Liquid error (layout/theme line 3): Could not find asset snippets/load-metafields.liquid Poison Lettuce (Wild Lettuce) (Lactuca Virosa) Powder – Rare & Special
Poison Lettuce (Wild Lettuce) (Lactuca Virosa) Powder

Poison Lettuce (Wild Lettuce) (Lactuca Virosa) Powder

Regular price
Sale price
Regular price
Sold out
Unit price
Shipping calculated at checkout.

General information (This information does not constitute recommendations for application and use.)

The poison lettuce (Lactuca virosa), also known as wild lettuce, stinky lettuce or stinky lettuce, is a close relative of lettuce, a species of the lettuce genus (Lactuca) from the daisy family (Asteraceae). Its leaves and the dried milky sap, the lactucarium, were used as a sedative up until 100 years ago.

The poison lettuce does not occur everywhere in Germany, mainly on the Moselle, where it was grown on vineyards, in the Rhineland and on the Main. There is still a heaped occurrence in Saxony-Anhalt. As a heat-loving plant from the Mediterranean, it grows in dry, nutrient-rich herbaceous areas and perennial weeds in southern, central and western Europe, but also in eastern Europe to Hungary and Poland, as well as in North Africa to western Asia. In the USA it has been introduced into a few states.

According to Ellenberg, the poison lettuce is a half-light plant that indicates warmth to extreme warmth, maritime climate, dryness to freshness, weak bases and richness in nitrogen. Salt or heavy metals are not tolerated. According to Oberdorfer, it thrives in societies of the Alliarion association, but also in those of the Thlaspietea rotundifolii class.

Poison lettuce has been used as a medicinal plant since ancient times. Initially in the Mediterranean region, and later in other regions as well, its supposedly calming, diuretic effect was valued. For example, Hippocrates wrote in 430 B.C. on the different virtues of wild lettuce and lettuce. The Roman agricultural writer Columella described four varieties of lettuce in 42, and Pliny nine just 57 years later. Emperor Augustus is said to have blamed poisonous lettuce for his recovery from a serious illness and was so impressed that he had a statue erected in honor of his personal physician, Antonius Musa. Presumably with the expansion of the Roman Empire, the lettuce plants spread to other parts of Europe.

Towards the end of the 18th century more and more doctors are said to have used the dried milky juice of the poison lettuce (lactucarium) as an opium substitute. Around 1847 the plant was cultivated extensively in the Moselle region and the Lactucarium obtained was shipped from Zell via England to the USA. There was also an increase in the cultivation of wild lettuce in other European countries at the same time.

Until the end of the 19th century, poison lettuce preparations were officinal in Germany, i.e. included in the German Pharmacopoeia (DAB). As late as 1911 preparations were described in the British Pharmaceutical Codex. Either because of the laborious harvesting or the lack of scientific evidence of its effects, it was eventually replaced by opium from Asia.

The plant celebrated a surprising rediscovery in the 1970s, when its effects became known in hippie circles in the USA. A German company then developed a preparation based on Lactucarium and marketed the drug with effective advertising, but since the preparation was not optimal and did not work, the public quickly calmed down again.

The dried milky juice of poison lettuce, known as lactucarium, was used up until the 19th century. Tea was prepared from the leaves, and the lactucarium was taken directly. In both cases, a calming, pain-relieving, sleep-promoting effect is reported. It was also used to treat coughs and as a diuretic. It is possible that all spontaneous occurrences in Germany can be traced back to such wild medicinal plants.

This product is sold here as an incense and should not be used as a consumer or medicinal product.

Liquid error (layout/theme line 120): Could not find asset snippets/bc_banner.liquid