back Lactuca Virosa

Synonym. - Lactuca Foetida. Natural order. - Compositae. Common names. - Poisonous Lettuce. Lettuce Opium. Habi- tat. - A biennial herb, native of Europe. Preparation.-- Tincture from the fresh plant.


The physiological action of this drug is chiefly upon the brain and nervous system, diminishing the force and frequency of the pulse, and disposing to sleep; unlike Opium, producing no excitement either of brain or circulation. Secondarily, it affects the vegetative sphere, and the respiratory mucous membrane, as is shown by its symptoms, very few of which, however, have been verified by practice.


Mind.- Ill-humored; fretful; peevish. Disinclination to mental labor; mind confused; power of thought diminished (Gels., Nux v., Phos. ac.).

Head.- Confusion of the head; vertigo. Dull headache.

Eyes. - Pupils very much dilated (Bell*, Hyos., Stram.).

Stomach. - Pit of stomach retracted, with slight pain in stomach; aggravated by pressure. Feeling of warmth in stomach, accompanied by nausea rising into the throat, and flat taste at root of tongue, soon changing to icy coldness of stomach and throat. Tightness in pit of stomach, followed by true precordial anxiety.

Abdomen.- Feeling of fullness in abdomen, especially in right side, which impedes respiration; relieved by discharge of flatulence upward or downward.

Urinary Organs.- Increased secretion of urine (Ambr., Phos. ac).

Respiratory Organs. - Incessant spasmodic cough, which threatens to burst the chest; always caused by a peculiar tickling in fauces, w^hich, in turn, seems to be produced by a sensation of suffocation in the throat; ofollowed by copious expectoration. Dry cough in short paroxysms, with shaking of the chest and occiput. Tightness of chest wakens from sleep, with anxiety (Acon.). Cramping, pressive pains in various parts of the chest. Pinching, dull, sticking pain in upper left side of ejiest. Sharp stitches beneath short ribs of left side of chest. Sharp stitches beneath short ribs of left side.

Generalities. - Great weariness and exhaustion. Unusual feeling of tightness of the body. Slight shivering.

Sleep. - Sleeplessness; sound refreshing sleep. Stupid sleep at night. Kestless sleep at night.

Compare.- Coff., Dros., Op.


Has been used but little in homoeopathic practice. According to Hughes, it seems indicated in some forms of hepatic and pulmonary congestion, of clavus, and of cerebral weakness, with somnolence. Has been found useful in catarrhal laryngitis and bronchitis with the symptoms above mentioned. Whooping cough. Hydrothorax. Angina pectoris.

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