Wild lettuce, Lactuca virosa
Wild Lettuce was studied some time ago by the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain in 1911. In these plants they found several chemicals which constitute a mild sedative and cough suppressant; the highest concentrations of which are found in Lactuca virosa. The two main chemicals are Lactucopicrin and Lactucin.
When a stem or leaf from a Wild Lettuce plant is broken or cut, it will bleed a thick milky sap. The dried sap is often referred to as Lettuce Opium, though it contains no opiates or illegal substances. This sap can be extracted many ways, but the most common is by soaking plant material in alcohol. After several weeks, the plant material is filtered out. This extract is usually called Lactucarium. Traditionally Lactucarium is consumed by dissolving a few drops into tea or mixed with tobacco and smoked.
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