The annual herb Opium Poppy, Papaver somniferum, is indigenous from Southeast Asia to Eastern Europe. Although used for centuries as a medicinal anesthetic, Opium’s abuse became inevitable. Opium was single-handedly responsible for centuries of addiction in China and Britain, and is now strictly controlled in America by the FDA, and by international agreements. The Opium Poppy has been used in the Chinese culture dating back to the fourth century A.
D. The Chinese first used Opium for its anesthetic properties during surgery and for chronic pain. The plant was rarely used until the seventeenth century, when the Dutch introduced tobacco in China. Opium’s recreational use began as an additive to tobacco. Eventually, the mixture became more dependant on Opium than tobacco, until Opium was smoked alone. The recreational use of Opium grew and migrated into the Middle East, and farther, finally reaching Eastern Europe.
The British made the Chinese Opium dependence worse by controlling it’s growing regions and encouraging its use in China. By this time, regions around Pakistan, Saudi Arabia over to India were ritually smoking the drug in mass quantities. By the late seventeenth century, addiction to Opium was so widespread throughout Great Britain, Europe, and Asia, that Britain sought the destruction of the plant rather that its manufacture. Now, the growth and distribution of Opium poppies is highly regulated and grown for pharmaceutical purposes only. The annual herb, Opium Poppy, has been in World History for centuries.
... of a large supply of opium stored on Chinese soil. ” (HistoryWiz, 1999-2005) Then, the two opium wars ensued. China lost. Effects of Loss ... her natural resources. Up until the end of the 17th century, China and her people and their life was as they preferred ... balancing of trade that must be established between Europe, between Britain and China. It was a disappointment. The Emperor wrote King George ...
It has proven both a benefit and problem to society. It has caused wide- spread addiction throughout China and Britain. Only through international cooperation on its regulation, has Opium been allowed to grow and its benefits can be utilized. Bibliography An nett, H.
E. , Sen, H. D. , and Singh, H.
D. , “Investigation son Indian Opium, No. 1, Non- Environmental factors influencing the Alkaloidal content and yield of latex from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) “, Memoirs of the Department of Agriculture in India, Vol. VI, No. 1, pp. 1-154.
Bayer. “Manufacture of Alkaloids from the Poppy Plant in Hungary”, Bulletin on Narcotics, Vol. XIII, No. 1.
United Nations. FINAL ACT OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE FOR THE ADOPTION OF A SINGLE CONVENTION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS. 1961.