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Wild Lettuce: A Comprehensive Guide To Natural Pain Relief

Alternative Health How To Survive

Wild Lettuce: A Comprehensive Guide To Natural Pain Relief

Wild lettuce for pain. Wild lettuce for sleep. Wild opium lettuce for everything that ails you.

Wild lettuce has become a hallmark of the web’s holistic and prepper corners.

But what’s real here? Is wild lettuce as legit as people say? Does wild lettuce have any side effects? (yes, natural remedies often have side effects as well).

Over the years we have lost a ton of knowledge and traditional skills, like gardening and food preservation. These things are finally making headway, and everyone realizes how critical these skills are (hence, you read my prepper news site).

It is glorious that whether we survival garden or not, medicine is dropped off in our yards every day by wildlife flying through the air or rummaging on the ground to find their food and possibly leaving seeds of beneficial medicinal plants behind.

Hopefully, you don’t utilize a chemical company to spray your yard to make it greener, because this can kill these plants that grow freely.

Most everyone has dandelions in their yard, and these are great for making teas or capsules for liver cleansing purposes; however, there can be patches of 7 to 10 inch long thin green leaves that have ridges in them that are what we call, “wild lettuce.”

Wild lettuce plants almost look like an animal has taken 1-2 inch bites out along each grass green colored leaf, practically down to the stem.

Wild lettuce, in terms of skill or knowledge, is a great addition to your preppers list.

So let’s have a deeper look into this extraordinary plant.

What Is Wild Lettuce?

Wild opium lettuce is another name for wild lettuce.

But wild lettuce contains no opium at all.

Your property could potentially be growing wild lettuce. “Wild lettuce opiate” is a saying, not a reality (kind of). There is some validity to the wild opium lettuce label. But the “opiate effects” of wild lettuce are debatable, as you will see further down…

Wild lettuce has a number of scientific names including Acrid lettuce, Bitter lettuce, German Lactucarium, Green Endive, Lactuca Virosa, and Lactucarium. Many people call it wild opium lettuce, but that’s more slang than scientific.

For centuries, pain-relief ailments have used wild lettuce as their base. The effect may be similar to modern day Ibuprofen or Tylenol.

How To Identify Wild Lettuce

identify wild lettuce

Wild lettuce takes about two years to reach its biological lifecycle.  The plant is a cousin to the lettuce salads we consume and can potentially grow 80 inches tall and typically contains small yellow flowers.  Along the jagged green long shoots, the leaves can become purple in color however; they are mostly grass to medium green in hue.

The lettuce you see in your yard or the woods near your property won’t be tall because of pesticides you may use or from other properties runoff.  And if you regularly mow the grass they may only ever get from a few inches to a foot at most in length, and you will only see green leaves.

Cultivation Times

grow wild lettuce

From July to early October is when the plant thrives in North America.

Lettuce Sap

Wild lettuce produces sap. Wild lettuce sap is responsible for the pain killing effects. You can use wild lettuce sap topically for pain.

Some people may produce capsules from dried wild lettuce leaves, making ingestion easier. You can also make wild lettuce tinctures and put them under your tongue or in your water.

Where does Wild Lettuce grow?

Places such as North America, South America, India, Australia, and Central/Southern Europe can adequately support wild lettuce harvesting.

Native Americans have used it for a natural pain-killing remedy and other medicinal uses.  Most of the northwestern part of the US, like Washington and Oregon, see wild lettuce in abundance.

The History Of Wild Lettuce (It Ain’t New, Folks)

wild lettuce history

Wild lettuce has a long history of medical use and goes back to ancient Egyptian times. Ancient Egyptian tombs display various drawings which feature wild lettuce. Also, during the Roman Empire apparently Emperor Augustus had an altar built for using the plant to recover from various medical conditions.

Holistic website use variations, such as “opium lettuce” or “wild opium lettuce” to often describe wild lettuce.

In recent years we have seen wild lettuce in the news as an alternative to painkillers and a potential resolution for our opiate use crisis in the United States; however, it doesn’t seem to have that level of painkilling ability.

Contrary to the name, wild lettuce contains no opiates in its sap or leaves. The only reason for this nickname is most likely due to the potential for pain-relieving success for a laundry list of common and some not so common medical problems.

Most of the information available to the public depicts this plant as a mild pain reliever. Everyone responds to pain differently and it might more significant to some people and not much help to others. It all depends on pain tolerance and medical conditions.

Wild Lettuce For Pain

Wild Lettuce for pain

Throughout history, there is evidence of people using wild lettuce to alleviate pain. You can use it for a variety of pain issues, as well as other disruptive issues in your life. Of course, you should also see a medical professional before trying wild lettuce for pain (because, that’s the smart thing to do).

Medical problems that may benefit from Wild Lettuce:

• Menstrual pain
• Colic
• Rheumatoid arthritis & aching pains
• Anxiety
• Flatulence, edema
• Anticonvulsant
• UTIs & kidney disorders
• Sleep issues / Insomnia
• Circulatory issues

Wild Lettuce Pain Reliever, Sedative Potential

Many people claim to experience pain relief and mild sedative benefits from wild lettuce. You can use wild lettuce for pain by drying the leaves and grinding them up and putting them in capsules.  You will need to dry the wild lettuce leaves out in order to make capsules.

You can also make a salve for your skin and mix with coconut or olive oil. There is a milky substance which is the sap known as lactones that is used for pain and is found at the stem and is the most potent part. It acts on the central nervous system to calm nerves which emit the pain sensations. This is more OTC strength as opposed to heavy pain killing properties.

Use the seed oil for hardening arteries; some people have used the sap or the late tax directly to the skin for germ killing purposes. Some people report a “high” from smoking the dry leaves. Of those people, many claim to experience hallucinogenic effects.

The Wild Lettuce High

Some people claim to experience a “wild lettuce high” after taking wild lettuce. This is due to the perceived pain relief properties of wild lettuce.

Many people may experience a “high” using a number of pain relievers. As with any pain reliever, using wild lettuce to “get high” is certainly unwise.

That said, this is why you hear about people smoking wild lettuce.

Dosages For Wild Lettuce

When it comes to wild lettuce dosage information, you should consult with an herbalist or an alternative or integrative medicine doctor. It is never a good idea to introduce new alternative health options without consulting a medical professional.

How To Prepare Wild Lettuce

• Dry the leaves for tea, or to put into a capsule
• Make an extract from the leaves
• Use the seeds for oils
• Use the sap directly onto skin issues
• Eating the fresh leaves: nutritious, bitter, however, you won’t get the concentrated properties this way.

Wild Lettuce Tea

Tea is quite easy to make. With any plant, you want to make sure the leaves are dry however you also must make sure that the plant is fairly mature so that you are able to get pain-relieving properties at their peak.

Soaking wild lettuce leaves in tea form brings out the best of its pain relieving properties.

To start making your tea you will need to gather the leaves, dry the leaves and use a dehydrator on low heat so you don’t destroy any compounds that are active within the leaf. Once the leaves are dry you can grind the leaves and mixed 1 to 2 teaspoons of dry leaves with 1 cup of water. Let them steep and a pot for 3 to 5 minutes, strain them and then you’re able to drink them. You can do this for 2 to 3 times a day. The T has a very bitter taste so you can add lemon or honey or cane sugar to your tea mixture to make it taste better.

Wild Lettuce Extract

Making extracts is easier than you would imagine. You just want to make sure you don’t overheat anything because you can possibly destroy the pain relieving components. When heating the mixture, make sure nothing is sticking to your pan. Your wild lettuce mixture may stick the pan during the boil process. This can signal overheating and indicate that your pain relief qualities are being destroyed.

Mainly you want to gather the leaves; you do not need to dry the leaves, put them in a blender and blend for just a few seconds. You don’t want to overly blend up all the leaves. Next, pour the leaves into a pot and add some water. Now, place the pot on a stove with low heat, and do not let the mixture boil.

Put the wild lettuce leaves on the heat for 30 minutes and stir often. Strain the wild lettuce leaves through a fine mesh until they turn a dark green color. Preppers can use pantyhose if they do not have a mesh strainer. Once you have strained this put the liquid by itself into a clean pot and put on low heat once again. During this process stir frequently and make sure the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pot and the water will evaporate leaving behind wild lettuce concentrate or what we call extract.

Wild Lettuce Side Effects And Controversy

There have been many claims about wild lettuce being opium lettuce. Comparisons to heavy-duty painkillers such as fentanyl and oxycodone have been rampant in Internet journalism, especially in 2017.

Our nation is in the thicket of a pain-killing crisis with too much opioid use and many understand the risks involved and want to find an herbal alternative. With all of the studies and information in books and online, it is apparent that wild lettuce is a very mild painkiller and may be similar to using ibuprofen or other similar over-the-counter painkillers.

Wild lettuce does not contain any opioids and is not in any capacity going to substitute heavy-duty painkillers in the opioid class.

The benefits of wild lettuce include pain relief, despite the absence of opiates in the leaves or sap. You should seek supervision by a medical professional before considering wild lettuce as a pain-relief solution.

The plant is not addictive and doesn’t have any severe side effects.

Wild Lettuce – Conclusion

You can use wild lettuce for pain, pending it works for your needs. But, it is important to discuss wild lettuce for pain needs with a qualified, medical professional.

This plant might just become a high commodity in a disaster and could be very beneficial for survival as a painkiller or for its many other medical uses.  If the disaster is nature related, it will be essential; nuclear-related we probably won’t be here to identify the plant and use it anyways. An EMP attack or a nuclear meltdown happens, and survival gardening plants for both nutrition and medicinal purposes will be incredibly necessary.

Learning everything wild lettuce has to offer and taking notes for your own survival guide will come in handy.


webmd | primalsurvivor | psmag |

Author: Meredith Iager

Meredith has 13 years of writing experience online and in newspapers and studied journalism at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. Over the years, she has contributed entertainment articles and reviews to various sites including FrederickNewsPost.com and Fanbolt.com.

Since 2010, she has focused on AMA and integrative health and wellness content for AngiesList.com, SteadyContent.com, and a variety of private clients. She is an avid supporter of being prepared when SHTF and growing your own food, and is pro federal legalization of marijuana.

In addition to writing, she does transcription, researches on health constantly, and is an avid oil and acrylic painter. You can check out her paintings and older articles here: Meredith_A_Iager on HubPages | Follow Meredith on Instagram

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