top of page

Wild Lettuce - A Natural Pain Killer

Do you understand the beauty of Wild Lettuce? Lactuca Virosa is a less common variety of wild lettuce, but it is best suited for making #extracts. The sap has a very distinct and robust flavor, and is high in alkaloids. The plant itself is a biennial, producing large rosettes in the first season, and can bolt as high as three meters in the flowering stage of the second season. One large plant can produce 80,000 seeds! The plant is tricky to grow as the seeds often remain dormant for years before germinating.

Do you know that Wild lettuce has a long history of medical use? Its use goes back to ancient Egypt, and depictions of it were seen in hieroglyphics. During the Roman Empire, Emperor Augustus built an altar to the plant after using it to recover from illness.

It is often called “opium lettuce” because it was used during the 19th century when opium couldn’t be obtained. Don’t let the name “lettuce opium” put you off, though.

The plant is not addictive and does NOT cause the side effects of opiates, such as an upset stomach.

The picture below was borrowed from

The active constituents in any of the Lettuce family most definitely have anti-inflammatory and painkilling properties- even your common variety #garden lettuces do! However, these are nowhere near as potent as their Wild cousins, and its for this reason the weedy Lactuca virosa is most commonly used for medicine making. These properties are found in the Latex (milky, white sap) of the plant, so essentially you want to try and harvest when the sap is at its highest, which is traditionally when it is in bloom (and sending all its #goodness upward into the stalks and #flowers). If you are unsure, simply snap a small branchlet off the main stem. You will soon know if the plant is ripe for the picking! (your hands will end up covered in white, sticky latex).

Wild Lettuce can treat many ailments:

Wild lettuce is not a controlled substance under the FDA. It is completely legal to grow, harvest, and use. You can readily buy it legally as well.

Elemental Rocks and Herbs has Crushed Botanicals Apothecary Wild Lettuce available in a double extract and tincture in 1 oz, 2 oz, 4 oz, 8 oz, 16 oz, and 32 oz amber bottles for purchase online or in our store.

bottom of page