A painkilling lettuce could be growing in your own backyard.
Known for its soporific qualities, lettuce has been used for centuries to help lull people into a sleepy, contented state.
While different types of lettuce produce different strength opiate responses, there is a common lettuce that grows all over which has incredibly strong pain killing effects.
Wild lettuce, or ‘Lactuca Virosa’ is incredibly common and grows in many gardens over North America and the U.K.
Historically it has been used to treat Fibromyalgia, migraine and chronic pain conditions.
Although the pant causes opiate-like effects, it contains no opiates whatsoever and is completely legal to harvest. It was used in the 19th Century by physicians when opium was unavailable, due to the remarkably similar effects on the human body.
The active ingredient is called lactucarium and works by suppressing the central nervous system, thus lessening pain.
The leaves of the plant can be picked and dried and either smoked or steeped to create a tea, but it is dangerous to ingest anything you are unsure of so this is not recommended unless you are with an expert.
Natural Blaze spokesperson Heather Callaghan spoke of the benefits of the wild lettuce, saying:
“…extremely good news for those with Epstein-Barr Virus, Fibromyalgia, nerve injury, surgical pain and inflammation. These conditions are notoriously hard to control the pain associated with them.”
People suffering from asthma, migraines, and insomnia are benefiting from this natural plant. It is also sometimes used topically by people, whu use it to kill bacteria on the surface of the skin.
Wild lettuce has already been capitalized on, and is available to buy in liquid form at some alternative health stores, although the U.S Drug Enforcement team have already put wheels in motion to get this on the list of banned substances.