What is Wild Lettuce and What are Its Effects

by wildlettuce

Lettuce has three main species in the Lactuca (lettuce) genus, namely: the Lactuca Virosa, Lactuca Canadennis, and Lactuca Serriola. Wild lettuce or lactuca virosa is one of the most popular in the Latuca genus as it is usually ingested for its mild psychotropic, hypnotic, calming, relaxing, pain relieving, and sedative effects which are often characterized similarly with that of opium. You may have heard about the terms people have coined in wild lettuce as bitter lettuce, laitue viruto, opium lettuce, poisonous lettuce, and even rakutu-karyumu-so. Contrary to the taste and use of common garden lettuce, wild lettuce is actually more bitter in taste yet edible and that it is frequently used in everything from sleep tonics to soap to teas. Despite its strong pungent taste, wild lettuce has been an instrumental herbal medicine throughout history mainly as a sleep aid before it has evolved as a strong substitute of opium.

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During the early 19th century, lactuca virosa was used by a lot of physicians when opium could not be obtained legally. Then in 1911, it was studied extensively by the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. Therewith, they discovered two chemicals responsible for the properties of lactuca virosa. Wild lettuce can be found locally in the southeast and east of England while in North America, it has been widely documented as locally growing in the states of California, Alabama, Iowa, Washington D.C., as well as in other parts of the continent.It is not until the 1970s that the wild lettuce experienced resurgence in popularity within the United States.At present, wild lettuce is legal to grow, to be purchased, and owned without prescription or license, with permission by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Today, you can notice in your local supermarket that lettuce comes in many different varieties and wild lettuce is among them.

The Effects of Wild Lettuce

Since wild lettuce has been widely used for various medicinal purposes, the pharmaceutical industry has produced Lactucarium in the 1940s. Lactucariumis the milky sap secreted from the base of the stems of several species of lettuce, including the wild lettuce. This wild lettuce product has been known as the lettuce opium for is sedative and analgesic properties, though it contains no opiates. When a stem or leaf from a wild lettuce plant is broken or cut, it will bleed a thick milky sap. This sap can be extracted many ways, but the most common is by soaking plant material in alcohol. After several weeks, the plant material is filtered out and thus, extracts Lactucarium. After many studies of the medicinal qualities of wild lettuce have been made, several chemicals which constitute a mild sedative and cough suppressant were found in the lactuca virosa species. Its seed oil is used for hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and as a substitute for wheat germ oil. To most people, wild lettuce latex is applied directly to the skin to kill bacteria and disinfect germs. Additionally, some people inhale lactuca virosa for recreational high or hallucinogenic effect. Medicinally, lactuca virosa is used for the following conditions:

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2 Responses to “What is Wild Lettuce and What are Its Effects”

  1. Debbie says:
    August 8th, 2012 at 1:17 am

    I am looking to buy the wild lettus tea bags, where do i get it? How much does it cost?

  2. (Author) BV says:
    March 31st, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Wonderful herb. I stand by it 100%!!!

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