Nature has offered us many solutions for the treatment of health issues and one of them is the plant LactucaVirosa, or popularly known as “wild lettuce”. This plant belongs to the family of lettuce and people in the past were very much aware of its properties and because of that used it as a sedative and analgesic.
The wild lettuce is a tall, leafy plant with small yellow buds and it resembles the thistle and dandelion, but contrary to these plants it reveals potent analgesic properties. In the past was refereed as the “opium of the poor”, and since the 19th century replaced the use of opium. Nowadays, in France its distilled water is used as a mild sedative. It is commonly found in North America and England, but it is also available on the market.
The reason for its analgesic properties lies in the content of its resinous milky sap, which contains analgesic opiates, known as lactucarium. The main compounds of lactucarium are lactupicrin, lactucine and lactucopicrin which are opiates that are being collected and dried. It has been shown on animal study that these powerful analgesic properties are as effective as the popular painkiller ibuprofen. According to studies lactucine and lactucopicrin show a sedative effect.
Iranian researchers have found out that the wild lettuce was used as a painkiller and sedative even before the Victorian era. As per a conducted study by the Institute of History of Science, and released under the name “Lettuce, Lactucasp as medicinal plant in Polish publications of the nineteenth century”, the potency of wild lettuce was revealed as “the action of the substance was weaker than that of opium but free of side effects”. Additionally, medical practice demonstrated that in particular cases the lactucarium produced better curative effects than opium.
Health Benefits of LactucaVirosa
- Treats migraines – it was reported by people who used it that thanks to its use they experienced fewer migraines than before.
- Asthma and cough – thanks to its antitussive properties this plant can alleviate and cure asthma and cough.
- Insomnia – the consumption of this plant offers the feeling of relaxation and euphoria which makes the body to easily fall asleep without any addictive features of the commonly prescribed sleeping pills.
- Anxiety – people suffering from anxiety find great relief as wild lettuce can act as a mild sedative.
How to use wild lettuce?
The best way to consume this plant is to drink it as tea. First, you need to dry it and later use it as tea. The right dose is still not determined, but the safest dose is around 2 to 4 ml three times a day. Prepare your tea by infusing 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried leaves into boiled water for 10 to 15 minutes. Consume it three times a day.
The best part about this plant is that it can be easily grown in your garden, and you can always have this natural painkiller at your home.
- The consumption of wild lettuce should be moderate.
- Pregnant women are not allowed to consume this plant.
- The consumption in high quantities may cause sweating, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, ringing in the ears, pupil dilation, impaired vision, and sedation.
- When used topically it can cause skin irritation if it is used directly onto the skin, therefore prior use perform a test on a small skin patch and if there are no irritations use it freely.
- Wild lettuce is not recommended for people with the following health issues: ragweed allergies, narrow angle glaucoma, and prostate enlargement. Plus, people who use of sedative drugs (lorazepam, phenobarbital, clonazepam, zolpidem, etc) should also not use it.
- Prior initiating a natural treatment especially when taking medications you should always consult your doctor.