Relaxation and Meditation with Wild Lettuce

Relaxation and Meditation with Wild Lettuce

Lactuca virosa is a plant in the Lactuca (lettuce) genus, ingested often for its mild analgesic and sedative effects. It is related to common lettuce (L. sativa), and is often called wild lettucebitter lettucelaitue vireusetall lettuce, and great lettuce.

Lactuca virosa is widespread across much of central and southern Europe. It can be found locally in the south east and east of England. In the rest of Great Britain it is very rare, and in Ireland it is absent. It is also found in the Punjab Region of Pakistan India and Australia where it grows in the wild.

In North America, it has been documented as introduced in California, Alabama, Iowa, and Washington, DC, and grows wild in other parts of the continent.

The lore of wild lettuce goes back many thousands of years, even back into prehistory. The Egyptians used Wild Lettuce as an aphrodisiac, but warned that excessive use would dull the brain. The Egyptian fertility god "Min" was also the god of magic plants, he is always pictured with stalks of wild lettuce behind him and had an entire festival in his honour. Lettuce seed oil is still used to this day in Egypt for medicinal purposes, massage, cooking, and as an aphrodisiac.

Wild lettuce pops up several times throughout history. Emperor Augustus of Rome was said to have been cured of a serious ailment by an infusion of wild lettuce. Wild lettuce can be found in ancient medicine, as well as an ingredient in magical potions and magical rituals the world over. In the mid 19th century, the industrial trade of Lactucarium flourished as it was a common medicine for headaches and as a cough suppressant.

Wild Lettuce's pain relieving effects are due to the milky white latex, also known as lactucarium. 

The main active compounds in lactucarium are lactupicrin, lactucin and lactucopicrin. These compounds have been found to possess analgesic activity, along with sedative activity. One study claimed that a mere 30 mg/kg dose of lactucopicrin is similar to a 60 mg/kg dose of ibuprofen. The compounds found in the lactucarium work in the way morphine does, directly impacting the central nervous system, blunting its ability to feel pain.

The pain relieving qualities of Wild Lettuce also aid in relaxing the body. This makes it very useful in the treatment of insomnia and anxiety, with it also called a feeble opium because it does not upset the digestive system. However, it is said to produce a euphoric, dreamy effect making it much easier to drop off to sleep.

This sedative effect make it especially beneficial to an overactive nervous system and it’s particularly good for hyperactive children.

Respiratory Health

Wild lettuce can be used as a natural treatment for asthma and coughs. The powerful herb helps reduce irritation of the bronchial tubes and lungs. It’s also able to loosen mucus and difficulty breathing associated with asthma. Furthermore, it can be an effective treatment for whooping cough and bronchitis.

Herbal Cafe carries only the highest quality Wild Lettuce.  

Wild Lettuce Cut Leaves
1-2 teaspoon per cup of hot water up to 3 times a day.
Herbal Tincture
2-4ml up to 3 times a day.
or as recommended by a herbal practitioner

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