Thursday, October 7, 2010

Opium Lettuce

Wild Lettuce or Opium Lettuce ( Lactuca Virosa )

Lactuca Virosa, wild lettuce, is a biennial herb growing to a maximum height of 6 feet. The erect stem of Lactuca Virosa springs from a brown tap-root and is smooth and pale green, sometimes spotted with purple. The numerous, large, radical leaves are from 6 to 18 inches long.

The Ancients held the Wild Opium Lettuce in high esteem. The Emperor Augustus attributed his recovery from life-threatening illness to Opium Lettuce; built an altar and erected a statue in its honor. The Native Americans used Lactuca Virosa as a mild relaxant and pain reliever. Though not as powerful as Opium, the whole plant is rich in a milky juice which contains opiate-like alkaloids.

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.

Classified as a mild sedative with opium like effects. when using an extract use 1 or 2 pea sized amounts to achieve desired effects.

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