If somebody informed you that lettuce can ease your ache in addition to opium, you would possibly marvel in the event you heard them appropriately.
However it’s truly true. A pressure of lettuce that appears like a cross between a dandelion and a thistle is definitely an age-old painkiller.
Wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa), also called “poor man’s opium” or “Lettuce Opium”, has been round for hundreds of years. It garnered its Latin prefix “lac,” which implies milk, due to the plant’s bitter white sap.
This milky sap comprises sesquiterpene lactones, that are basically the lively chemical substances chargeable for its opiate and pain relieving properties. In line with one examine, only a 30 mg/kg mg dose of lactucopicrin, the lively compound, is corresponding to a 60 mg/kg dose of ibuprofen (1).
Ache Killing Celebrity
Wild lettuce dates again to Historic Greece when round 430 BC, Hippocrates, the Father of Drugs, described the opiate-like results of its sap. The Egyptians apparently used this potent lettuce to extend their intercourse drive, possible as a result of plant’s stimulating results at larger doses (2).
By the 19th century, medical doctors used wild lettuce instead of opium when provides had been low. It was additionally used throughout the US Civil Struggle when laudanum (a liquid opium preparation) was not obtainable for ache (3).
The Polish additionally studied wild lettuce extensively throughout this time, as medical doctors observed that though it had opioid results, it appeared to have not one of the unintended effects of the extremely addictive drug. The outcomes of this analysis had been revealed in a number of 19th-century Polish journals. “The motion of the substance was weaker than that of opium, however freed from the side-effects, and medical observe confirmed that in some circumstances lactucarium produced higher healing results than opium.” (4).
By 1898, Lactuca virosa was listed within the United States Pharmacopoeia and in 1911, within the British Pharmaceutical Codex (5,6). Wild lettuce misplaced favor among the many medical group within the US within the 1940s, however by the 1970s, it regained reputation among the many “hippies” as a authorized psychotropic, typically blended with catnip or damiana.
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