Dr. Oz Recommends Lettuce Opium Sleep Aid Rather Than Ambien

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2012-03-05 17:18

In light of celebrity deaths due to prescription drug abuse and recent news about a study that claims that prescription sleep aids like Ambien are as dangerous as cigarettes, people are asking what sleep aids are actually safe to take. While there are a number of herbal teas and the like that have proven to be safe as sleep aids, Dr. Oz went on air this week and recommends to his viewers an extract from the stem of a wild lettuce plant known as lettuce opium that he says has calming sedative effects and can be used as a sleep aid.

Lettuce Opium info

Lettuce opium—also known as lactucrium—is a milky sap that is secreted by the lettuce plant species Lactura vitrosa as well as potentially a number of other lettuce species. It got its moniker as “lettuce opium” due to the sap’s physical opium-like appearance and its reported sedative and analgesic properties that have been described as causing mild sensations of euphoria similar to that experienced with opium.

Reportedly, lettuce opium was used as far back as ancient Egyptian times and has met with moderate to low success over the past century as a medicinal plant. Claims toward the effectiveness of lettuce opium is attributed to treating numerous maladies including urinary tract infections, whooping cough, insomnia, painful cramps during menstruation, swollen male genitals, joint pain and nymphomania.

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