Wild lettuce can be found in various places such as the south east and east of England, Punjab regions of Pakistan, India and Australia. It has recently been documented to have been introduced in North America.
The plant is known under many other names such as Acrid Lettuce, Bitter Lettuce, and Green Endive. Less commonly used names include German Lactucarium, Lactuca virosa, Laitue à Opium, and Laitue Sauvage, Scariole and Serriole.
The wild lettuce is believed to treat the following conditions:
- Whooping cough
- Problems in the urinary tract
- Pain and tension
- Migraine or headaches
- Excitability in children
- Pain during menstruation
- Excessive sex drive in women
- Pain in the joints and muscles
- Poor circulation
- Genital swelling
- Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
According to health professionals, extra precaution must be taken by those who choose to use supplements or drugs containing this ingredient. This is especially true for pregnant women and those with an enlarged prostate, allergy to ragweed or related plants, narrow-angle glaucoma, and those undergoing surgery.
The key component of the plant is a milky substance called lactucarium, which is found in its stem and leaves. Lactucarium is responsible for the plant’s sedative and pain relieving effects. When taken regularly, studies show that the plant seems to have consistent positive effects on an individual’s overall health.
Wild lettuce has many health and even recreational benefits. Known for its sedative and pain-relieving effects, it can be an effective ally for you when you are experiencing the abovementioned conditions.