Dried seed pods of the poppy plant, sometimes referred to as poppy straw, can be used for a number of things. The seeds inside these pods can be used to grow new poppies, for example. Many people use them as a decorative addition to dried floral arrangements, wreaths, and potpourri. Dried poppy pods can also be used in baking and to make tea.
The poppy plant develops seed pods after its flowers are done blooming, and these pods typically contain hundreds of very small seeds. To dry the poppy pods, they are typically removed from the plant and laid out in a warm, dry place. This area should also be dark and well ventilated. Dried poppy pods are sometimes referred to as poppy straw.
Poppy plants are notorious for growing out of control, if left alone. To prevent a boom in poppy plants, many gardeners usually remove the seed pods before they open. The pods can then be dried and stored. Opening these dried poppy pods will reveal a bunch of poppy seeds, which can later be planted. Easy homemade gifts can be made by including a small packet of poppy seeds and a garden trowel and growing instruction inside an attractive pot tied with a ribbon.
Dried poppy pods can also be used as decorative items. They can be added to live or dried floral arrangements, for example, which will give the arrangements visual appeal. Some people also include them in wreaths.
Potpourri can also be made with dried poppy pods. These dried pods can be mixed with several other pleasant-smelling dried ingredients, such as dried flowers and cinnamon sticks. Essential oils can also be added, if the potpourri is not fragrant enough. This mixture can then be poured into an attractive bowl, which should be set in an area where children and pets can not reach it.
Bakers can also use dried poppy pods in some of their creations. The seeds inside the pods can add flavor as well as texture to some baked goods, and they can either be mixed into the batter or sprinkled on top. Poppy seed bread, bagels, and muffins are all types of baked goods that can include poppy seeds.
Poppy tea is made using the seeds from dried poppy pods. Hot water is poured over crushed poppy seeds, and the mixture should step for several minutes. It should then be strained before drinking. Since it has somewhat of an unpleasant taste, sugar is usually mixed in with the tea, and it is drank quickly.
Tea made from poppy seeds is said to have a calming effect, and it may make some people feel slightly euphoric. It can also be used as a mild analgesic. Since poppy seeds come from the opium poppy — the same plant used to make legal and illegal opiates — ingesting them can cause a drug test to read that a person has been taking narcotics. Care should be taken when ingesting any form of poppy, especially poppy tea.