Pain is a very common condition or symptom that can take down the toughest of the tough. It’s so prevalent that we are seeing a major epidemic with opiate dependency. Unfortunately, with so many needing to find relief, it’s leading to a large portion of the population becoming dependent on chemical treatments, often just hiding the problem, rather than fixing the cause.
Wild Lettuce From Your Backyard
Lactuca Virosa is how it is called scientifically. It’s a leafy and tall plant, with small yellow buds, and could be grown right outside your house. Commonly found in North America and Europe, it’s the cousin to the familiar lettuce we see at the grocery store. It’s also known as the bitter lettuce, or more appropriately for the purpose discussed here, opium lettuce.
People have used it for decades in place of addictive prescription pain medicine.
So, why is it referred to as opium lettuce? It is because of its sedative effects and pain relieving actions produced by the white substance found in the stem and leaves.
This milky substance is called lactucarium and, when used, it has similar effects like opiates, but it doesn’t contain any. And because it acts in the central nervous system directly, it aids in decreasing the feeling of pain and in calming the nerves, just like morphine, but without causing addiction.
In ancient times wild lettuce was known as a magic plant, so it has a history of being used as an alternative to pain relief.
Old Times Use
Wild lettuce was already being used as a substitute to opium from the 19th century, but it started to gain popularity in the 70’s as more people wanted a natural remedy for pain and also for recreational purposes.
Back in the day, people used to prepare wild lettuce in different ways. One was to cook the plant in water with sugar until it becomes a thick syrup-like substance. While this was effective, it was still bitter. However, the most common form was to dry the stem and leaves and use it as herbal tea. This method remains popular today.
Here are the other popular reasons people are gravitating towards this medicinal plant and natural pain killer:
- Migraines – People who use it for this purpose claim that they experience fewer migraines.
- Insomnia – Those who have trouble sleeping use it because wild lettuce produces a relaxed and euphoric feeling, helping a person fall asleep easier, without the addictive qualities of commonly prescribed sleeping substances.
- Anxiety – Wild lettuce can act as a mild sedative, allowing people with anxiety to find a reprieve from the stress it causes.
Have you ever tried? How was your experience with this miraculous plant? We love it and we make sure we harvest it every time it blooms.