Lactuca virosa Health effects and herbal facts

Known as
bitter lettuce great lettuce wild lettuce

Lactuca virosa is a plant in the Lactuca genus, ingested often for its mild psychotropic effects which are often described as being similar to that of opium. It is related to common lettuce, and is often called Wild Lettuce, Bitter lettuce, Laitue vireuse, Opium Lettuce, Poisonous Lettuce, Tall Lettuce or Rakutu-Karyumu-So. It can be found locally in the south east and east of England. In the rest of Great Britain it is very rare, and in Ireland it is absent. It is also found in the Punjab Region of Pakistan India and Australia where it grows in the wild. In North America, it has been documented as introduced in California, Alabama, Iowa, and Washington, DC, and grows wild in other parts of the continent.

Lactuca virosa

Medical use

Economic importance of Lactuca virosa

Gene sources potential for disease resistance in letuce tertiary genetic relative of letuce
Medicines folklore

Gallery

Lactuca virosa Lactuca virosa Lactuca virosa Lactuca virosa Lactuca virosa Lactuca virosa Lactuca virosa Lactuca virosa Lactuca virosa Lactuca virosa Lactuca virosa Lactuca virosa Lactuca virosa Lactuca virosa

Geografical distribution

  • AFRICA
    Native
    • Macaronesia: Portugal - Madeira Islands
    • Northern Africa: Algeria; Morocco
  • AUSTRALASIA
    Naturalized
    • Australia: Australia
    • New Zealand: New Zealand
  • EUROPE
    Native
    • Middle Europe: Austria; Belgium; Germany; Switzerland
    • Southeastern Europe: Greece; Italy ; Macedonia; Romania; Slovenia
    • Southwestern Europe: France ; Portugal; Spain
    Naturalized
    • Middle Europe: Netherlands
    Adventive
    • Northern Europe: Ireland
    • Middle Europe: Czech Republic; Hungary; Poland
    • Southeastern Europe: Croatia
  • NORTHERN AMERICA
    Naturalized
    • Southeastern U.S.A.: United States - Alabama, District of Columbia
    • Southwestern U.S.A.: United States - California

Biological activities

5-HETE-Inhibitor
Tocopherol found in Seed
Acaricide
Oxalic-acid found in Latex Exudate (10000 ppm)
Allergenic
Citric-acid found in Plant
Mannitol found in Plant
Tocopherol found in Seed
Alpha-Amylase-Inhibitor
Citric-acid found in Plant
Analgesic
Beta-amyrin found in Plant
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Mannitol found in Plant
Tocopherol found in Seed
Androgenic
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Angiogenic
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Anorexic
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Anthelmintic
Mannitol found in Plant
AntiMD
Tocopherol found in Seed
AntiMS
Tocopherol found in Seed
AntiPMS
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antiadenomic
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Antiaggregant
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antiaging
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antialzheimeran
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antiandrogenic
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Antianginal
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antiaphthic
Citric-acid found in Plant
Antiarteriosclerotic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antiarthritic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antiatherosclerotic
Citric-acid found in Plant
Malic-acid found in Plant
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antibacterial
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Citric-acid found in Plant
Malic-acid found in Plant
Squalene found in Seed
Antibronchitic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Anticalculic
Citric-acid found in Plant
Anticariogenic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Anticataract
Tocopherol found in Seed
Anticholinergic
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Antichorea
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antichoreic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Anticoagulant
Citric-acid found in Plant
Anticonvulsant
Tocopherol found in Seed
Anticoronary
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antidecubitic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antidementia
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antidermatitic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antidiabetic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antidysmenorrheic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antiedemic
Beta-amyrin found in Plant
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Taraxasterol found in Plant
Antiemetic
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Antiepitheleomic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antiestrogenic
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Antifeedant
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Lactupicrin found in Latex Exudate
Antifertility
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Antifibromyalgic
Malic-acid found in Plant
Antifibrositic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antiglaucomic
Mannitol found in Plant
Antiglycosation
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antigonadotrophic
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Antiherpetic
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antihyperlipoproteinaemic
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Antiinfertility
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antiinflammatory
Beta-amyrin found in Plant
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Mannitol found in Plant
Taraxasterol found in Plant
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antiischemic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antileishmanic
Citric-acid found in Plant
Antileukemic
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antileukotriene
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antilithic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antilupus
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antilymphomic
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Antimaculitic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antimastalgic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antimeasles
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Antimelanomic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antimuscarinic
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Antimutagenic
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Citric-acid found in Plant
Mannitol found in Plant
Antimyoclonic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antinephritic
Mannitol found in Plant
Antineuralgic
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Antineuritic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antineuropathic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antinitrosaminic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antinociceptive
Beta-amyrin found in Plant
Antiophidic
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Antiophthalmic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antiosteoarthritic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antioxidant
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Mannitol found in Plant
Squalene found in Seed
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antiparkinsonian
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antipolio
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Antiprogestational
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Antiproliferant
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antiprostaglandin
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Antiprostatadenomic
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Antiprostatitic
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Antipyretic
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Antiradicular
Mannitol found in Plant
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antirheumatic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antiseborrheic
Citric-acid found in Plant
Malic-acid found in Plant
Antisenility
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antiseptic
Citric-acid found in Plant
Malic-acid found in Plant
Oxalic-acid found in Latex Exudate (10000 ppm)
Antisialogogue
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Antisickling
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antispasmodic
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Mannitol found in Plant
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antisterility
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antistroke
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antisunburn
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antisyndrome-X
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antithalassemic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antithrombotic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antithromboxane-B2
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antitoxemic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antitubercular
Citric-acid found in Plant
Malic-acid found in Plant
Antitumor
Citric-acid found in Plant
Lactucin found in Latex Exudate (2000 ppm)
Malic-acid found in Plant
Squalene found in Seed
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antiulcer
Beta-amyrin found in Plant
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Antiulcerogenic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Antivertigo
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Antivinous
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Antiviral
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Apoptotic
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Tocopherol found in Seed
Artemicide
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Bacteristat
Malic-acid found in Plant
Bitter
Lactucin found in Latex Exudate (2000 ppm)
Bronchodilator
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Bronchorelaxant
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Bruchiphobe
Malic-acid found in Plant
CNS-Depressant
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Lactucin found in Latex Exudate (2000 ppm)
CNS-Paralytic
Oxalic-acid found in Latex Exudate (10000 ppm)
CNS-Stimulant
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Calcium-Antagonist
Tocopherol found in Seed
Cancer-Preventive
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Squalene found in Seed
Tocopherol found in Seed
Candidicide
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Cardioprotective
Tocopherol found in Seed
Cardiotonic
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Caspase-8-Inducer
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Cerebroprotective
Tocopherol found in Seed
Chemopreventive
Squalene found in Seed
Circulatory-Stimulant
Tocopherol found in Seed
Circulotonic
Tocopherol found in Seed
Cytotoxic
Lactucin found in Latex Exudate (2000 ppm)
Disinfectant
Citric-acid found in Plant
Diuretic
Mannitol found in Plant
Emetic
Mannitol found in Plant
Estrogenic
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
FLavor
Citric-acid found in Plant
Fatal
Oxalic-acid found in Latex Exudate (10000 ppm)
Febrifuge
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Flatugenic
Mannitol found in Plant
Gastroprotective
Beta-amyrin found in Plant
Gonadotrophic
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Hemopoietic
Malic-acid found in Plant
Hemostat
Citric-acid found in Plant
Hemostatic
Oxalic-acid found in Latex Exudate (10000 ppm)
Hepatoprotective
Beta-amyrin found in Plant
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Tocopherol found in Seed
Hypocholesterolemic
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Tocopherol found in Seed
Hypoglycemic
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Tocopherol found in Seed
Hypolipidemic
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Immunomodulator
Tocopherol found in Seed
Immunostimulant
Squalene found in Seed
Tocopherol found in Seed
Insulin-Sparing
Tocopherol found in Seed
Irritant
Citric-acid found in Plant
Oxalic-acid found in Latex Exudate (10000 ppm)
Larvicide
Beta-amyrin found in Plant
Laxative
Mannitol found in Plant
Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor
Squalene found in Seed
Tocopherol found in Seed
Litholytic
Citric-acid found in Plant
Mosquitocide
Beta-amyrin found in Plant
Mycobactericide
Citric-acid found in Plant
Malic-acid found in Plant
Mydriatic
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
NO-Inhibitor
Tocopherol found in Seed
Nephrotoxic
Mannitol found in Plant
Odontolytic
Citric-acid found in Plant
Ornithine-Decarboxylase-Inhibitor
Tocopherol found in Seed
P21-Inducer
Tocopherol found in Seed
Perfumery
Squalene found in Seed
Pesticide
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Lactupicrin found in Latex Exudate
Malic-acid found in Plant
Mannitol found in Plant
Oxalic-acid found in Latex Exudate (10000 ppm)
Squalene found in Seed
Phospholipase-A2-Inhibitor
Tocopherol found in Seed
Photophobigenic
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Protein-Kinase-C-Inhibitor
Tocopherol found in Seed
Psychoactive
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Refrigerant
Citric-acid found in Plant
Renotoxic
Oxalic-acid found in Latex Exudate (10000 ppm)
Sedative
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Lactucin found in Latex Exudate (2000 ppm)
Sialogogue
Malic-acid found in Plant
Spermicide
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Sunscreen
Squalene found in Seed
Sweetener
Mannitol found in Plant
Tonic
Lactucin found in Latex Exudate (2000 ppm)
Toxic
Hyoscyamine found in Plant
Ubiquiot
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Ulcerogenic
Beta-sitosterol found in Seed
Varroacide
Oxalic-acid found in Latex Exudate (10000 ppm)
Vasodilator
Tocopherol found in Seed

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Chemicals detected

Chemical Plant part Low ppm High ppm
Beta-amyrin Plant
Beta-sitosterol Seed
Caoutchouc Plant
Citric-acid Plant
Germanicol Plant
Hyoscyamine Plant
Lactucerin Plant
Lactucerols Plant
Lactucic-acid Plant
Lactucin Latex Exudate 2,000
Lactupicrin Latex Exudate
Malic-acid Plant
Mannitol Plant
Oxalic-acid Latex Exudate 10,000
Squalene Seed
Taraxasterol Plant
Tocopherol Seed
Reference: Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. [Online Database]