Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sleep Easy with Dr. Oz Lettuce Opium

Dr Oz as I have touted about natural alternatives to prescription and over –the-counter (OTC) sleep aids. Why? We see in the news about celebrity deaths due to prescription drug abuse and recent news articles like the one from The Washington Post that described a study that suggest people who take sleeping pills as Ambien, Lunesta, Retoril and Sonata were more likely to die 2 ½ years earlier than those that do not use these drugs, with the risk rising along with the amount of medicine taken. People prescribed 18 or fewer sleeping pills a year have are 3.6 times as likely to die as those didn’t take these drugs. Also people taking high doses were 35% more likely to develop a major cancer, not including melanoma during that period. Studies show that 6 to 10 percent of Americans take sleep aids!

Dr. Oz went on television recently recommended to his viewers an extract from the stem of the wild lettuce plant known as Wild Lettuce Opium, Blue Lotus, Wild Dagga and Kanna saying this supplement has a calming sedative effect and can be used as a sleep aid.

The botanical name is lactuca virosa and the active plant parts are the leaves and the dried milk juice (lactucarium) Lactuca comes from the Latin name for the milky juice, virose (poisonous). This biennial herb grows to a height of 6 feet. The entire plant if wounded seeps a bitter tasting milky juice that has a narcotic odor. When the juice dries, it hardens and turns brown then it is called lactucarium. This plant is cultivated in Austria, France, Germany and Scotland, the U.S. imports this product from Germany via England and is said to be used as an adulterant for opium for those suffering from insomnia, as well as treatment for sunburn and skin roughness due to its cooling and refreshing properties.

Along with its sedative and narcotic properties, lettuce opium (a weak opium) doesn’t upset the digestive system and when mixed with wine it is said to be a good painkiller. According to a Dr. Collins, twenty-three out of twenty four cases of dropsy were cured by taking doses of 18 grains to 3 drachms of extract in twenty-four hours. It also used as a mild diaphoretic, diuretic and helps alleviate UTI’s, whooping cough, cramps from menstruation, joint pain, easing colic and nymphomania. The U.S. has not regulated lettuce opium as a controlled substance so it qualifies as a legal narcotic substance easily found at your local health food store or online.

Dosages -

10 to 20 grains or more of powder ,
30 to 60 drops of tincture,
1 to 5 grains of alcoholic extract,
5 to 20 grains of Lactucarium,
2 drachms of syrup USP, 30 drops of tincture, USP.
*15 grains = about 1 gram.

However, there are some risks and side effects related to lettuce opium. Large doses many impair breathing and cause death in otherwise healthy persons. If you have an allergic reaction to morphine or other morphine like products you may have the same effect when taking this supplement. Also, you may have an allergic reaction if you are affected by ragweed and related plants. If you use a topical application it may cause irritation, profuse sweating, rapid heart rate, pupil dilation, vision problems, ringing in the ears, dizziness and sedation. Individuals with an enlarged prostate gland and have difficulty urinating may be affected by a chemical in the lettuce opium. This supplement may worsen glaucoma in individuals with narrow-angle glaucoma. Do not use this product at least two weeks prior to surgery because it may interfere with an individual’s response to anesthesia or other nerve-blocking medications. Do not take along with other sedatives like; Klonopin, Ativan, Donnatal and Ambien. Not recommended for those that are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not use if operating heavy machinery.

Dr. Oz fears that too many people are abusing sleep aids and that the recommended use of some prescription sleep medications and OTC’s that are categorized as hypnotics may increase risk of death and cancer. With this news those with insomnia may want to forgo their sleep aids and find a natural alternative methods such as lettuce opium. Dr. Oz says to be safe you shouldn’t take more than 30 milligrams to get its sedative effects. Please talk to your doctor before taking any supplement especially if you have a health issue or taking a prescription medication.

The information from Sleep Easy with Dr. Oz Lettuce Opium is for informational purposes only and not meant as a substitute for advice from your doctor or health-care professional. Information provided by this site about dietary supplements has not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat insomnia or any other condition. ALWAYS seek advice, treatment and diagnose from a qualified health-care professional regarding any medical condition. Asleepeasy.com does not recommend or endorse any tests, doctor, third party product, procedure, opinions or other information mentioned on this site. Reliance on this information provided by Asleepeasy.com is solely at your own risk.

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