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Medicinal, culinary and unusual botanicals from Australia and around the world

Lactucarium (Lactuca virosa extract) 1g

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Lactuca species contain mildly narcotic compounds in the latex which exudes from the whole plant when cut or broken. This latex is known as lactucarium when collected and dried. The active constituents are highest when the plant is flowering, which is why we harvest during this time.

Lactucarium was used in the 18th century to adulterate opium and also as a sedative in its own right (it has similar, but non-addictive effects). All Lactuca (Lettuce) species contain lactucarium, other sources being Lactuca serriola and Lactuca canadensis. Centuries of breeding has reduced the amount in common garden lettuce (Lactuca sativa).

According to the literature it relieves rheumatic pain, bronchitis, dry coughs, anxiety, insomnia, neuroses and hyperactivity in children.

1g extract


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