Maternal Poppy Seed Tea Ingestion and Ensuing Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Neonatology. 2020;117(4):529-531. doi: 10.1159/000508446. Epub 2020 Jul 6.


The incidence of neonatal abstinence syndrome has been rising in the USA. Nonpharmacological treatments resulting in similar withdrawal states in the newborn have also been described. We report an infant with neonatal abstinence syndrome born to a mother with daily poppy seed tea ingestion for the self-treatment of nausea. A sample of poppy seed tea was replicated using the mother's self-reported recipe. The sample was analyzed using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. This recipe produced a result of approximately 7.8 mg of morphine per serving which she reported to have drank 5-6 days per week, for an estimated 7 months during the course of her pregnancy.

Keywords: Kombucha; Neonatal abstinence syndrome; Poppy seeds.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Codeine / analysis
  • Eating
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Morphine / adverse effects
  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome* / etiology
  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome* / therapy
  • Papaver*
  • Seeds / chemistry
  • Tea


  • Tea
  • Morphine
  • Codeine