Similar To Opium: The Best Natural Painkiller That Grows In Your Backyard
It seems that simple natural remedies will never cease to surprise us with their amazing health benefits. Sometimes we needn’t look farther than our own homes – in this case no farther than our backyard!
Many of you might not know this, but a simple plant known as wild lettuce has the ability to alleviate your pain similarly to opium. This plant appears as a cross between a dandelion and a thistle and belongs to the sunflower family. It was used by the Hopi Indians to induce mild euphoric states and is still used today in France as a mild sedative.
Wild lettuce, Lactuca virosa in Latin, is also known as “poor man’s opium” or “Lettuce Opium.” It has been used for centuries in the treatment of various health ailments, especially for pain relief.
The sesquiterpene lactones, active chemicals contained in its bitter milky sap, give it its opiate and pain relieving properties. It has been shown that just 30 mg/kg does of lactucopicrin, the active compound, is comparable to a 60 mg/kg does of ibuprofen.
Number-One Natural Painkiller
Wild lettuce has a long history of use. Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician, regarded as the father of medicine, mentioned and described the powerful opiate-like effects of wild lettuce sap in his work, while ancient Egyptians used this plant to boost their sex drive.
Furthermore, during the 19th century this plant was also used by doctors as a substitute for opium due to low supplies, as well as a substitute for laudanum, a liquid opium preparation, during the US Civil War.
Moreover, wild lettuce intrigued Polish doctors owing to its potent opioid effects and the absence of any side effects that were commonly related to opium itself. That is why the medicinal properties and effects of this plant were thoroughly examined, and the findings were published in several 19th-century Polish journals. They stated that:
“The action of the substance was weaker than that of opium, but free of the side-effects, and medical practice showed that in some cases lactucarium produced better curative effects than opium.”
Lactuca virosa, or wild lettuce, was listed in the United States Pharmacopoeia by 1898, while the British Pharmaceutical Codex listed this plant in 1911.
Apart from its potent opiate and painkilling properties, wild lettuce has long been used for treating numerous other health ailments.
Health Benefits of Wild Lettuce
- Reduces Anxiety
Due to its calming and relaxing effects, wild lettuce helps to reduce restlessness and anxiety, especially in the case of teenagers. Moreover, it is also believed to be beneficial in the treatment of restless legs syndrome.
- Acts as a Mild Diuretic
Owing to its ability to stimulate and even increase urine flow, wild lettuce is frequently used in the treatment of urinary tract problems and dropsy (edema), a condition that is characterized with fluid accumulation in the bodily tissues or cavities, resulting in swelling.
- Improves Sleep and Fights Insomnia
Due to its incredible sedative and calming properties, this plant aids in the fight against insomnia. It can be combined with valerian, another herb with sedative effect in order to increase its calming properties.
- Alleviates Arthritis
Wild lettuce can help relieve any type of pain, even the muscle and joint pain resulting from arthritis. If you suffer from this health condition, you should consume wild lettuce tea before bedtime to help you soothe sore muscles and joints and at the same time improve the quality of your sleep.
- Relieves Migraines
This incredible plant can also help you relieve migraine symptoms as well as make them less frequent. For this purpose it is best to use wild lettuce tincture.
- Treats Coughs & Asthma
Wild lettuce has also been shown to be helpful for treating “irritation of the bronchial tubes, lungs, and a cough.” In addition, it contains expectorant properties that are effective for “easing bronchitis, asthma, and dry, irritating coughs by helping to loosen and expel phlegm from the respiratory tract.”
Here’s How To Use Wild Lettuce
Wild lettuce can be found in the form of tea, supplement or tincture. It can also be dried and smoked in a pipe, however, we don’t recommend inhaling the herb.
The milky sap obtained from a stem or leaf from a wild lettuce plant can be made into an alcohol tincture, (Lactucarium) or the fresh leaves and flowering tops can be tinctured, or dried and made taken as teas, smoked or less often in capsule form. About 1.5 grams of opium lettuce sap is typically infused in a tea. It is alleged to have a sweet taste. Only about 0.25 grams are smoked in a pipe. It is considerably more potent when smoked.
Learn how to use wild lettuce for your needs:
- Pain relief
The dose is 1.5 grams of opium lettuce sap infused in a tea. If smoked in a pipe, the dose should be 0.25, as it is much more potent in this form. If you’re using a supplement, take 30 to 120 milligrams before bedtime.
- Anxiety or Acute Stress
Use 12-24 drops of wild lettuce tincture per day.
Take 12-24 drops of wild lettuce tincture every 15 minutes for 1 or 2 hours before bedtime.
- We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
- Consumption of large doses of opium lettuce can cause vomiting, dizziness, nausea, and anxiety. It is also toxic in large amounts.
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Wild lettuce. (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2016, from http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-342-wild%20lettuce.aspx?activeingredientid=342&activeingredientname=wild%20lettuce
Wild lettuce. (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2016, from https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/wild-lettuce/profile
Wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa). (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2016, from https://azarius.net/smartshop/herbs/herbs-relax/wild_lettuce_herb/
Wild lettuce Lactuca virosa. (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2016, from http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail364.php