Wild Lettuce

wild lettuce

Also known as- Latuca virosa, and Bitter Lettuce.


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.

Parts Used

Dried leaf.

Typical Preparations

Capsules, teas, tinctures. Fresh green leaves are sometimes added to salads.


Wild lettuce teas and tinctures are used to induce sleep. Historically, they were especially prescribed for nervous excitability and irritated cough in children. Wild lettuce is included in some herbal mixtures used to threat arthritic pain.

Wild Lettuce Benefits

There are a number of health benefits associated with consuming wild lettuce or using it as a natural treatment, including its ability to aid sleep, soothe overexcited children, and calm the sex drive, among others.

  •     Prevent a whooping cough
  •     Relieve symptoms of anxiety and manic behavior
  •     Improve sleep patterns and prevent insomnia
  •     Stop pain and tension in the muscles
  •     Support respiratory health by treating asthma symptoms
  •     Eliminate headaches and migraines
  •     Soothe restlessness and excitability in children
  •     Minimize painful menstrual periods
  •     Calm excessive drive in men and women (nymphomania)
  •     Lower inflammation and joint pain
  •     Alleviate poor circulation and improve energy levels
  •     Minimize swollen genitals in men (priapism)
  •     Euphoric and sedative in nature
  •     Treat urinary tract problems




This herb is sold by the Ounce

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