More about Wild Lettuce
Wild Lettuce is also known as bitter lettuce or opium lettuce. It is related to common lettuce but as the name says wild. Lcatuca Virosa is believed to have sedative and analgesic effects. It has been used often in natural medicine as an anxiolytic to relieve stress and remedy chronic pain.
Lactuca Virosa botanical description
The plant belongs to the Compositae (Sunflower family) and originated in Southern Europe. It now grows wild in parts of Europe. After its introduction to North America, the plant established itself in the south, where it can still be found growing wild. Wild Lettuce grows on banks and waste places, flowering in July and August.
It is a biennial herb growing to a maximum height of 6 feet. The erect stem, springing from a brown tap-root, is smooth and pale green, sometimes spotted with purple. There are a few prickles on the lower part and short horizontal branches above. The numerous, large, radical leaves are from 6 to 18 inches long, entire, and obovate-oblong. The stem leaves are scanty, alternate, and small, clasping the stem with two small lobes. The heads are numerous and shortly-stalked, the pale-yellow corolla being strap-shaped. The rough, black fruit is oval, with a broad wing along the edge, and prolonged above into a long, white beak carrying silvery tufts of hair.
The whole plant is rich in a milky juice that flows freely from any wound. Wild lettuce is a “compass plant” because its leaves turn to follow the sun during the day.