We all know about the dangerous side effects of over-the-counter and prescription painkillers. But when your head is pounding, it’s hard not to reach for the bottle of pills in your cabinet. We all experience pain every once in awhile, whether it’s from a migraine, sore muscles or swollen joints. But instead of stocking up on painkillers, you might be able to find a natural painkiller in your own backyard!
Wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa) has been used for centuries as a natural painkiller and sedative. It looks similar to a cross between a dandelion and a thistle. Back in the day, many referred to it as the “poor man’s opium.” It contains a resinous milky sap which releases a small amount of pain-relieving opiates. When this substance is collected and dried, it’s known as lactucarium.
The main active compounds in lactucarium are lactucopicrin, lactucin, and lactucopicrin. These compounds have been found to possess analgesic activity, along with the sedative activity. Researchers have found that this “opium lettuce” was a well-known painkiller even before the Victorian Period. If you want a natural way to help reduce pain, wild lettuce might be able to help.
Here’s what you can use it for:
Thanks to its powerful sedative effects, wild lettuce can be used to treat insomnia and other sleep problems. It has a mild sedative effect on the body which works to calm anxiety and promote sleep. Wild lettuce calms and relaxes the body.
Wild lettuce is believed to slightly inhibit the function of the nervous system. This makes it a natural remedy for stress and anxiety. It provides a calming effect on the body and mind.
Wild lettuce can be used as a natural pain remedy for sore muscles and joints. It’s calming, relaxing and pain-relieving effects match those of over-the-counter painkillers, without the dangerous side effects.
4. Asthma And Coughs
Wild lettuce can be used as a natural treatment for asthma and coughs. The powerful herb helps reduce irritation of the bronchial tubes and lugs. It’s also able to loosen mucus and difficulty breathing associated with asthma.
Migraines can be extremely debilitating. Sometimes medication can’t even help relieve the pain. Wild lettuce can be used as a natural remedy for headaches and migraines. It relieves pain while calming the nervous system to reduce the anxiety associated with migraines.
How To Use Wild Lettuce
Wild lettuce has a naturally bitter taste. But if you make it into a tea and mix in a little honey, you can enjoy its many health benefits. You can look for it in your own backyard or in health food stores. To make wild lettuce tea, pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoons of wild lettuce. Let it steep for 10-15 minutes then drink! Add some honey for a sweeter taste.