This milky substance is called lactucarium. And, while it doesn’t contain any opiates, it has similar side effects when used – it acts directly on the central nervous system (CNS) to lessen the feeling of pain, just like morphine.
Even though it seems to be the best kept secret, it has a history of being used as an alternative to pain relief.
Back in the 19th century, wild lettuce was already being used by some as a substitute to opium. But, it was in the 70’s that it started to gain significant popularity by those wanting a more natural remedy. Individuals were starting to use it for both pain relief, as well as recreational purpose.
In the earlier days, people using wild lettuce prepared it a couple different ways. One way was to cook the plant in a pan of water and sugar mix, until it reduced to a thick syrup-like consistency. While this was an effective form, it was quite bitter even with the sugar added. The most common form however, was drying the stem and leaves to use as an herbal tea.
The tea remains popular today. But, it’s also being dried for smoking, or vaporizing. If you don’t care to grow it yourself, it can also be purchased as a dried herb, extract, or resin substance.
Here are the more popular reasons people are gravitating towards this natural pain killer and medicinal plant:
- Migraines – People who use it for this purpose claim that they experience fewer migraines than they did prior to starting the herb.
- Insomnia – A frequent use of wild lettuce is by people who have trouble sleeping. It produces a relaxed and euphoric feeling, helping a person fall asleep easier, without the addictive qualities of commonly prescribed sleeping aids.
- Anxiety – Wild lettuce can act as a mild sedative, allowing people with anxiety to find a reprieve from the stress it causes.
- Asthma and Cough – Wild lettuce has antitussive properties, which alleviates or suppresses a cough. Also, asthmatic patients who have used opiates notice more episodes if they go through opiate withdrawal. So, the use of wild lettuce instead of prescription opiates, could be a better option for them.
In addition to the above benefits, wild lettuce produces a euphoric state, similar to opiates, even though it does not contain any actual opiate… so it’s perfectly legal.