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Opium: could be medicine more than narcotic

Friday - July 6, 2018 4:34 pm , Category : WTN SPECIAL


Opium is usually associated with addiction. It also evokes images of illegal trading, international cartels and smugglers’ network. It has a long history of subjugation, oppression and politics surrounding its trade and cultivation in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Opium has a major role to play in the shaping up of the history of the South Asia region, especially its economic and political mapping. Opium is cultivated by a very limited number of countries, including India, while its demand has always been high. This makes the precious commodity to be traded illegally and at a high price in the world markets. Opium is not just an addictive substance, it is also a major pain reliever, especially when it is used as an ingredient in pain-relieving medicines.

Due to its lack of widespread availability, millions of people don’t get the right pain medicines in cases of terminal illness where the pain in unbearable. India can be a hub of pain management, she being one of the major producers of opium in the world.

Opium-derived Codin and Thibene are also used widely in cough syrups. Opium tincture is used to treat diarrhea. But despite these benefits, unfortunately, due to the dated techniques used by us, we are left behind other countries, who even with lesser opium production are making the best of it by its rapid processing, aggressive marketing and better scientific usage through heightened research and innovation.

We rather depend on these countries for better treatment and fast processing of our opium produce. They are making the lion’s share of the money while India is languishing. Opium derivative khus-khus or poppy seeds have multiple health benefits. They contain linoleic acid (an Omega 6-fatty acid) which is good for heart health. The seeds also have generous phosphorous and iron content in them which help promote bone and muscle health.
 
The calcium and magnesium content in poppy seeds regulate brain activity. They also work as mild sedatives and help those having sleeplessness. The oleic acid in poppy seeds helps lower high blood pressure levels. The zinc content in poppy seeds enhances our immunity.

 Since poppy seeds are high in fiber, they help treat diabetes. The seeds also help digestion and relieve constipation. Ground poppy seed paste along with milk if applied on the skin, can control itching and eczema and such other skin infections and allergies. Such paste also acts as a good natural skin moisteriser.

A poppy seed scrub can be used as a cleanser to exfoliate the skin. However, extreme of anything is bad and thus opium too, in any form, must be consumed with caution. Opium-laced medicines must be taken only after consultation with the doctor or under a doctor’s prescription. Such medicines should be consumed sparingly because excess use can lead to dependence and addiction since these medicines are soothing in nature.

People under medication for some other ailment should avoid poppy seeds or opium products as they can react and complicate the medical condition. – Window To News


 
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