Lactucarium


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Related to Lactucarium: Wild lettuce
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lactucarium

 

the dried milky juice from plants of the genus Lactuca (family Compositae); resinous yellowish-brown lumps with a bitter taste and an unpleasant odor.

Lactucarium contains as much as 66 percent bitter principles (lactucerin, lactucin, lactucictin), along with traces of alkaloids. It is partially soluble in hot water and organic solvents. Lactucarium is used for therapeutic purposes as a mild somnifacient and analgesic, but it is toxic in large doses.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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In their natural, wild forms, the various species of lettuce contain high levels of a narcotic drug called lactucarium that was known as lettuce opium.
The white sap in the stalks contains a natural sedative called lactucarium.
The stalks, especially of wild varieties, contain a sedative called lactucarium.