How To Identify & Process Wild Lettuce For Pain Relief

How To Identify, Grow, and Process Wild Lettuce For Survival

When someone first hears about Wild Lettuce, they usually begin asking questions.

The first two questions are usually “what the heck is wild opium lettuce?” and “why should I care”?

But, once you understand all the benefits of opium lettuce, more questions come to mind.

“Is it legal,” “how do you find it in the wild” and “how is it processed?”

That’s the goal of this article – to provide you with detailed answers to each of these questions.

Specifically, this article will cover the following topics.

**Note: Feel free to skip ahead to any sections of this article using the links above.

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What Is Wild Lettuce Anyway? (Lactuca virosa)

Wild lettuce (also known as  Lactuca Virosa) is a plant with leaves, sap, and seed used to make medicine.

This medicinal lettuce has been widely used since ancient Greece.

In 430 BC (2447 years ago), Hippocrates, known as the Father of Modern Medicine, wrote about the pain-relieving effects of the plant’s milky sap.

By the 1800s, it had reached America. I was widely put to use throughout the Civil War when liquid opium became scarce.

Around the same time, the polish noted that it had opioid-like effects. Yet, it discovered it has none of the addictive properties of true opioids.

From the 19th-century Polish journals:

“The action of the substance was weaker than that of opium, but free of the side-effects and medical practice showed that in some cases lactucarium produced better curative effects than opium.”

Later, in the 1970s, wild lettuce again resurged at the forefront of drug use. This time, however, it was not for easing the pain of dying Union soldiers.

The hippie community adopted it and started using it as a legal psychotropic to get high.

Since then, it’s become popular among holistic medicine users and survivalists because it grows so readily worldwide.

If you want to learn more about this plant, this video by The Lost Ways is an excellent resource.

Wild Lettuce Video

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The Legality Of Opium Lettuce 

Before buying, growing, and scouring for wild opium lettuce, you should check on its legality. If it’s essentially natural opium, you’d assume it would be illegal.

Lucky for us, it’s 100% legal in the United States.

It’s an unscheduled substance, according to the FDA. So you’re free to grow, buy, and use as much of the stuff as you want.

The Applications Of Wild Lettuce

Once you start to understand “what” wild lettuce can do, is when you start realizing just how important it is.

Wild opium lettuce can be used to treat a very vast array of different ailments and health issues.

It’s a super “everything natural drug.” And since it has no adverse or addictive side effects, you can administer it without fear.

Wild Lettuce Benefits with Sajah Popham


Much like opium, this plant is extremely effective at reducing pain. Many equate its pain control to that of ibuprofen or aspirin in this regard.

Here are a few of the more common pain-control uses:

  • arthritis
  • painful menstrual cycles in women
  • headaches and migraines
  • pain from bruises/broken bones/cuts
  • even hangovers

Mild Diuretic

Wild opium lettuce can increase a person’s urinary flow. That’s why it is commonly used to treat urinary tract infections and edema.

Sleep and Insomnia Issues

Having trouble falling asleep? Wild lettuce has got you covered.

This natural drug has powerful sedative properties. After a dose or two, you’ll relax, which will help you slip straight into a dreamless slumber.

Combine it with a little valerian or Zzzquil, and you can kiss your sleep problems goodbye.

Anxiety and Restlessness

Wild opium lettuce has some significant anxiety-reducing and relaxing properties.

The mild sedation calms the nerves and eases tension in the body and mind.

Coughs and Asthma

If you have a chronic cough or asthma trouble, this lettuce plant can help ease your discomfort.

It helps to loosen and expel phlegm from the respiratory tract. Making it easier and more comfortable to breathe.


Feeling bored? Want a little something to mix up your human experience?

While it has many medicinal benefits, people often use it to get “wild lettuce high.”

Why not? It is non-addictive, legal; you can grow it at home easily (so it’s free), and non-harmful in mild doses.

Just make sure you are not pregnant or allergic to it.

How To Use Wild Lettuce

Administering this natural painkiller is not rocket science. But there are several different ways to do it.

Wild Lettuce Tea

Teas are the most “family-friendly” way to administer it. Most people claim it has a nice taste, and tea gently eases the user into the effects.

You can make teas from the concentrate. Or combined with other herbs like chamomile or green tea leaves to give it more (better) flavor.

You can also buy teas online at a reasonable price.


Apply tinctures directly to the skin or administer them to the gums/tongue. These tinctures require wild lettuce extract.

You can find tinctures online. Tinctures are handy because they easily fit inside packs, pouches, and pockets.

Smoking Wild Lettuce

Smoking this stuff can be one of the fastest ways to get relief.

It’s not great for your lungs, so if you’re trying to treat a cough or Asthma, use a tea or tincture instead.

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How To Process Wild Lettuce

This video also explains in detail how to synthesize wild lettuce leaf extract.

Wild Lettuce Video

Here’s a summary of the steps in the video:

  1. Place the lettuce leaves into a blender and lightly blend them (not too much).
  2. Once the leaves are blended, place them in a pot of water and bring them to a boil.
  3. After the water turns dark green/brown, take it off the stove.
  4. Next, strain the leaves from the water by pouring the mixture into another pot through a mesh strainer. Ensure as little of the leaf gets through the strainer as possible.
  5. Squeeze the leftover wild lettuce and extract all the water that’s still within.
  6. Put the dark green water (now empty of leaves) back on the stove and let it simmer. Let all the water boil off until there is only a paste left. This paste is concentrated in wild lettuce extract.
  7. You can pour it into a small medical vial and store it in your bug-out bag, medical cabinet, or elsewhere for later use.

Wild Lettuce Video


Because it’s not standard medicine, the science behind dosing wild lettuce is not set in stone.

It depends on the following:

  • how big are you
  • how old are you
  • your tolerance level

Note: if you use it every night, it will take more and more of it to achieve the same effects.

But it’s different for everyone!

So experiment before you settle on the right dosages for you.

Do so with a modicum of caution because, while it’s a “safe” drug – it’s still a drug.

Taking too much can slow your breathing capacity – which can be dangerous in large doses.

How to make Wild Lettuce CONCENTRATED extract (for pain & sleep)

Identification Of Opium Lettuce in Nature

The plant is a cousin to the lettuce we commonly eat in our salads.

The plant itself is biennial. Meaning that it takes two full years to complete its biological life cycle.

It can grow to be at large as 80 inches tall! Not all plants will reach this size, but it is good to know that the stuff can get big.

It’s also stout and has flushed purple leaves and stems. The leaves are broad, oval-shaped, and jagged-edged.

It flowers in North America between July and September. It sprouts round yellow flowers that look like dandelions.

And, of course, the defining trait of wild opium lettuce is its sap. The stuff is sticky and milky and very easy to identify. This is where the medicinal properties come from.

How to Identify Wild Lettuce (and distinguish from common lookalikes)

A video does a much better job of teaching you how to identify wild lettuce. So watch the video below to help identify opium lettuce in the wild.

How To Grow Wild Lettuce

It’s easy to find wild lettuce seeds online since you can find wide varieties of wild lettuce seeds on Amazon.

Once you have some, sow the seeds in pots or flower beds in spring or fall. Place the seeds in a shallow depression and cover lightly with soil. Tamp it gently down to secure the seeds in place.

Maintain the moisture of the soil evenly until your seeds germinate. Germination normally takes between 10 and 20 days to happen. When the seeds sprout, transplant them into separate pots, or space them out in the flower bed by 6 inches.

  • Give them water,
  • Give them sunlight
  • And give them time

Eventually, you’ll have fully grown stalks you can harvest.

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Purchasing Wild Lettuce Online

Again, you can buy Wild lettuce online. Lots of vendors sell it, so you can usually find it at a reasonable price.

Here are a few high-quality wild lettuce products:


TerraVita Wild Lettuce Leaf – 450 mg (100 Capsules)

Unlike tincture, tea, or dried wild lettuce leaves, these are 450mg capsules.

So you can take them with meals just like any other medication or vitamin.

They suggest one capsule with every meal (three times a day) to induce sleep, calm anxiety, and reduce pain.

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Bianca Rosa Wild Lettuce Leaf Cream (2 oz)

This topical cream is a lot like lotion.

But once the skin absorbs it, you’ll feel the pain-relieving qualities of the wild lettuce.

Creams are great for arthritis because they allow you to focus relief at specific joint locations.

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Wild Lettuce Leaf Tea (25 tea bags)

Tea is best for treating coughs and helping relax anxiety.

But it’s also good for dropsy and cholic and as a mild sleep aid.

One teabag per cup of tea before bed can work wonders!

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Best Survival Uses For Wild Lettuce

Wild lettuce is an excellent survival resource because of all its uses.

We covered the medical uses above, which are still valid for survival. However, I want to touch on the benefits of stockpiling survival lettuce.

In times of economic collapse or a widespread disaster, the world could collapse into lawless chaos. We call this TEOTWAWKI or SHTF, but the bottom line is you may want to prepare for such an event.

Well, wild lettuce would be a resource in very high demand during a period of survival chaos.

If dollars ever become worthless, people will be forced to trade precious metals or goods. The trading of goods is called a barter economy.

You’ll need something with a lot of value to trade with. And growing, processing, and distributing some would be a smart way to generate a living in dire circumstances.

You’re welcome.

Final Thoughts

Herbal medicines have been essential since the times of hunter-gatherers. Using simple natural plants to treat illnesses and afflictions is an ancient practice.

Without it, the fate of our race would have been drastically different.

Wild opium lettuce is a potent example of how natural medicines are still useful today.

It’s useful because it treats health ailments and is a natural substitute for many pharmaceutical medications. Like over-the-counter pain medications, laxatives, sleep aids, and anti-anxiety medications.

And even better, not only is it great for medical purposes, but wild opium lettuce is also a valuable trade commodity.

If a widespread disaster arises, trade may be one of the only forms of commerce – otherwise known as barter. And a resource as useful as wild opium lettuce will be in high demand.

If you want even more information, we recommend you watch this video.

Wild Lettuce Video

Also, if you liked this article,  you should check out our article on how to make pemmican – the super survival food.

Will Brendza

P.s. Are you ready for the tough times ahead?

Find out now by taking my short Readiness Score Quiz – it’s absolutely free.
Once complete, you’ll know exactly where you stand on the “fragile” vs.” resilient” spectrum.


The post How To Identify & Process Wild Lettuce For Pain Relief appeared first on Skilled Survival.

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