Wild lettuce is used for whooping cough, asthma, urinary tract problems, cough, trouble sleeping (insomnia), restlessness, excitability in children, painful menstrual periods, excessive sex drive in women (nymphomania), muscular or joint pains, poor circulation, swollen genitals in men (priapism), and as an opium substitute in cough preparations.
This botanical is used for whooping cough, asthma, urinary tract problems, cough, trouble sleeping (insomnia), and restlessness.
Wild lettuce– Wild lettuce has bright green leaves that sprout from a green stem that is occasionally spotted purple. When scratched, the plant secretes a milky, white substance known as lactucarium. When dried, this compound resembles opium, a pain-relieving agent extracted from unripe seedpods of the opium poppy. Opium was commonly used as a pain reliever and sedative from ancient times into the 19th century (1Trusted Source). Lactucarium may deliver similar effects as opium — but with fewer side effects. This botanical is often referred to as “opium lettuce” due to its purported pain-relieving qualities (2Trusted Source). Historically, doctors used wild lettuce as a pain reliever and a treatment for conditions such as whooping cough, with research studies on its use dating as far back as 1815 (3Trusted Source). Today, there are many different wild lettuce products available, containing extracts of the plant’s seeds, leaves, and milky sap. These tinctures, powders, oils, and pills are marketed to treat a range of conditions, including anxiety, breathing issues, poor sleep, and joint pain. What’s more, raw wild lettuce is sometimes consumed by foragers who collect and eat wild plants.