Wild Lettuce: Identification, Benefits and Medicinal Uses

Wild Lettuce: Identification, Benefits and Medicinal Uses

The next time you are doing outdoor chores around the home such as, mowing the lawn, weeding around the fence, house or garden you may inadvertently discard a very useful plant that could easily be mistook for an invasive weed. After reading this piece and can identify this “wonder plant,” realizing it’s more than just another dispensable weed, you may want to (instead) consider harvesting it.

The aforementioned plant I am speaking of is “wild lettuce.”  

So, what is wild lettuce?

The scientific/botanical term for wild lettuce is “Lactusa Virosa.” It is a part of the  Asteraceae plant family which has 23,600 species of herbs, shrubs, and trees throughout the world, making a member of one the largest plant families worldwide. Two close cousins to the Lactuca Virosa, are the Serriola Lactuca (also called the compass plant) and the Lactuca Canadensis (AKA Canada wild lettuce).

Wild lettuce grows In many different regions of the world. In these regions, it’s presence is quite pervasive during the summer and early fall months. It can be found in backyards, along hiking trails, roadsides, growing up through the cracks in sidewalks and almost anywhere else you can imagine.


Here are some photos that will help with recognizing the different species of wild lettuce when you come across them:

Lactuca Virosa

Lactuca Serriola

Lactuca Canadensis

Benefits and uses of Wild Lettuce:

Wild lettuce contains a number of powerful nutrients that play a role in providing remedy for a plethora of diseases and ailments such as:

Sesquiterpene Lactones:

A substance that contains a number of bio-active compounds (2 of which are “lactucin and lactucopicrin“) and is instrumental in fighting diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.


This is a phytochemical and antioxident that supports many bodily functions including: proper blood flow and functioning of the heart, protecting the brain and central nervous system and reinforcing the immune system.


A powerful antioxidant that that is instrumental in the protection of DNA and cell membranes from free radicals,
reducing blood pressure and hypertension, preventing bone loss and many other remedies.

Wild lettuce can be used to make your own DIY teas, tinctures and extracts to yield optimum benefits and can even be smoked for recreational purposes.

NOTE: In the US, wild lettuce is an unscheduled substance, thus it is completely legal to harvest, sell, buy and use.

This guest post come from situationalwellness.com If you would like to learn more about wild lettuce such as it’s history of use, possible side effects, DIY preparations and much more, read the full article at  Wild Lettuce

What are you thoughts on foraging wild lettuce for personal use?

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