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 Wild Lettuce :
Herbal Medicine Materia Medica
 
 
Lactuca virosaCompositae

Names: Lettuce Opium

Habitat: Indigenous to Central and Southern Europe and Northern Asia, cultivated elsewhere.

Collection: The leaves should be gathered in June and July.

Part Used: Dried leaves.

Constituents:

  • Lactucin, a sesquiterpene lactone
  • Flavonoids; mainly based on quercitin
  • Coumarins; cichoriin and aesculin
  • N-methyl-b-phenethylamine

Actions: Nervine, anodyne, hypnotic, anti-spasmodic.

Indications: The latex of the Wild Lettuce was at one time sold as `Lettuce Opium', naming the use of this herb quite well! It is a valuable remedy for use in insomnia, restlessness and excitability (especially in children) and other manifestations of an over active nervous system. As an anti-spasmodic it can be used as part of a holistic treatment of whooping cough and dry irritated coughs in general. It will relieve colic pains in the intestines and uterus and so may be used in dysmennhorea. It will ease muscular pains related to rheumatism. It has been used as an aphrodisiac.

Combinations: For irritable coughs it may be used with Wild Cherry Bark. For insomnia it combines with Valerian and Pasque Flower.

Preparations & Dosage: Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto l-2 teaspoonfuls of the leaves and let infuse for l0-l5 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day. Tincture: take 1-2 ml of the tincture three times a day.

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 About The Author
Whilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary wholeness and responsibility for it......moreDavid Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMH
 
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