Wild Lettuce

Wild Lettuce

wild lettuce

As the opioid epidemic worsens, people are desperate for natural pain relief options.  A local herb, wild lettuce has been used for millennia as a natural herbal pain reliever, and now survivalists are touting it as a form of morphine that grows in your backyard.

A house up the street from us has been being remodeled for the past year. The yard became overgrown with some of the local “weeds”, including an interesting herb known as wild lettuce. 

Although is is abundant in San Diego, it is relatively expensive on the world market, costing up to $100 per pound. 

In half an hour I was able to carry off about four pounds. I bundled it and hung it under our deck, out of direct sunlight and out of the rain. It was dry in ten days and I now have hundreds of dollars worth of it. 

I placed some in a glass jar to extract in alcohol. I am storing the rest for use in tinctures, teas and other extracts.

wild lettuce tincture
wild lettuce stored

Wild Lettuce

Wild Lettuce is a tall, leafy plant with small bright yellow flowers. Its scientific name is Lactuca virosa; in Latin, lactuca means “milky extract” and virosa means “toxic”. As with many medicinal plants, there is a safe amount to take, but too much can have an adverse effect. 

Medicinal Properties

Its best known medicinal properties are its mild sedative and pain reliever effects. The leaves and stems contain a milky substance that when dried hardens and turns brown, and is known as lactucarium, considered similar to Opium in its action, though it contains no actual opiates.

The pain relieving effects have earned wild lettuce the common name  “Opium Lettuce”. In fact, the leaves were historically smoked as an alternative to using Opium in the 19th century where the industrial trade of Lactucarium flourished.

In its catalogue of medicinal plants published in 1917, the Servall Company asserted that wild lettuce was “highly esteemed to quiet coughing and allay nervous irritation, a good safe remedy to produce sleep, to be used when opium and other narcotics are objectionable”. 

This was written at a time when opium and cocaine could still be obtained over the counter.

Modern Use

Today it is considered a safe and natural alternative to synthetic sedatives and pain relievers making it a good choice for those looking for a natural and sustainable health product. 

We have a great story about using Wild Lettuce for pain relief. Jane and I attended a retreat in the mountains but Jane was suffering from a really sore hip. I had brought some dried leaves that I had picked in our alley and I convinced Jane to try vaping it. 

She did so and was pain free for several hours. 

She hadn’t vaped anything previously and hasn’t since but was happily surprised how well it worked!

Terpene Profile

Its analgesic and spasmolytic properties make Wild Lettuce a tranquilizer. It contains compounds which studies have shown to help with asthma, cough, insomnia, headaches, pain, sore muscles and menstrual problems.

Wild Lettuce Preparations

Wild lettuce leaf can be used to make a tea, which has a bitter taste that can be sweetened with honey or other natural sweeteners. 

It can also be added to bathwater to promote relaxation and soothe sore muscles and joints.

Powdered components of the herb have been used for external use and it is still used for making a lotion for the skin to relieve sunburn and roughness.

In Summary

Wild lettuce is a natural remedy that promotes relaxation, reduces discomfort, and supports healthy sleep. It is easy to use, safe, and free from synthetic additives. Whether you are looking to unwind after a long day or reduce pain and discomfort, wild lettuce is an excellent alternative to pharmaceuticals drugs.

Leave a Reply

Table of Contents

Search
Share:

Teaching comprehensive holistic education since 1985.

We are currently offering interactive hybrid courses including Herbal Fundamentals, Energy Healing, Aromatherapy and Clinical Herbology

Hybrid means you may choose to participate in each individual class in the hybrid course online or in person.

Self-Heal Products

All of our products are made with love from organic, all-natural and ethically sourced ingredients.

We began making and perfecting our own herbal remedies more than thirty years ago and offer our favorite products for purchase.

Best Sellers

Special: $20 Off $100

SELFHEAL

Enter coupon code at checkout

Excludes 6-packs and 12-packs This coupon is only valid for products and may not be combined with other specials.

Recent Posts

Chaparral

Chaparral Herb Uses

Although I had been vaccinated, I recently tested positive for Covid. One of the herbal remedies I took was an amazing desert evergreen shrub, chaparral

Read More »
zinc

Zinc Oxide

A Summer Miracle We usually offer a workshop in the Summer, Summer Herbal Home Spa, in which I demonstrate making a waterproof natural sun block

Read More »
wild lettuce

Wild Lettuce

As the opioid epidemic worsens, people are desperate for natural pain relief options.  A local herb, wild lettuce has been used for millennia as a

Read More »

Upcoming Classes & Events

Herbalism 101

Starts June 11

Nutrition II

Starts June 12

Herbs For Women's Health

Starts June 24