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The Wild Indian Plant

The Wild Indian Plant is a Perennial plant. This plant also goes by the name's Indian lettuce, milkweed, and wild lettuce. Because of its analgesic properties, some have even referred to this plant as Opium Weed.

This plan has leaves and tender stems with a slight bitter flavor and are used fresh as salad, boiled, steamed or stir-fried, or in soup. [1] The leaves contain about 1.5% protein, 0.4% fat, 2.2% carbohydrate, 0.7% ash. The cooked stem - contains 0.6% protein, 0.1% fat, 2.1% carbohydrate, 0.5% ash. To Propagate the herb, sow early spring in a warm greenhouse, only just covering the seed. Germination is usually rapid, prick out the seedlings when large enough to handle and plant them out after the last expected frosts. Division in spring. Make sure each piece of root has a leaf bud. Root cuttings in late winter. Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, many plants in this genus contain a narcotic principle, this is at its most concentrated when the plant begins to flower. This principle has been almost bred out of the cultivated forms of lettuce but is produced when the plant starts to go to seed.

The Indian Lettuce plant is digestive and tonic. Although there have been no specific reports for this species, most if not all members of the genus have a milky sap that contains the substance "lactucarium". The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air. The sap contains "lactucarium", which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts. [2]

Wild lettuce is a plant where the leaves, sap, and seed are used to make medicine. This medicinal lettuce has been a widely used since ancient Greece. In 430 BC (Over 2000 years ago) Hippocrates, known as the Father of Modern Medicine, wrote about the pain-relieving effects of the plant’s milky sap. By the 1800’s, it had reached America. It was widely put to use throughout the Civil War when liquid opium became scarce. Around the same time, the Polish noted that wild lettuce has opioid-like effects with none of the addictive properties of true opioids. From the 19th century Polish journals read: “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 1970’s, wild lettuce again resurged to 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 as well as survivalists because it grows so readily all around the world.





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