Similar but Safer than Opium, The Wild Lettuce Known as “Opium Lettuce”
Lactuca Viros, the “poor man’s opium”, “prickly lettuce”, is a wild lettuce used as an excellent and natural painkiller.
Since antiquity, wild lettuce has been used as a sedative and pain reliever yet only a few recent studies have proven its potential benefits. One animal study(1) showed a 30mg/kg dose of Lactucopicrin, a derivative from Wild Lettuce, to have the same or better pain relieving benefits to 60mg/kg dose of ibuprofen. Ibuprofen causes strokes(2).
One medical reference(4) even states the substance Lactucopicrin to be free of the side-effects of opium with “better curative effects than opium” within medical practice! This is great news given that the US is facing a horrific epidemic(3) of opioid addiction, deaths, and fetal addiction.
Attempts have been made within the medical community to find the substance responsible for the curative effects of this plant but to no avail. Thus this non-patentable treatment has never been embraced by the medical community because there just isn’t money in natures medicine.
One animal study(1) showed a 30mg/kg dose of Lactucopicrin, a derivative from Wild Lettuce, to have the same or better pain relieving benefits to 60mg/kg dose of ibuprofen. Ibuprofen causes strokes(2).
Over the ages, 3 main ways have been used to consume the wild remedy, the first being my personal choice:
- Smoked: Note that “opium lettuce” does not actually contain opium, so one will not get high from smoking it and any attempt to do so is definitely not advised.
The tea can be made simply by drying the stem and leaves and drinking it as an herbal tea. The taste is quite bitter so one may wish to add raw honey or other natural sweeteners.
Other Potential Benefits:
- Asthma and Cough
Where to find:
You can find wild lettuce mostly in disturbed soils, such as vacant lots, along roadsides, in dumps and other waste areas.(5) Although not native to the continent, it may be found throughout North America.
How to identify:
Wild lettuce looks like a cross between a dandelion and a thistle. See the photos below for examples.
The Wild Doc’s closing thoughts: Now I must state that even though this may be a wonderful solution for many to avoid dangerous drugs to combat pain, one must always focus on the foundations of health and seek to correct the underlying causes of pain. Even treating one’s pain with this Wild Remedy is still only treating the symptom and should be used while the cause of the condition is corrected or after full measure has been taken to restore one’s health. Full healing only comes when we correct the cause.