Wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa)

Wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa) is also known as 'prickly lettuce' or 'lettuce opium'. The plant has originally spread across Central and Southern Europe and North Asia. It now grows wild in many parts of Europe and it is also widespread in southern North America. Wild lettuce is an annual but sometimes biennial plant that can grow from 60 to 150 cm tall. The leaves are spinose and toothed and the flowers light yellow and basket shaped.

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'Opium Lettuce' Effects

Lactuca virosa can be used in cases of an overactive nervous system and as a sedative. The dreamy effects are a little bit similar to opium, but milder. Wild lettuce can help reduce the feeling of restlessness, excitability and insomnia.
Furthermore it can relieve colic pains in the intestines and uterus and also muscular pains related to rheumatism. Some Indians use the herb to enhance the vividness of dreams. They believe that induced dream states provide more information about reality than the conscious waking state.

How to prepare Wild Lettuce

Wild lettuce is to be used as tea: pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoons and let steep for 10-15 minutes. Drink three times daily.

Another method is to make an extract. Soak 100 grams of wild lettuce herb for 8 hours in warm but not boiling water. Then sift and press all the liquid out of the wild lettuce. Put the dark liquid in a pan and let it evaporate. Putting the pan in a bigger pan with boiling water will avoid burning the wild lettuce while drying. What is left is a kind of gum that can be used like opium.


Be careful with the dosage; tests have revealed that on small testing animals even small overdoses can be (very) poisonous.

Post a review More reviews

  • AM


    I expected to feel some relaxation from this, even a little. I do not smoke anything else and haven't in about 10 years so I expected this to at least relax me a tiny bit, did not happen. I used a MFLB vaporizer that I bought specifically to vaporize this and Damiana herb. I must have vaporized two grams....nothing at all.
    Maybe the tea would actually work to relax me but I don't have time to make tea. I will likely make a tincture out of the rest of the 4oz bag I purchased.

    Don't waste your time vaporizing it.

  • Herbs No Drugs


    For 20+ years I have had pain and couldn't use Aspirin (makes my ears ring), Tylenol(hurts my liver), Midol(hurts my kidneys) or any of the other over the counter pain killers are problems for me. I think it's just man-made anything

    Sorry, I am not interested in any high, life is too important and don't want to mess it up. I suffer from constant pain, and yeah I think it would be great to get high, but getting paranoid on pot 30+ years ago cured me from ever trying it again.

    I have been looking at herbs and alternative medicine for answers all these years. I knew eating the stem of regular Lettuce had a very mild effect on calming me. Then a couple of Wild Lettuce plants were growing in my garden. I looked it up and it seems to match my needs for a pain killer. It helps with joint pain and I have allot of arthritis in my back and body.
    I started reading every link I could find on the web, it can be poisonous at high level.

    I ate some of the seeds on the plant and wasn't sure if it did anything. That night my allergies were set off, I think it was from eating the Wild Lettuce seeds (I found this out after reading that it was a common symptom from eating any part of the plant because it's related to ragweed).

    Today, I harvested several more plants from my neighbour's yard and I ate the smaller tender flower buds. I ate maybe 20 or more, I really didn't think it was going to effect me that much. Then I noticed a mild calmness and smooth ease of movement, yeah a little floaty. My constant back pain was gone. But I could feel my heart slow down and even felt stronger. I got a slight sweat and could feel my circulation increase as if my vains and arteries opened. But my ears were ringing a little more then usual. Most of it has lasted 2+ hours. Easy to think and flow with this, but causes a slight decrease in judgement (bummer I'll have to use it at home). Maybe like alcohol but no dopiness.

  • NotForMe


    I made tea with this herb as was prescribed on the package. Because it did'nt work for me, I made some more tea with a larger dosage. I felt nothing special. Nothing at all.. Tried some more and the rest ended up in de garbage can.

    I'm wondering to try on some Kratom. Maybe that will have more (or at least) some effect...

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Belgium and Finland.

Last updated on 2014-04-24 | © 1999-2014 Azarius International

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