Material usesThere are no material uses listed for Lactuca indica.
Although we have seen no specific reports for this species, most if not all members of the genus have a milky sap that contains the substance 'lactucarium' and can probably be used as the report below details[K].
The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air. The sap contains 'lactucarium', which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine.The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts.
Division in spring. Make sure each piece of root has a leaf bud.Root cuttings in late winter.
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Lactuca indica. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
We do not know how hardy this plant will be in Britain, though it can be grown here as an annual. It takes about 60 days from seed sowing until the first leaves are harvested.This species is sometimes cultivated for its edible leaves in Asia. It originated in China but is now cultivated in many parts of S.E. Asia.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Lactuca indica. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? to add it.
Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Lactuca indica.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
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