The office of the Victorian Chief Health Officer has issued a health warning for for poppy seeds, when brewed into a tea or wash.
“Some batches of commercially available poppy seeds, when brewed into a concentrated form such as a tea, have resulted in cases of severe toxicity.”As at November 11, here have been 19 emergency department presentations related to consumption of home-brewed poppy seed tea.The key messages from the alert are:
- Some batches of commercially available poppy seeds, when brewed into a concentrated form such as a tea, have resulted in cases of severe toxicity
- Some affected patients have reported the poppy seed tea consumed has had an unusual dark brown colour and bitter taste
- Toxic effects have not been reported when poppy seeds have been consumed in smaller quantities for example in baked goods
- However, investigations are ongoing into whether smaller quantities of currently available poppy seeds, when consumed raw or cooked have any toxic effects
- Clinicians should be aware of individuals presenting with the outlined clinical picture and call the Poisons Information Centre (13 11 26).