Wild lettuce (Lactuca Virosa) is a plant that typically flowers in summer and has many great uses. Lactucarium substance was used in the past when there was not enough opium. Its sap and seeds make a great remedy for pain relief with no side effects and great sedative effects that can also help with anxiety and sleep. Learn how to make wild lettuce tea (add another herb, if you like!), how to process it into extract form, what is the right dosage for you, how to apply a tincture to your skin, and what supplements you can get.
Today we will learn some crucial tips and hacks on how to distinguish, cultivate, and process wild lettuce for your preparedness and guaranteed survival.
Have you ever heard about wild lettuce? If yes, then still, you may have a huge number of questions left. If not, you are probably wondering “what on earth opium lettuce is” and “how it can help me in my survival.” Here’s the case when the answers only cause more questions like “is it legal at all” or “how am I supposed to single it out in the wilderness” or “how should I process this plant.” Let’s put it in order now as this article aims to introduce the benefits of wild lettuce and make each of these pivotal aspects clear for the readers.
Consequently, we will cover such topics as what Lactuca Virosa is, its legality, how to single out, apply and use it, buy it, and surely not bypass the traditional survival hacks and tips with wild Lactuca.
**Note: feel free to switch over to any part of this article more interesting to you by scrolling down the page and skipping over the sections.
What is Wild Lettuce (Lactuca Virosa)
Wild lettuce (also called Lactuca Virosa, Bitter Lettuce, and so on) is a versatile plant whose sap, leaves, and seed are applied to make medications. It is considered a woodland member of the sunflower family though not a vegetable. This medicinal sort has already been widely applied in ancient Egypt and ancient Greece for cooking, as well as for healing purposes and religious ceremonies.
In 430 BC (over 2450 years ago), Hippocrates, considered the great ancestor of Today’s Medicine, left some notes on the analgesic effects of the wild lettuce’s milky sap.
At the beginning of the XIX century, wild lettuce had reached the American continent. It was a trusted remedy used throughout the Civil War as liquid opium became deficient. Now it can easily be found in the US and in some coastal areas of Great Britain, too.
Similar opioid-like painkilling effects were noticed by the Polish around the same time. However, contrary to true opioids, wild Lactuca did not have certain addictive properties.
Let’s look into some drug discovery technologies two-centuries-old — here is an extract from the 19th century Polish Journal of Ethnopharmacology:
“The action of the substance was weaker than that of opium, but did not have the side-effects, and medical practice showed that in some cases lactucarium produced better curative effects than opium.”
Back in the 1970s, wild lettuce was applied as a drug, though not to ease the pain of the wounded Union soldiers but to broaden the boundaries of consciousness of the numerous hippie communities who used it as a legal psychotropic.
Since then and to date, among other natural remedies, common lettuce is valued by both holistic medicine supporters and preppers throughout the world for its healing, pain-relieving, and nutritional features.
The Lost Ways video will give you a broad outline of the multiple applications of wild lettuce.
The Legality of Opium Lettuce
For those of you worrying about its legality since it is fully natural opium, we are gladly announcing that it is 100% legal in the US. In compliance with the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), it is an uncontrolled substance, implying its free cultivation, selling, and distribution in unlimited volumes.
The Best Applications of Wild Lettuce
As you are now briefly acquainted with the sedative and pain-relieving properties of wild lettuce, you may suppose how useful it is for various aches and diseases. In plus, you may use and recommend it without any doubt since it does not have any controversial or addictive side effects.
Natural Cure For Pain
Similar to opium, wild lettuce reduces pain the same way aspirin or ibuprofen does in many cases.
Moreover, its application as a natural analgesic applies to:
- common headaches and migraines
- bruises, broken bones, and cuts-related pain
- women’s painful menstrual cycles
- and even hangovers.
Isn’t it good news?
Specialists have proven that wild lettuce boosts urinary flow, so it is recommended in urinary tract infections and edema treatment.
Sleep and Insomnia Issues
Remember the sedative effects of the wild lettuce? If nervousness and distress strike you regularly and falling asleep is a troublesome issue for you, wild lettuce is here to help.
This natural drug will calm you down and send you to sleep peacefully due to its powerful relaxing, and soporific properties. Usually, two doses are enough for golden slumbers to fill your eyes.
It is even more efficient in combination with some valerian drops, ZzzQuil (or other caps for better nighttime sleep).
Following the previous effect, Lactuca Virosa will mildly sedate, relax, and ease the strain of both your body and spirit day by day.
Seasonal Coughs and Asthma
If you are an unhappy owner of a frequent seasonal or chronic cough or even asthma, this plant will work, too — its sap helps to thin and flush phlegm from the respiratory tract and thus makes it easier to breathe and eases the discomfort in the throat and vocal cords.
Latuca Virosa for Recreation
Since this plant is non-addictive and harmless, it can be used in modest doses to recreate and stimulate brain activity, perception, and consciousness, apart from many medicinal advantages (surely, we do not recommend using it to pregnant women or nursing mothers, or people allergic to it).
How to Apply Wild Lettuce
You do not have to be a witch doctor or a herbalist to master several ways of how wild lettuce may be applied for certain cases.
Wild Lettuce Tea
Making tea is the most “family” way of processing this plant. Most people claim that it tastes good, and the tea mildly eases many symptoms.
The main ingredient for such tea is wild lettuce concentrate. To enrich the taste and get a more balanced flavor, you may add chamomile or green tea leaves to your drink.
Another hassle-free option is buying teas online at a profitable price.
The extract processed from wild lettuce is the primary ingredient for a number of tinctures. They are a time-tested natural remedy that may be applied straight to the skin, or put under the tongue, or to the gums.
You can find tinctures online, as well. Besides, this is a handy “take away” option for backpackers, trekkers, and campers, as these tinctures fit perfectly into pouches and pockets.
Smoking Wild Lettuce
Smoking wild lettuce is known to be among the quickest methods to settle down and chill out.
Frequent smoking lettuce opium won’t go harmless for your lungs, though, so in case you have Asthma or cough, we recommend replacing it with the tea or tincture.
How to Process Wild Lettuce
This video also provides all the necessary details on how to synthesize the plant’s leaf extract.
If you do now want to watch the whole video, here are the brief steps extracted from it:
- Put some Lactuca into a blender and gently blend it for several seconds.
- Pour some water into a pot, add the leaves and near-boil them.
- Take the levels out of the pot once the water has gained a dark green or brown tint.
- Then strain the leaves out of the water by pouring the blend into another saucepan through a mesh sieve. Try to do it the way that as few leaves as possible pass through the strainer.
- Squeeze the leftover extract, getting rid of the remaining water.
- Place the pot with dark green water on the stove again and let it boil until it is of a paste-reminding consistency. Such paste will be the plant’s extract.
- You can now leave it out and then pour it into a tiny medical vial and keep it for future use.
Since it is not strictly traditional medicine, there are no precise measures of the required doses
So, they vary depending on:
- your weight and height
- your age
- the tolerance of your organism to it
Keep in mind: there is still the adaptation mechanism taking effect, so if used daily throughout the year, it will gradually require more amounts of the substance to reach the same effects.
Still, it works differently on each of us! And that means you need to do some reasonable experiments to work out the optimal dosage for you.
Here some caution will not hurt as its sedative capacities may slow down your breathing too much, which is surely a risking thing.
Identifying Wild Lettuce in Nature
This plant is known as a relative of lettuce, which we usually eat in salads.
The plant itself is biennial, so it takes two full years to accomplish the biological life cycle.
If you are already planning to grow it on your vegetable patch, keep in mind that some sorts may grow up to 80 inches tall! Do not worry. Not each plant is meant to reach this size, but one thing it will surely have is its thick stems with flushed purple leaves. They are easy to recognize, having a broad, oval shape and jagged contours.
North America is in bloom mainly between July and September and is distinguished by nice yellow round-shaped flowers reminding of dandelions. And the plant’s medicinal features root in its stem with sticky and milky sap.
How to Cultivate Wild Lettuce
On today’s manifold market, you may easily find a great number of wild Lactuca seeds on the Net, for instance, on Amazon.com.
Its seeds are sown in fall or spring in either cans or flower beds. Put your seeds in a shallow hole and lightly dust them with soil. Tamp it lightly with your palm to hold the seeds in place.
It is crucial to keep the soil steadily moistured until your seeds start to sprout. It generally takes between 1,5 and three weeks to see your seeds germinate. When it happens, place your plants into several pots, or put them into the patch or a flower bed about 6 inches. Make sure you do the following:
- leave enough space for each of them to grow
- water them regularly
- provide them with enough sunlight
- give them time to grow
These fine plants take patience before you can harvest them and eventually discover their healing capacities.
If you want to increase your survival knowledge range, try reading our extensive survival prepping guide. With the help of our blog, get to learn a lot of exciting facts about the first-class survival gear, the best survival skills, and everything real preppers around the world, true homesteaders, and savage survivalists want to know!
Best Wild Lettuce Products to Buy Online
If you have never been into gardening or you’ve no time to wait for your lettuces to grow, do not worry — today, there are quite a lot of manufacturers selling related items on the Internet. A lazier kind of health practitioner can always buy some Lactuca goods on Amazon.com.
Let’s get acquainted with the most worthy items to take into your shopping cart.
This well-known company mainly produces different gourmet spices. Their Lactuca Virosa does not contain any additives or needless substitutes, so you get an absolutely pure product (only dried plants) for cooking or healing with a 100% money-back guarantee.
This wild lettuce extract made in the USA comes in a mix of organic plants and herbs.
This non-GMO concentrate is distilled to have faster absorption and higher potency in your organism.
This item is more of a medication than a tincture, spice, or tea as it is packed as 450mg capsules and aims at pain and stress reduction.
Add them to your meals as you add vitamins and dietary supplements — a capsule three times a day will do you good.
This topical cream is very similar to a moisturizing lotion though it boasts pain-relieving features, as well.
This leaf cream is great to treat, cure or prevent arthritis because it concentrates at certain painful points in your joints and relieves the distress alongside skin absorption.
Herbal tea is among the top remedies for treating coughs and tackling stress. Terra Vita Leaf Tea not only calms down the whole central nervous system but is also useful for both dropsy, cholic and as a safe cure for insomnia.
Add a tea bag into your cup during the evening tea, relax, watch your breath and go to sleep afterward — one cup per day will surely take effect.
Top Ways to Use Lettuce for Survival
All the above-mentioned medical-related uses of this plant are also good for survival. But that is not it yet. We want to show you how useful stockpiling Lactuca Virosa can actually be. During the so-called barter economy, people would trade precious metals and valuable goods, including edible and healing Lactuca. So, in times of TEOTWAWKI or SHTF, this product will be in great necessity thanks to its nutritional, medicinal, and digestive values.
In such cases, cultivating, processing, and exchanging this plant and its related products may be a reasonable means of making a living (obviously, along with other efficient ways).
As a Conclusion
Our distant ancestors were hunters and gatherers who treated illnesses with herbs and plants. Yet today, having access to all the manifold modern medicine, we still refer to those traditional and archaic healing ways very often. If it was for no reason, would we do it at all? Plants have always been considered powerful pain- and stress-relieving remedies, laxatives, and sleep aids. Though it is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, and prevent any disease, today, we still rely on them in our modern lives.
Wild Lactuca is among the strong proofs of how natural herbal medications are widely applied to date.
The first reason for it is that Lactuca Virosa acts as a natural substitute for chemical additives and controversial medicaments to improve your health conditions harmlessly. In plus, wild lettuce is always a good survivalist’s trade option valued by its customers.
For more profound information, watch this video. And to generally expand your knowledge of survival food stockpiling, we advise you to learn how to make pemmican – the superfood worthy for any survival scenario.
Is Prickly lettuce the same as wild lettuce?
Prickly lettuce (in Latin called Lactuca serriola) is very similar to it. Their medicinal qualities have a lot in common, thus are aimed at dealing with similar health problems and having the same health effects. However, the prickly lettuce leaf shape is slightly different: The prickly sort has less rounded leaves with more jagged edges.
Is wild lettuce a perennial?
Lactuca Virosa is a biennial plant, but do not confuse it with Lactuca pulchella, which is a perennial. It means that the plant is able to multiply in two ways: seeds and horizontal roots needed for new shoots production.
How do you kill wild lettuce?
If you do not want Lactuca to cover all your lawn or spread through your vegetable patch, simply cut it with a scuffle hoe while it is young as it has a long taproot. Besides, do a thorough mulch of your soil regularly.
Wild Lettuce: Does It Provide Natural Pain Relief?
Absolutely yes, it is a natural pain killer containing a pain-relieving agent lactucin. Among other health benefits, lactucin and other components have a quick but milder effect similar to ibuprofen and aspirin. While lactucin is an adenosine receptor agonist, another compound, lactucopicrin, has been shown to act as one of the acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. It relaxes your muscles and nerves, relieves joint pain and back pain (note: caution to potential skin irritation), sedates your nerve system, and works as a smooth and efficient analgesic, so it may help many for many sorts of afflictions.