Standardized: wild lettuce
Lactuca virosa L.
Plant Family: Asteraceae
Wild lettuce is not a vegetable but actually a woodland member of the sunflower family. The dried latex or sap of wild lettuce was at one time used as a substitute for opium. Although wild lettuce does not have the calming power of opium, neither does it cause stomach upset, constipation, or diarrhea as opium products do.
The sedative effect of wild lettuce is attributed to lactucopicrin and lactucin. The leaf also contains apigenin, luteolin, quercetin, coumarins, mannitol. The fresh leaf but not the dried herb contains hyosycamine, a chemical also found in henbane.
Aerial parts (leaf and stem)
Capsules, teas, tinctures. Fresh green leaves are sometimes added to salads.
Specific: No known precautions.
General: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.