HomeblogsHealth-and-wellness15 Surprising Benefits of Poppy Seeds (Khus Khus)

15 Surprising Benefits of Poppy Seeds (Khus Khus)

Poppy seeds, obtained from the poppy flower, have strong anti-inflammatory properties and are often used to treat different health conditions.

Having a nutrient-rich profile, poppy seeds are regarded as extremely beneficial in improving overall health. They are often a part of several ayurvedic treatments for various ailments, including insomnia. When consumed regularly in moderate amounts, poppy seeds can help maintain optimum health.

Poppy Seeds: An Overview

Poppy seeds are known by several names across India, including Khus Khus. These are small kidney-shaped seeds that are widely used in Indian cuisine, especially in the summer. They are used for cooking many delicious dishes.

There are many types of poppy seeds, including Oriental, White (Indian/Asian version) and Blue. They are added to various dishes for enhancing aroma and taste. Simultaneously, they also contain dietary fibre in handsome amounts, keeping people fuller for longer durations.

Additionally, poppy seeds are a rich source of omega-6 fatty acids and are known for their high nutritional value.

Did you know poppy seeds have a rich history behind them? 

Poppy Seeds History

Poppy seeds have a rich history that dates back to ancient civilizations. They have been mentioned in various texts from different cultures, providing insights into their uses and medicinal properties. For instance, in ancient Egyptian texts, poppy seeds were referred to as sedatives.

During the Bronze Age, a civilization cultivated poppy seeds for a unique purpose. They used a mixture of poppy seeds, milk, opium, and honey to soothe crying babies. The calming properties of this mixture were believed to help pacify infants.

In Eastern medicine, poppy seeds were utilised to treat ailments such as diarrhoea, dysentery, and anal prolapse. They were also employed to aid in sleep and promote fertility. In fact, poppy seeds were associated with legendary powers of invisibility in certain folklore and myths.

While the history of poppy seeds provides intriguing insights into their traditional uses, it is important to note that their therapeutic applications should be approached with caution. Today, poppy seeds are still valued for their nutritional content and potential health benefits.

Nutritional Value of Poppy Seeds

Before getting into the plethora of poppy seeds uses, here’s taking a look at its nutritional profile. Here is a list of nutrients contained in Khus Khus.

  • Fibre- 19.5g 
  • Carbohydrates- 28.13g 
  • Protein- 21.22g
  • Fats- 41.56g
  • Thiamine 
  • Vitamin B6
  • Folate 
  • Choline
  • Vitamin E 
  • Riboflavin
  • Phosphorous
  • Calcium 
  • Manganese
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Copper

Poppy seeds contain good amounts of copper which is important for the production of connective tissue and efficient transport of iron in the body. They also contain manganese, a trace element, that plays an important role in various bodily functions including maintaining bone health, blood clotting, and utilising amino acids, fats, and carbohydrates in the body.

Ongoing research is exploring the health benefits of poppy seeds for hypertension, pain, and cancer. However, it is important to note that research in these areas is still in progress, and definitive conclusions have not yet been reached.

Poppyseed oil, derived from poppy seeds is sometimes used as a replacement to fat in meat burgers. It improves the nutritional content without significantly compromising the taste.

Additionally, the benefits of khus khus are being explored in functional food owing to its rich polyunsaturated fatty acid content. Functional foods are those that provide additional health benefits beyond basic nutrition.

Top 15 Poppy Seeds Benefits

Here are the surprising Khus Khus benefits that you should know more about, right from better digestion to improved bone health and more. These tiny seeds are also beneficial for those suffering from diabetes.

1. Enhances Female Fertility 

Female fertility gets a major boost from the consumption of poppy seeds. They contribute to taking mucus away from the fallopian tubes, while helping in the achievement of pregnancy. Poppy seeds also boost libido and sexual health. 

Reproductive health, including fertility, is an important part of a female’s overall well-being. Consuming poppy seeds can help improve this aspect of a woman’s life.

2. Reduces Insomnia 

People often enquire about Khus Khus ke Fayde for insomniacs (people who have trouble sleeping at night). It is believed to stimulate sleep with a calming vibe and lower levels of stress. These seeds are known to help people with insomnia improve the duration and/or quality of their sleep.

To incorporate poppy seeds into your routine, you can consume these seeds with your tea or even through a paste mixed in warm milk. This will definitely help you sleep better.

In the event that poppy seeds do not effectively address one’s insomnia, it is still believed that their consumption can contribute to overall health improvement. 

3. Builds Bone Strength 

Poppy seeds are advantageous for building bone strength with their calcium and copper. Manganese also helps in churning out protein collagen for safeguarding your bones from various damages.

Additionally, the presence of copper in poppy seeds not only helps in enhancing bone strength, but also helps in strengthening the connective tissue surrounding the bones. This increases the integrity of the supporting structure of the body and can prevent injuries and certain diseases like osteoporosis. 

4. Boosts Digestive Powers

Khus Khus helps the body get more insoluble fibre, thereby boosting digestive abilities and keeping constipation away.

Someone who has trouble with their digestive system frequently must give these tiny, kidney-shaped beans a try. It is likely that their digestive troubles may either cease to exist or diminish in severity or frequency over time upon consuming poppy seeds. 

5. Enhances Heart Health

Many people may already know that bad cholesterol can be quite damaging to the heart.
Dietary fibre in Khus Khus is a game-changer for heart health. It helps in lowering bad cholesterol in the body while improving good cholesterol simultaneously. Omega-3 fatty acids are the icing on the cake, helping in lowering risks of cardiovascular ailments.
Thus, people who have a family history of cardiovascular ailments or have a high risk of developing such problems should include poppy seeds in their diet.

6. Poppy Seeds Regulates Blood Pressure

Hypertension is a chronic condition that can cause damage to the body over time if not managed properly. People with the condition may find it hard to manage with all the diet restrictions; eating poppy seeds can be an effective way of reducing blood pressure levels.
Moreover, poppy seeds also come with iron which enhances blood circulation, while regulating blood pressure levels with Oleic acid.

7. Destroys Ulcers in the Mouth

Digestion starts in the mouth; it can negatively impact a person’s overall health if there is anything disrupting their digestion process. Mouth ulcers are usually not a severe condition, but they are often troublesome and caused by some underlying condition.

Poppy seeds are known to help in treating ulcers on the mouth. These tiny seeds help treating different types of ulcers like peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis, and canker sores.
To obtain immediate relief from mouth ulcers, prepare a mixture by combining crushed dry coconut, powdered sugar candy, and ground poppy seeds. Shape this blend into a pellet and suck on it. This remedy is believed to provide instant relief for mouth ulcers.

8. Improves Eye Health

Today, people spend extended periods of time in front of a screen, whether for work or for enjoying their leisure time. This can be damaging to their eyes, and consuming foods that can help improve eye health is essential for such individuals.

Antioxidants and zinc in poppy seeds work to boost vision and combat macular degeneration and similar diseases. Therefore, poppy seeds are wonderful seeds for your eyes.

9. Helps with Thyroid and Kidney Stones

Khus Khus has a magically positive effect on several ailments.
Kidney stones can be extremely painful and cause discomfort for a person. Thus, in addition to taking medications for the ailment, people tend to rely on ayurvedic treatments to speed up the recovery process. Poppy seeds are one of the most popular home remedies for kidney stones that may help in removing kidney stones naturally, as it has potassium which contributes to kidney stone treatment.

Additionally, they have zinc, which is needed by thyroid glands for better functioning.

10. Helps to Regulate Blood Sugar Levels

Khus Khus seeds are ideal for diabetics, especially for its manganese content. Diabetic people can relish dishes made with Khus Khus without any worry. Furthermore, due to their high fibre content, poppy seeds could be a favourable inclusion in a diabetic diet.

A person with diabetes has many restrictions on their diet; thus, poppy seeds can be a great substitute not only for the nutritional aspect of their diet, but also for the taste palate.

11. Naturally Reduces Pain

For decades now, poppy seeds have been used for pain relief. Ancient medical practices strongly relied on its pain-relieving features for those in discomfort. Consumption of the seeds in warm tea may also help with pain relief.

According to the Purdue University, the analgesic (pain relieving) effect of poppy seeds is quite potent in the opium variety of poppy seeds. This variety is native to Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. People who have chronic pain from an old injury or other conditions may find relief from their pain by consuming poppy seeds.

12. Keeps Dandruff Away

Who doesn’t love dandruff-free hair? Khus Khus is a godsend in this regard! Just make a paste of these seeds, hung curd, and white pepper. Put it on your hair and leave it untouched for 30-40 minutes. Wash off gently and do this periodically for keeping dandruff away. It functions as a wonderful natural remedy in this case.

Another alternative to using poppy seeds is by mixing the paste with some milk and honey for moisturising the scalp. People who are experiencing the worst cases of dandruff or a dry, flaky scalp can add a capsule of vitamin E oil to this home remedy.

13. Boosts Mental Wellness

Along with its mélange of physical benefits, poppy seeds are also good for mental wellbeing. They may help in soothing the nerves and reducing stress levels while lowering pain simultaneously. One can consider adding poppy seeds to their diet if they are going through a difficult time at work or in their personal life.

14. Improves Cognitive Functioning

Consuming poppy seeds may improve brain function, as per research. A study evaluated the health benefits of poppy seeds for individuals by comparing seeds and a cake made from pressed seeds. According to the results, the cake made from poppy seeds has a higher total amino acid content, including glutamic acid, which is one of the most common neurotransmitters in the nervous system.

Thus, people who are struggling to focus or young, developing children can benefit from consuming poppy seeds.

15. Enhances Immunity

Research indicates that poppy seeds may be beneficial in improving the immune function of an individual if consumed regularly. This is due to the presence of vitamin B6, vitamin C, zinc, and antioxidants.

Poppy seeds can be a valuable supplement for people with compromised immune systems and young children whose immune system is still developing.

Other well-known benefits of poppy seeds that don’t have enough scientific research to back them up are listed below:

  • May be useful in treating inflammation of the skin and eczema
  • May help in moisturising the skin
  • May be beneficial in treating acne on the skin
  • May stimulate hair growth

Poppy Seeds Side Effects

While poppy seeds are largely risk-free, here are still some risks that you should know more about:

  • Poppy seeds should always be authentic; those with opioid elements may be harmful for consumption. This happens when they are not suitably harvested or processed before sale.
  • Insomnia treatment should not overtly rely on poppy seeds. Dependency should be avoided and limited amounts should be used in this regard.
  • Excessive consumption of poppy seeds may lead to drug tests turning positive for opioids. Hence, moderation is always advisable.

How To Enjoy Health Benefits of Poppy Seeds?

To enjoy the health benefits of poppy seeds, soaking them in warm water or milk for about two hours is recommended. This helps to enhance their flavour and texture. After soaking, the seeds can be crushed with other spices and added to gravies or used as a seasoning.

When heated, soaked poppy seeds develop a rich, nutty, sweet, and spicy flavour that is often enjoyed in roasted or baked dishes. They can be incorporated into home-baked muffins or bread rolls, added to salads, or used in various culinary preparations. Bengali cuisine, for example, features a special dish called “Aloo Posto,” which showcases the rich flavour of poppy seeds.

It is important to store poppy seeds in an airtight container in a cool and dark place to maintain their freshness. Proper storage helps prevent moisture absorption and the risk of microbial growth. Additionally, exposure to light can cause the oil in the seeds to become rancid over time. With appropriate storage, poppy seeds can typically last for around 6 months or more

The Bottom line

As you can see, poppy seeds are magical ingredients that you can add to your daily diet. You can try consuming it in the form of tea or even as a paste. You can also use it to add flavours and goodness to curries and other dishes. Poppy seeds have numerous benefits ranging from better heart health, mental wellbeing and bone strength to improved digestion and more. Add them to your daily diet and set the foundation for long-term physical and mental benefits.


What is Khus Khus called in English?

The name of Khus Khus is poppy seeds in the English language. The Khus Khus version is common in India along with Khas Khas, which is also seen in several regions. 

Can Khus Khus be consumed daily?

You can consume Khus Khus on a daily basis through directly eating the seeds or making a paste or adding it to a tea or milk. You can also add it to curries and other preparations. However, moderate consumption is always advisable. 

How does Khus Khus improve sleep?

Poppy seeds or Khus Khus contributes towards better sleep through its magnesium content. This helps in lowering cortisol (stress hormone) levels in the body. It naturally helps people sleep deeper and longer. 

What precautions are needed when consuming Khus Khus?

Aim to buy genuine and reputable Khus Khus products which will not have any opioids. Check for quality if you have purchased the same from any non-trusted source or supplier. Always keep daily consumption levels moderate to avoid prospective health problems. 

Are poppy seeds good for health?

They are excellent sources of various helpful nutrients including zinc, magnesium, fibre, calcium and protein. They boost heart health and bone strength, along with improving eye health, mental wellbeing and reducing insomnia. 

Are there any disadvantages of consuming Khus Khus?

Although side effects of consuming poppy seeds are rare, some people experience allergic reactions, and abdominal pain, and may get severe life-threatening complications after consuming poppy seeds.

Can Khus Khus cause constipation?

No, Khus Khus (also known as poppy seeds) can stimulate digestion and helps in preventing constipation or other health problems related to the digestive system.

Are poppy seeds good for your liver?

Poppy seeds may be beneficial for your liver function as they are rich in essential nutrients and have anti-inflammatory effects on the body.

Who can consume poppy seeds?

Poppy seeds are generally safe for adults, except for those who may be allergic to them. Some Ayurvedic treatments also involve consuming poppy seeds in certain ways (as prescribed by a ‘Vaidya’ or Ayurvedic doctor). Additionally, consuming poppy seeds in excess may upset the stomach. Some people also like to use poopy seeds’ oil on their skin or in cooking.

What effect do poppy seeds have on the body?

According to Ayurveda, poppy seeds are considered to have a cooling effect on the body; thus, they are often used in syrups or squashes for making mocktails in the summer.

Can I eat raw poppy seeds?

Yes, poppy seeds are often enjoyed raw after soaking in water or milk overnight.

What are the benefits of khus khus (poppy seeds)?

Listed below are some of the most prominent health benefits of poppy seeds:
• Helpful in regulating blood pressure and blood sugar levels
• Has anti-inflammatory properties
• Can treat insomnia
• Improves skin health
The benefits of poppy seeds are discussed in detail above.


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About The Author

Dr.William Lewis Aliquam sit amet dignissim ligula, eget sodales orci. Etiam vehicula est ligula, laoreet porttitor diam congue eget. Cras vestibulum id nisl eu luctus. In malesuada tortor magna, vel tincidunt augue fringilla eget. Fusce ac lectus nec tellus malesuada pretium.

MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery) Gold Medalist (2009-2015) M.D In General Medicine (2016-2019), CCID (Infectious Diseases)

PG Diploma In Clinical Endocrinology v& Diabetes, Clinical Associate in Non-Invasive Cardiology

Dr.William Lewis Aliquam sit amet dignissim ligula, eget sodales orci. Etiam vehicula est ligula, laoreet porttitor diam congue eget. Cras vestibulum id nisl eu luctus. In malesuada tortor magna, vel tincidunt augue fringilla eget. Fusce ac lectus nec tellus malesuada pretium.

MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery) Gold Medalist (2009-2015) M.D In General Medicine (2016-2019), CCID (Infectious Diseases)

PG Diploma In Clinical Endocrinology v& Diabetes, Clinical Associate in Non-Invasive Cardiology

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