Early Romans associated this
type of poppy with Demeter, goddess of the harvest. A tea considered
mildly sedating is made from the flowers of this Earth herb and drunk three times a day for asthma, coughs, and chest pain. They were also the main ingredient in a traditional Eclectic syrup used as a carrier for various medicinal herbs. Poppy petals are one of the many items that can be used to indicate pH. A natural food coloring, poppy petals also make a fugitive (doesn't last) dye that can be good for making "photos" on paper. Extract the color from the petals with alcohol. Paint on paper. You can then place a positive (instead of a negative) or
some kind of object, like a piece of lace, a paper cutout, or a leaf over
the paper and set it in a sunny place for a week. The parts that are covered will remain purple, and the rest will fade.This process was used experimentally in the 1840s before photographs as we know them were invented. It produces
what is called an anthotype.
© 2004, 2016 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without