DISCLAIMER - Let it be known that nothing here is to be misconstrued as medical advice. If you choose to ingest wild lettuce, you do it of your own volition. Wild lettuce is known to be one of the oldest plant medicines in existence. It has also been scientifically studied, and much is known about the mechanisms of this non-steroidal anti-inflammatory. The active components of Lactucopicrin and related compounds are both analgesic and sedative. However, dosing and long term effects of these compounds are yet to be evaluated by the FDA. All dosing information given here comes from the time when Lactucarium was commonly used as a medicine.
Well, I can't give advice, but I can tell you what is in the literature. Lactucopicrin, and the analogous alkaloids found in wild lettuce, are analgesic. Analgesics are used to treat pain. Lactucarium was pretty available in medical form from the late 18th to the early 20th century, but was replaced by modern analgesics such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen.
Lactuca extracts were used classically for pain killing, couch suppressing, and soothing of the nerves. Of course we now know now why this is so. Sesquiterpenoids Lactones, such as Lactucin and Lactucopicrin, work in the same way as ibuprofen, in so far as they are non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). In studies with mice, the principle alkaloids are found to be comparable to ibuprofen. Lactucin would be a possible contender as an NSAIDs, if it were not cost prohibitive.
If you have an allergy to latex, natural latex, herbs, lettuce, or herbal concoctions, do not buy wild lettuce. Some people are allergic to sesquiterpenoids lactones.
Well, I can't give medical advice, but I can tell you what is in the literature. Lactucarium (pure extract of wild lettuce) was found to be effective in doses of 3 – 15 grains. To make it easy to understand, 15.4 grains is about 1 gram.
According to an essay by Emile Muchon, published in 1846 in a book of pharmacy entitled The Chemist, one should not exceed 15 grams of Lactucarium per day. To put this in perspective, 15 grams would be 30 teaspoons of my Extra Strong Tincture, and 40 teaspoons of my Syrup of Lactucarium.
I follow Aubergier's recipe pretty carefully, with the exception that I've replaced the morphine poopy extract California poppy. Manufactures of Aubergier's original syrup recipe recommended a dose of one teaspoonful.
One teaspoonful of my syrup contains: .375 grams of Lactucarium
One teaspoonful of my Extra Strong Tincture contains: 0.5 grams of Lactucarium
One gram of Sticky Extract contains: 1 gram of Lactucarium
Emperor Augustus Wild Lettuce Tea: I call this tea, but it is more accurately an infusion. The amount of herb and the amount of water depend on how strong you want your infusion. A good rule of thumb to start with is one teaspoon of herb per cup of water. Bring your water just to the point of boiling. You can use a tea ball, or simply pour the water over the herb and filter when ready. Cover the vessel and let it steep for ten minutes to an hour. Covering helps keep in essential oils that may evaporate.
Syrup of Lactucarium: Following the advice of Aubergier, a dose of syrup is one teaspoon. It can be taken straight, or dissolved in warm water or tea.
Extra Strong Tincture of Lactucarium: I actually made this twice as concentrated as the traditional syrup. It still falls within the traditional advice for a single dosage of 3 – 15 grains, as one teaspoon contains about a half of a gram. It can also be taken straight or mixed with warm water.
Sticky Extract: Lactucarium is water soluble. As stated, the old school dose was max one gram at a time.
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