, and let me know what you think!


      I’m happy to see what seeds you have used so many out there and on a limited income process by elimination could get expensive

        Barbara Whitney

        It’s not a problem at all Kathy, I’m just glad I could help.

        If you have any more questions, feel free to throw them my way and I’ll see how I can help out.


How long will my tea last in the refrigerator with the seeds brewing

    Barbara Whitney

    Hi, Melissa!
    If you’re new to making poppy seed tea, I suggest you start with a small batch and cut my recipe in half – you can test the waters, as they say, and you won’t have to bother with storing the leftover tea.
    Now, to answer your question, I’ve only ever kept my poppy seed tea in the fridge for a couple of days before I either drank it up or threw it away, so I’m not sure what to tell you here.
    I’d go with two to three days as a hard limit – and that’s AFTER you’ve strained the seeds – because it will probably go “flat” beyond that point. Again, don’t refrigerate the tea with the seeds still in it – strain, then store.
    I hope this helps!


Why dont u leave the seeds in when refrigeration

    Barbara Whitney

    Hi, Serrina!
    As I’ve pointed out in my recipe, the seeds shouldn’t remain in the water for longer than three minutes. It’s a matter of safety and ensuring that the resulting tea doesn’t end up being too strong – and even flat out dangerous. Poppy seed tea isn’t something that should be taken lightly and has to be prepared, consumed, and stored responsibly.
    Stay safe!


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