Lettuce: medicinal plant used in phytotherapy mainly due to its calming effect, for example, in cases of insomnia. Usually used in the form of tea or decoction.


Portuguese name: Lettuce, common lettuce
Binomial name: Lactuca sativa L. (including several varieties)
French name: Laitue sauvage , laitue cultivée, herbe des sages, herbes des philosophes
English name: lettuce
German name: Gartensalat
Italian name: lattuga
Name spanish: lechuga




Iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sesquiterpene lactones (lactucopicrine, lactucine), vitamins.

parts used

Leaves, latex (as a white “milk”), stems


Sedative, calming, hypnotic, emollient, antioxidant.


– Sleep problems (insomnia in particular)

– Cough

– Digestive problems

Read also: wild lettuce (soothing effect against insomnia a little stronger)

Secundary effects

none known


none known


none known


– Decoction (60g of leaves for 1L of water)

– Infusion (3 large leaves for a 200mL cup of tea)

– Cataplasm of lettuce leaves

– Syrup

– White lettuce latex (fresh or dried, e.g. sun-dried)

Where does lettuce grow?

Lettuce (and its varieties) grows more or less all over the world, but especially in temperate and subtropical regions.

When to harvest?

Lettuce leaves are harvested especially in spring and summer.

Interesting Observations

It is interesting to note that the origin of the term Lactuca from Latin means white, due to the presence of latex of this color in this plant.

You can sun-dry lettuce latex to obtain a dark mass called “lactucarium” which has a calming effect, but ask your doctor or pharmacist about dosage and possible contraindications. The species called wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa) seems to give a higher concentration and quantity of “lactucarium”.

“Lactucarium” is sometimes described as “lettuce opium” and can be compared to poppy opium. However, this description and comparison is wrong as “lactucarium” does not contain opiates.

There are many varieties of lettuce include lettuce, romaine, curly, smooth, purple, etc. Most of these lettuces are eaten as a salad.

Lettuce is a kind of lettuce very close to wild lettuce. Read our wild lettuce file.

Jeanne Kenney
 | Website

I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *