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Letucine extraction from lettuce Options
 
hamashyah
#1 Posted : 5/8/2022 8:44:22 PM

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I read once that lettuce has an active ingredient called Lettucine which is similar to opium, and has a great effect on sleep and pain treatment, I was wondering if anyone has ever heard of a way to extract the pure active ingredient from lettuce
 

Good quality Syrian rue (Peganum harmala) for an incredible price!
 
downwardsfromzero
#2 Posted : 5/8/2022 10:22:47 PM

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"Lettucene" was a trade name for a solid extract from wild lettuce, Lactuca virosa. It was most likely prepared the usual way, by making a tincture with ethanol and then evaporating. The active sedating ingredients are probably sesquiterpene lactones including lactucerin, lactucin and lactucopicrin. Polyacetylenes (polyines) are also present, some of which may have cannabinoid activity.

Garden lettuce, Lactuca sativa, has a similar sedative effect when consumed in quantity, some varieties being stronger than others. I got a decent sedative effect by eating three 'Little Gem' baby Romaine lettuces one time (in an act of desperation when pot supplies were low)! The main thing is to consume as much of the stem as possible as the actives are present in greatest quantity in the stem latex. Of course, the nervine effect of magnesium content of the lettuce shouldn't be overlooked in this single anecdotal account.

The crude drug substance from edible lettuce is called thridax; this is prepared by steaming the expressed juice of the plant. The dried latex of the wild lettuce is known as lactucarium (PT: Lactucário).

As far as getting a single, pure, active ingredient goes you would probably have to use chromatography. It may well be that the activity is reliant on a synergy of multiple compounds; the efficacy of lettuce of either variety is unreliable and Lactuca virosa might rightly be regarded as significantly toxic.

This paper is a relevant read: https://doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.jep.2006.03.003

Noteworthy was:
Quote:
An analgesic potency of lettuce opium extracts was studied
by Funke et al. (2002), and a distinct inhibition of enkephali-
nase activity in a concentration-dependent way was found. The
lettuce opium gathered from 1-year plants showed a more pro-
nounced inhibition of the enzyme than that from biannual plants.
Opioid receptors were not affected by the extracts.
Further studies to identify enkephalinase inhibitors in Lac-
tuca virosa seem to be worthwhile.
We could surmise that lettuce works by slowing or stopping the breakdown of endogenous painkiller peptides.




“There is a way of manipulating matter and energy so as to produce what modern scientists call 'a field of force'. The field acts on the observer and puts him in a privileged position vis-à-vis the universe. From this position he has access to the realities which are ordinarily hidden from us by time and space, matter and energy. This is what we call the Great Work."
― Jacques Bergier, quoting Fulcanelli
 
ShamanisticVibes
#3 Posted : 5/9/2022 10:05:02 PM
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Very informative, DFZ. Said most of what I came here to say and also some things I was unaware of.


I grow L. virosa in my garden every year and I find the boil/strain/evap method to be very effective. I just take a pot of boiling water and toss the wild lettuce in to boil down. The water will start to darken; first brown, and then black as the concentration of alkaloid continues to infuse. Once I get a nice dark color, I strain and then evaporate by either using very low heat or even a double boiler. It will evap down into a paste, and at that point I infuse it with good old fashioned vodka for a few weeks and then she's ready for use.


The only thing about my method, is that I generally have no idea what my dosages are. DFZ, do you have any insights on how to get an exact dosage?

Hamashya, do you plan on making some on your own? There are several vendors that will turn up in a google search that focus on strictly medicinal seeds and nothing else Big grin I also read a lot of accounts of folks finding it in the wild, but taxonomy has never been high up on my list of talents/interests, so I just stick to buying the seeds.
May we continue to be blessed
 
downwardsfromzero
#4 Posted : 5/10/2022 7:20:14 PM

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Unfortunately I've no particular insights to offer regarding dosage. I'll attach the paper by Wesołowska et al so that there's at least a means of extrapolating something from the analgesic and sedative doses found in Swiss albino mice. It would then be a matter of looking up the typical concentration ranges in L. virosa for the respective compounds and doing a bit of arithmetic. Besides that, there's the possibility of using the extraction methods outlined in the paper and using the extracted compounds as standards for TLC, which can be used as a rapid quantitative indication on subsequent crude extracts from plant samples - at least once you get the hang of it.

I do get the impression, however, that hamashyah is interested in garden lettuce, L. sativa, so there may be other compounds to look out for with that species. Letting the plants bolt - run to seed - increases their bitterness so that may increase their pharmacological efficacy as well.




“There is a way of manipulating matter and energy so as to produce what modern scientists call 'a field of force'. The field acts on the observer and puts him in a privileged position vis-à-vis the universe. From this position he has access to the realities which are ordinarily hidden from us by time and space, matter and energy. This is what we call the Great Work."
― Jacques Bergier, quoting Fulcanelli
 
 
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