Wild Lettuce; Opium Lettuce; Bitter Lettuce; Laitue Vireuse; Tall Lettuce; Rahutu-Karyumu-So; Scientific Name Lactuce Virosa

         Opium lettuce lives up to its name, being a historic alternative to opium in herbalism. In herbalists practices it's prized for many things. It offers mild psychotropic effects of a hypnotic and sedative nature. It's native to the regions of South Eastern England, the Punjab region of Pakistan India, and Australia. Sacred plants such as Wild Lettuce have a long history of spiritual use by various cultures around the world. Shamans and other mystics have consumed plants for their believed enlightening properties for many centuries. Other cultures used them strictly as herbal medicine. These wise individuals choose to live off of the earth, and in sync with the cosmos. They have righteously respected nature while learning to understand and co-exist with the wonderful gifts that it has brought.

Wild lettuce use has been documented as far back as the 19th century. Physicians would use it when Opium itself could not be obtained. In 1911 this herb was extensively studied by the Council Of The Pharmaceutical Society in Great Britain. They discovered two amazing chemicals found in the plant. These two chemicals are known as lactucopicrin and lactucin. They are the pharmacological source of the effects induced by this incredible herb. I wonder if there are any pharmaceuticals made from it seeing as how it's been researched by them?

Fortunately, Lactuca virosa is un-scheduled by the FDA, meaning that it's perfectly legal to grow, purchase and own without a prescription or license. These sacred plants should be respected, understood and embraced by the modern world. We have truly lost sight of the ancient ways and turned towards a new world of limitations, greed, and generally un-conscious life-styles. I say we all turn back to the old world ways of life. I'm glad to see activist groups and organizations protecting herbal medicine and fighting for human rights. Opium lettuce really isn't anything that they should go after, because it's a subtle alternative to Kratom even.

The new world has brought us distractions, destruction, hatred towards one another, and a large range of pharmaceutical drugs that seems to cause more problems than they supposedly treat according to the commercials theirselves. Some won't like that I said this but we're entitled to our own observations. I'm not making medical claims. I would like to point out that I back things up with scholarly citations on the bottom of every page. I also want to add that in Germany, herbalism is accepted by the mainstream medical establishment, and that they acknowledge the science behind its use!

I believe the real art of herbalism is knowing what to use when, and how to safely and effectively combine certain plants for their synergistic properties. I like Opium Lettuce with Burdock root, Chamomile, and Valerian root. I think the three of these go together great! On a final note, many people believe that alternative medicine is bogus and not backed by any science. They mindlessly chant the mantra "There is no scientific evidence to support that", without taking the time to do the research and find the scidence. This is not the case at all. Plants produce their own chemicals that are well known to have pharmacological value. It's called phytochemistry.

Phytochemist are chemist who seek to understand pharmacological compounds made by plants. Wild lettuce produces many of these pharmacological gems. The chemical known as lactucarium has sedative properties. This makes it a very valuable ethnobotanial for helping to induce sleep by those who practice alternative medicine. It also shows promise as a galactogogue. Galactagogue is not only a really hard word to pronounce, it refers to a genre of chemicals that increase breast milk production. It naturally produces and contains galactagogue compounds. The compound Lactucin is an adenosine receptor agonist, while another, lactucopicrin, has been shown to act as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. You can learn more about these phytochemicals from the acaedmic citations referenced at the bottom of this page and all others on the site!

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