The poppy seed is mentioned in ancient medical texts from many civilizations. For instance, the Egyptian papyrus scroll named Ebers Papyrus, written c. 1550 BC, lists poppy seed as a sedative. The Minoan civilization (approximately 2700 to 1450 BC), a Bronze Age civilization which arose on the island of Crete, cultivated poppies for their seed, and used a milk, opium and honey mixture to calm crying babies. The Sumerians are another civilization that are known to have grown poppy seeds.
The top producer of poppy seeds – by far – is Czech Republic with 28 000 tons, followed by Turkey ( 18 000 tons), Spain (13 000 tons), Hungary (9 000 tons) and France (5.700 tons). Slovakia, Germany, Croatia, Austria and Palestine complete the top 10. Poppy seeds are harvested in 16 countries globally.