Wild Lettuce

Can be found in our Stress Guard product.

Herbal Medicine Materia Medica: WILD LETTUCE

David Hoffmann L. BSc (Hons), MNIMH ©



Lactuca virosaCompositae

Names: Lettuce Opium

Habitat: Indigenous to Central and Southern Europe and Northern Asia, cultivated elsewhere.

Collection: The leaves should be gathered in June and July.

Part Used: Dried leaves.


  • Lactucin, a sesquiterpene lactone
  • Flavonoids; mainly based on quercitin
  • Coumarins; cichoriin and aesculin
  • N-methyl-b-phenethylamine

Actions: Nervine, anodyne, hypnotic, anti-spasmodic.


Indications: The latex of the Wild Lettuce was at one time sold as `Lettuce Opium', naming the use of this herb quite well! It is a valuable remedy for use in insomnia, restlessness and excitability (especially in children) and other manifestations of an over active nervous system. As an anti-spasmodic it can be used as part of a holistic treatment of whooping cough and dry irritated coughs in general. It will relieve colic pains in the intestines and uterus and so may be used in dysmennhorea. It will ease muscular pains related to rheumatism. It has been used as an aphrodisiac.


Combinations: For irritable coughs it may be used with Wild Cherry Bark. For insomnia it combines with Valerian and Passion Flower.

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