Information on Wild Lettuce

Latin NameLactuca virosa
Other NamesLettuce Opium
Part UsedHerb
Herb FormsTincture of the fresh plant, dried juice in capsule form, bulk herb.
AffectsDigestive system, Nervous system
CautionsContraindicated in glaucoma and prostate enlargement.
Botanical InfoAn annual weed from the Aster family with abundant milky juice. Leaves similar to garden lettuce but with narrower leaves and bristles on the undersurface of the midrib.
DescriptionWild lettuce is a mild sedative and nervine and has been used in children's cough medicines and in various remedies for nervous irritability. Because of its safety of use and calming effects, it is a good children's remedy. Wild lettuce is most often combined with other sedative herbs.
It loses its potency rapidly, so most commercial preparations are very mild. One way wild lettuce can be really effective is as a dried fresh-plant juice. It is a common garden and field weed throughout the northern hemisphere. Take the fresh green tops, juice them, pour the juice into a dehydrator tray for making fruit leather, dry the juice under low heat (under 100 deg.), then break the resulting herb "wafer" up into small flakes. Take 2-3 pinches of the wild lettuce dried juice flakes as needed. The flakes can also be stuffed into capsules if the bitter, salty taste is objectionable.

Wild Lettuce has a taste of BITTER, SALTY and a temperature of COOL.


Tincture2-4 droppersful 2-3 x daily

Ailments Treated by Wild Lettuce

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Anorexiadigestive stimulant, nervinetincture, capsule
Appetite, lack ofdigestive stimulant, nervinetincture
Headache, acutenervine, calmativetincture
Insomniasedativetincture, capsule


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