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 10 Ways the Opium Poppy has changed the World by brandonladd, May 8, 2010

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PostSubject: 10 Ways the Opium Poppy has changed the World by brandonladd, May 8, 2010   Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:57 pm

10 Ways the Opium Poppy has changed the World
by brandonladd, May 8, 2010

Papaver Somniferum, the Opium Poppy, has been considered one of the most influential, as well as interesting things in the world for thousands of years. For those unfamiliar with it, the poppy produces opium, the euphoric painkiller that is the starting point for heroin. Depictions of the plant have been traced back to the Sumerians of 6000 years ago. The beautiful flower has been worshiped as a gift from the gods, and just the same has been feared for its potential to destroy millions of lives. Rather you see them as divine, or quite the opposite, it’s hard to argue how much influence they’ve had in our world. Here are ten particular areas that the plant and its drug have dramatically impacted.
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PostSubject: Re: 10 Ways the Opium Poppy has changed the World by brandonladd, May 8, 2010   Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:58 pm

10
Music


“Music is a beautiful opiate, if you don’t take it too seriously.” Henry Miller. Think of your favorite rock band from the 70s or 80s. I’ll bet you the shoes on my feet that at least one of their songs was inspired by, or if not, directly refers to heroin. It became popular with the rock community for its mild altering effects. Inspiring romanticism, creativity, joy, fun, and of course pleasure made it a hit to rebellious world. Some songs you might be familiar with that have been thought to refer to the drug – “The Needle and the Damage Done” by Neil Young, “Mr. Brownstone” by Guns N’ Roses, “Heroin” by Velvet Underground, and “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd (that one is probably the most arguable). Courtney Love (above) did well to summarize the relationship between musicians and heroin: “the drug you do if you’re in a fuckin’ four-star hotel and you can order all the goddamn room service that you want and you can just lay in bed and drool all over yourself because you’ve got a million bucks in the bank. That’s the drug you want to do if you want to be a kid forever.”
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PostSubject: Re: 10 Ways the Opium Poppy has changed the World by brandonladd, May 8, 2010   Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:58 pm

9
Surgery


Surgery is thought to have been practiced for centuries, pioneered by ancient civilizations in Egypt, India, Greece and China. The gap between ancient surgery and modern lies heavily on the control of the inevitable pain that comes with it: anesthesia. While local anesthesia is available for us by a completely different plant, the Coca, general anesthesia became possible with the Opium Poppy. The art of putting patients out for surgery made a breakthrough in the 19th century, when Morphine, one of the opiate alkaloids found naturally in opium, was extracted from the plant. With this discovery, surgery was able to advance to the previously unheard of feats we think of commonly today. Soldiers were able to inject themselves with Morphine in the latter half of the Civil War, making the removal of bullets a much less excruciating experience. Nowadays we have other methods of general anesthesia for surgery, such as hypnotics (propofol) and Dissociatives (nitrous oxide), but nevertheless morphine and other opium-derivatives are still commonly used.
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PostSubject: Re: 10 Ways the Opium Poppy has changed the World by brandonladd, May 8, 2010   Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:59 pm

8
Beautiful Flowers



Stepping aside from the drug the Opium Poppy produces; let’s focus on the flower itself. At a time referred to as the “common garden poppy”, the plant is widely cultivated for ornamental purposes all over the world. The flower, depending on the particular variety, ranges from red to white and even purple hues. The capsules containing the opium are very interesting looking and easily emphasizes the plant as a poppy. Even the tiny black seeds are used to decorate food, such as cakes and muffins. The poppy seeds you can go get at your local grocer this afternoon are indeed the same species of poppy used to harvest opium. While not trying to drift too far off topic, I’ll note that the common “myth” that someone who consumes poppy seeds can fail a drug test is absolutely true and proven. The seeds contain enough opiate alkaloids to make it show in your system. My advice: let your employer know if you’ve been eating anything with poppy seeds before your drug screening results come back, or you might be looking for a new job.
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PostSubject: Re: 10 Ways the Opium Poppy has changed the World by brandonladd, May 8, 2010   

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