Pain is so common that we can see a serious epidemic of opiate addiction. Unfortunately, when there are so many people need help, this leads to the fact that most of our population becomes dependent on the pharmacy, often simply masking the problem, and not fixing the cause. Morphine is one of the most popular painkillers but it’s a drug and a lot of people have addiction to it.
Unluckily, it becomes so widespread that medical specialists consider that a majority of us really need “seekers”.
Thus, instead of alleviating the tangible pain, people are rejected. As a result, they find this illegal, and pain clinics and rehabilitation centres appear everywhere, trying to fight drug addiction.
Lactuca Virosa is the scientific term for this, and many people have used it instead of prescription drugs. It is a leafy and tall plant with small yellow buds, and it can be grown directly from your door. More commonly one can find it in North America and England, it’s the cousin to the lettuce that we usually see in the supermarket. The other name of this plant is bitter lettuce or simply, opium lettuce.
Wild Lettuce as a Healthy Alternative
This plant has analgesic and sedative effects. A white substance found in the stem and leaves causes these effects.
Lactucarium is the name of this milky substance. And, although it does not contain any opiates, it has similar side effects – it acts directly on the central nervous system (CNS) to reduce the feeling of pain, just like morphine.
Wild Lettuce Milk Juice
Even though we don’t know a lot about this wonderful plant, but it has a long history of using as an alternative to pain relief.
History of using of morphine-like wild lettuce
Doctors use Lactuca virosa in the 19th century when there were no morphine. Council of the British Pharmaceutical Society in 1911 studied it widely.
They found two chemicals responsible for the properties of L. virosa: lactukopicrin and lactucine.
In the United States, the plant experienced a resurgence of popularity in the 1970s.
Today the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) forbid this morphine subsitute to grow, buy and own without a prescription or license.
Preparing and how to use
To get medicinal benefits of wild lettuce, you should use dried leaves . These leaves should be ripped off in July and August, at the beginning of september when they blossom. You can also find supplements and dried versions of herbs if you can not find them in the backyard but this plant is really hard not to find as it grows almost everywhere.
Wild lettuce will have mature flower or you can find it with mature leaves. This plant can grow up incredibly high to almost 7 feet.
Although there’s not enough research to finally determine the safe dose of its use, about 2-4 ml of tincture about three times a day or 1-2 teaspoons of dried leaves steeped in boiling water for 10-15 minutes is enough. Drink it three times a day.
Irritation can happen if you apply it directly to the skin, so be careful when using it as a local remedy. Always use a small dose for test before permanent use. Also, do not use wild salad if you:
- Have enlarged prostate;
- You have allergy to ragweed and similar plants;
- Have a glaucoma;
- Before surgery.
There’re plenty of other reasons to use this miraculous plant:
- Doctor Ibn Sina used wild lettuce as a lactagogue, product that fights with tumours, inflammation of the stomach and erysipelas. In the form of a bandage, he advised to stretch the muscles. Milk juice healed the corneal ulcer of the eyes, used it against scorpion and karakurt bites.
- In traditional medicine, our descendants used wild lettuce in the forms of herbal infusions and lactagar. They act in small doses as hypnotic, sedative and anaesthetizing for insomnia, whooping cough, chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, laryngitis, dyspnea, persistent cough, gout, dropsy and bladder diseases, as a diuretic in the absence of menstruation.
- Herbal tincture of this wonderful plant with morphine-like properties. People use it for rinsing for stomatitis, gingivitis, bleeding gums, sore throat, abrasion. People also use this plant for eounds, cuts and cold.
- A decoction of dry leaves is a diuretic and it calms asthma, dry cough, colic and helps with kidney stones. It has a calming effect on hyperactive children, reduces anxiety and stress, soothes rheumatic and muscle pain.
In addition to all the benefits, wild lettuce causes an euphoric state, similar to opiates, even though it doesn’t contain any opiate!
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