The Best Natural Painkiller in your Garden

What is it ? – WILD LETTUCE

This biennial plant grows to be 3 to 8 feet tall, usually on a single stem and has a milky sap that is distributed through the root, leaves, and stems. The central stem is light-green to reddish-green, occasionally with purple streaks. Alternating leaves are light to dark green, possibly with purple edges or a yellowish color. The lance shaped leaves are up to 10 inches long and 3 inches across.
Leaves are usually, but not always, lobed and similar to a dandelion’s. The largest leaves have deep pinnate lobes, while smaller leaves may have no lobes or shallow pinnate loves.
Wild lettuce blooms in the late summer to early fall. Wild lettuce flowers are small and similar to dandelions with yellow or slightly reddish-orange petals. Flower Heads are about 1/3 inch across with 12 to 25 rays. The flowers have no floral scent.
After 3 to 4 weeks, the flowers are replaced with dark brown, dry fruits with white hairs. The taproot is thick and grows deep.
Medicinal Uses
The white latex sap that runs through the plant is the main component for medicinal treatments. Older plants have higher concentrations of sap, especially when the plant is blooming.
White Lettuce Sap for Warts
Apply the white sap from white lettuce plant to the skin as a treatment for external warts. Cover the wart with sap once ortwice a day until the wart is gone.
Wild Lettuce is a Valuable Remedy for Insomnia
The sedative properties of wild lettuce come from the milky sap that runs through the stems and leaves. It calms restlessness and anxiety and induces sleep. For best results, I recommend drinking Wild Lettuce Infusion or using Wild Lettuce Tincture at bedtime.

Pain Relief
Wild lettuce has also been called opium lettuce because of
its weak opium-like effects. Used in small doses, it has a
sedative and pain-relieving effect without causing the
stomach upset and high of a true opium.
Use wild lettuce tincture as a general painkiller and for
muscular pain, take 2 to 4 ml up to 3 times daily, as needed.
Alternatively, use Wild Lettuce Infusion if the tincture is not
Harvesting Instructions
Collect the leaves and stems in the summer when the plant
is blooming for maximum medicinal properties. Use the
herb fresh, or dry it for later use. Older plants are best and
try to leave behind enough of the plant so that it will recover.
Wild Lettuce Infusion
Add 1/3 to 1/2 ounce of dried wild lettuce leaves to a cup of boiling water. Allow the infusion to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
Drink twice daily for maximum benefits.
Wild Lettuce Tincture
Vodka, brandy, rum or whiskey, 80 proof or good quality apple cider vinegar, fresh or dried wild lettuce leaves. It’s preferable to use vodka to avoid the taste of any other alcohols.

  1. Fill a clean, sterile, glass jar with chopped fresh leaves or use 2 ounces of dried wild lettuce per cup of alcohol .
  2. Cover the herbs with vodka .
  3. Stir the herbs to remove air bubbles.
  4. Move the container to a cool, dark place and allow the tincture to steep for 2 to 4 weeks, shaking daily.
  5. Strain out the herbs and discard. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 5 years.
  6. Use 2 to 4 ml of tincture three times daily, as needed.

Make a powerful medicine

Take 50 fresh leaves and grind them up roughly fun a blender or a few seconds. Add to a large pot and add enough water to cover the leaves. Simmer for 30minutes on a low heat, stir occasionally. It will turn a brown colour. Do not allow to boil.

Take another pot and strain the leaves and liquid through a strainer cloth into the pan. Squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Transfer the water back into the first pan and reheat gently and as the water evaporates, you’ll be left with a thick brown syrup. Keep a close watch as it won’t be any use burned. Pour this into a clean, screw top jar and it’s ready for use.


Wild Lettuce is best used as a fresh plant tincture as its medicine is contained in the latexy innards of the stem. This latex degrades when drying. To make a tincture, harvest the top of the plant (approximate the top 12 inches)  before it has started to flower and on a sunny day. Immediately processes the plant into a tincture.

Cautions/Contraindications: Use with caution with deficient stomach HCl and depression. May cause drowsiness so take caution with driving.

The Lost Ways

An excellent book for those wishing to adopt a herbal lifestyle.

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