Lactuca virosa as Dream-Enhancing Herb

"Lactuca virosa – Wild Lettuce, Lettuce Opium".

"COMMON NAMES: Bitter Lettuce, Wild Lettuce, Green Endive, Lettuce Opium, Laitue Vireuse (French), Latuga Velenosa (Italian), Prickly Lettuce ...

The whole plant is rich in a milky latex that flows freely from any laceration. This latex has a bitter taste and a narcotic odour. When dry, it hardens, turns brown, and is known as lactucarium (Ratsch 1998, 312). ... When bruised, however, Lactusa virosa exhibits a smell very similar to that of opium poppy.  Furthermore, fresh Lactusa virosa achenes are very purple or maroon in color (Ratsch 1998, 312).

TRADITIONAL USES: Commonly known as Wild Lettuce or Opium Lettuce, Lactuca virosa is believed to have been used for its psychoactive properties by ancient Egyptians based on its depiction in hieroglyphics.It often appears in Egyptian art associated with the god Min, the god of the desert and of lightening and sandstorms.  He is also known as the god of procreation and fertility. Min was symbolically represented by the lettuce and the phallus. The Egyptians held a festival in Min’s honor as a harvest celebration during the first month of summer, when a statue of Min would be carried aloft on a bed of lettuce in a scared ritual procession (Harlan 1986). 

Dioscorides, the famed physician, pharmacologist and botanist of ancient Greece who authored the pioneering five volume tome “De Materia Medica” – the precursor to all modern pharmacopeias – described wild lettuce as having effects similar to that of Papaver somniferum, the opium poppy.

"Lactuca virosa".

"Wild lettuce, also sometimes known as opium lettuce, is a rather interesting plant that has been used since ancient times for its sedating and dream enhancing effects.  It was apparently used by the ancient Egyptians for its psychoactive properties, and was associated with Min, the god of the desert, procreation and fertility.  The Greek botanist Dioscorides discusses wild lettuce in his “De Materia Medica”, and says that it has effects similar to those of Papaver somniferum, better known as the opium poppy.  Wild lettuce juice was apparently added to opium latex to create an effective pain reliever and sleeping aid! I actually was able to find many mentions of wild lettuce in various documents from the ancient world.  Even Hildegarde von Bingen, a respected visionary and herbalist of the twelfth century discusses wild lettuce in her writings, discussing its psychoactive and sedative benefits.

I was particularly interested in wild lettuce as a dream herb because it is used by the Hopi to induce dream states that contain more information about reality than even the conscious dreaming state.  Wild lettuce is said to enhance the vividness of dreams ... and also allows access to lucid dreaming and to divinatory dream states."

"WILD LETTUCE Lactuca virosa".

"Furthermore, the Hopi believe that induced dream states contain more information about reality than the conscious waking state. Wild lettuce ... was used to enhance the vividness of dreams when used prior to sleep. The Native Americans were ... aware of their relationship with plants and the spirits that ... are contained within them ... ."

"Wild Lettuce To Achieve Visions And Trance States".

"Wild Lettuce Leaf was also often used among Native Americans as part of rituals, where it helped to achieve visions and trance states, as well as aided in more vivid dreams."

"Wild Lettuce".

"Botanical name: Lactuca virosa
Other names: Bitter lettuce, Opium Lettuce, Poisonous Lettuce, Tall Lettuce, Great Lettuce ...

Wild lettuce has been used since the 19th century for pain relief, to help induce sleep and as a tonic for the nervous system. It was traditionally used by native North Americans for lucid dreaming purposes."

"Simon’s Wild Lettuce (Lactuca Virosa) Guide".

"Lactuca virosa has yellow flowers and can grow to be 2 meters tall. The name of the plant stems from its “milk-juice” (lactuca) and from the word poisonous (virosa). The milky sap is bitter, and has a narcotic smell. ... Though the effects of wild lettuce are similar to those of opium, they are decidedly milder. Opium lettuce is a sedative, said to induce  a “hypnotic state marked by strange dreams”. ... Consumption of the substance causes the user to feel more relaxed, often euphoric and, at higher amounts, highly intoxicated.

Lactuca virosa provides a milder version of the effects opium does without many of its side effects such as nausea. Still, opium lettuce ... overdose can result in death, so caution should always be exercised." {But only "causing death if injected"! Otherwise, recovery from overdose within days.}

"lactuca virosa - L. ".

List of "Related Plants" (in same genus, Lactuca), all rated as "Medicinal".

"Wild Lettuce (Lactuca virosa) ... Experience." {SLEEP PARALYSIS experience :-}

"I used A LOT of wild lettuce ... i suppose it was 20-30 g. ...

i was not able to move, I was having some kind of paralysis,i'm sure i was awake...meanwhile i was in a horror religious dream (like the movie)... i tried to cry but i couldn't! i was seized by convulsions,religious fear!!!"