Another home=made remedy.
Black walnut tincture. A friend of mine made this tincture from the green shells of black walnuts and 80 proof vodka. The alcohol and water in the vodka draw the iodine out of the shell and that’s the tincture. The man who made it didn’t say if the vodka was homemade. Maybe I should call him back. I have used it on few scrapes and cuts and it worked just fine. Some other uses include everything from athletes foot to a parasite cleanse and heart health. There’s a bunch of good stuff in walnuts including iodine and it’s on the super-food list. I think iodine is too often overlooked when people are considering which supplements they want to use. The dandelion in the picture has some home-grown potential too and they just show up all over the yard.
This is the post excerpt.
This large plant I’m standing next to in the Ecuadorian Andes was being harvested for its iodine content. It is called Penco or cabuya. I came across this information from a veterinarian I briefly met on the way to a friend’s house. The vet and his crew were cutting the plants and trimming off the sharp tips and thorns from the sides and stacking them into a the back of a flat-bed truck. Most of the leaves were around 5 feet long and were very fibrous on the inside. The veterinarian said he used them as a supplement to feed the pregnant cows and the cows that had recently calved because it made for stronger calves and the mother’s milk would come in faster. He told me that the primary ingredient he wanted from the plant was iodine. He also said that the plant is used by the people there during pregnancy for smarter babies and the iodine helps mother’s milk come in. The plant is smashed up, mixed with a little water and then you drink the juice. I learned a bunch that morning. I believe that this chance meeting can illustrate a small amount of context to the idea of nutritional supplements and the even bigger idea of medical freedom. Picking a leaf off a plant and using it to fix a problem without a patented drug is the old school way. Look how far we’ve come. I can’t imagine how the parents of Alfie Evans feel ! Medical tyranny in England.
Wild lettuce is something I became aware of while trying to help a client suffering from fibromyalgia. I looked at some pictures of the plant and realized that this stuff is everywhere. I began to notice the stuff growing everywhere. So of course I pulled up a bunch of them and brought them home.
Asthma, Pain, Sleep
Traditional uses of wild lettuce were for asthma, pain, urinary tract issues, whooping cough, muscle and join pain, and insomnia. It grows all over the place where I live and I usually see a group of a few plants here and there and the occasional big patch growing together.
Opium lettuce is another name for it because the sap is similar looking to the sap of the opium poppy plant. The sap of the plant is what you’re after with wild lettuce and is called lactucarium. You can cut off a leaf or scratch the stem and you’ll see the white latex sap start to ooze out. This can be collected and used like it is, but most people harvest the whole plant and then extract the sap later. Tinctures and dried leaf is available online and the leaves can be made into teas.
The lactucarium (sap) can contain a chemical called hyoscyamine. Hyoscyamine should not be used if you have any problems with urinary retention, BPH, enlarged prostate, or narrow angle glaucoma. Wild lettuce should also be avoided for anybody allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and plants of the asteraceae family. I did find some sources that stated that if the sap is dried it will significantly degrade the hyoscyamine content. Hyoscyamine is a useful chemical and information about it can be found if you look up drug information on Levsin. There are some stories in the forums about people smoking the dried leaves too.
Harvest and Extraction
Wild lettuce runs it course and goes to seed sometime in August here in Virginia. I will document my harvest and extraction later this summer. The extracted sap, when dried out is a dark brown to black very sticky gooey tar. This can be weighed and then diluted into alcohol or water. It didn’t taste very good but it worked for me on a few aches and pains and I let some friends try it and I received good reports from them too.
The next menu item for the party circuit or an effective pain killer, antidepressant miracle plant?