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Author Topic: Common Blue Lettuce  (Read 80 times)

SeppukuSuperstar

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Common Blue Lettuce
« on: November 10, 2020, 12:41:28 am »

I came across this in an old textbook and thought it was a bit interesting.  Has anyone grown this?

Common Blue Lettuce
Lactuca tatarica

Height: up to 1 metre
Leaves: 5-12 cm long
Flowers: 25 diameter, blue/purple

Blue lettuce and other Lactuca species may cause skin irritation or internal poisoning.  When collected and dried, the milky sap forms a drug known as lactucarium, also called lettuce opium because of its sedative and analgesic properties.  Used as far back as ancient Egypt, lettuce opium was viewed as a weak alternative to opium that did not have the side effects of addiction and intestinal upset.
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ConstantCuriosity

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Re: Common Blue Lettuce
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2020, 08:44:27 am »

Not blue lettuce specifically but there is a lot of Lactuca virosa and Lactuca serriola (supposedly the species with the greatest quantity of lactucarium) growing wild as weeds near me. I've heard when used medicinally it's extremely mild.
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