Wild Lettuce

A sacrament for vivid dreams

Wild Lettuce - A sacrament for vivid dreams

• Family: Compositae (Sunflower family).

• Botanical Name: Lactuca Virosa

• Synonyms: Lettuce opium and lopium.

• Geographical Location: Southern and central Europe and the United States.

• Habitat: Loose, rich, well-drained fields. Should be planted in late fall. Needs moisture.

• Botanical Description: This herb is a biennial with a leafy, round stem that grows from 2 to 7 feet high. The stem is erect and smooth, colored pale green, and sometimes spotted with purple. The lower leaves are numerous and large, growing to 18 inches long. The upper stem leaves are small, scanty, and grow alternately, clasping the stem with two small lobes. The heads are short-stalked with numerous pale yellow flowers. The fruit is a rough, black oval with a broad wing along the edge that narrows to a long white beak holding silvery tufts of hair.

History

Wild lettuce was traditionally dried and smoked like opium. It has been used for nervousness and as a sedative. It is considered milder than opium but just as "dreamy." Lettuce opium was often used by Native North Americans who smoked the dried resin or sap obtained from the plant. They cut off the flower heads, gathered the sap that drained, and then let it air dry. This process was done repeatedly over a two-week period by cutting a little off the top of the remaining stem each time.

Chemistry

The leaf contains a milky juice made up of 0.2% lactucin; 50% lactucerol; lactuic acid; caoutchouc, a volatile oil; and mannite. There is also a high concentration of nitrates. The active ingredient, lactucarine (also known as lettuce opium), is very similar in structure to opium. These ingredients appear in domestic lettuce as well, but in less than one order of magnitude to wild lettuce.

Primary Effects

Mild narcotic and analgesic. Sedative that induces low alphoid activity rather than deep sleep. (See Thorn Apple, Primary Effects, page 102.) Most dreams occur during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, a state which is characterized by low alphoid activity.

Preparation

The easiest method is to dry the leaves and roots and smoke them in a large pipe. The general commercial technique, however, is to heat (not boil) the leaf in water for at least eight hours, and remove the liquid. The lactucarine goes into solution with water. A heat lamp is placed over the bowl of liquid and a fan is used to drive the water out of the extraction. The result will be a blackish gum that can be smoked best with a water pipe and hot torch. The gum should be rolled in small balls and sealed in plastic to prevent them from drying out. The hotter the flame, the better the high.

A general amount is approximately 1 ounce of wild lettuce or about l/2 to 1 gram of the extract per person.

Ritual Use

The northern Indian schools of Tantra have a popular internal cleansing method known as shank prakshalana. This ritual is particularly well-suited to the chemical makeup of opiates. The technique almost totally flushes out the gastrointestinal tract by passing several gallons of saline solution from the mouth through the numerous convolutions of the intestinal tract and then out through the anus.

This passage and then expulsion of the fluid is assisted by special asanas (postures) that squeeze the stomach and wring out the gut. Marijuana (bhang) or opium (lettuce opium could be used) is added to the shank prakshalana water at the beginning. This produces the desired trance state as the cleansing process reaches levels beyond the physical.

The Hopi believe that induced dream states contain more information about reality than the conscious waking state. Their emphasis on dreams is so great that dreams are recorded for their information content and discussed each day at breakfast. Lettuce opium enhances the vividness of dreams when smoked prior to sleep. It is a good idea to keep a dream diary and review the contents at least once a week.

Note: Some important details are likely to emerge that can be used to assist you in controlling your conscious states and attitudes. The main function of dreams is to combine new or recent experiences with those from the past to create new attitudes that directly affect your future via projection and inhibition. They present limitations and possibilities. Therefore, dreams, in one sense, can be seen as creating the future.

More time should spent on the one third of our life that most of us "void out." As C. G.Jung wrote in his Collected Works:

No one who does not know himselfcan know others. And in each of us there is another whom we do not know. He speaks to us in dreams and tells us how differently he sees us from the way we see ourselves. When, therefore, we find ourselves in a different situation to which there is no solution, he can sometimes kindle a light that radically alters our attitude—the very attitude that led us into the difficult situation.

Note of Caution: Homeopathic medicine recommends that anyone suffering from any form of stomach disorder, especially ulcers, should not ingest any form of lettuce. All lettuces, even domestic, contain a lettuce opium product that coats the stomach wall and reduces the digestive process; it also represses the sex drive.

• Family: Compositae (Sunflower or Aster family).

• Botanical Name: Artemisia absinthium.

• Synonyms: Absinthe and green ginger.

• Geographical Location: All over the world, from the United States to Siberia.

• Habitat: Roadsides, waste places, and near the sea.

• Botanical Description: The herb is a silky perennial plant supported by a woody rootstock producing many bushy stems that grow 2 to 4 feet in height. The stems are whitish, covered closely with fine silky hairs. The leaves are hairy also and of irregular symmetry. The flowers are small with globular heads of greenish yellow arranged on an erect leafy flower stem. The leaves and the flowers have a very bitter taste and characteristic odor.

Wormwood - A sacrament for the liqueur after a ritual

History

The genus is named Artemisia for Artemis, the Greek name for Diana, goddess of the moon. The following was found in an early translation of the Herbarium of Apuleius:

Of these worts that we name artemisia, it is said that Diana did find them and delivered their powers and leechdom to Chiron the Centaur, who first from these worts set forth a leechdom, and he named these worts from the name of Diana, Artemis, that is Artemisias.

Chemistry

Absinthine (a dimeric guaranolide) is the principal agent; anabsinthin and thujone (a volatile oil) are also present. Absinthine is listed as a narcotic analgesic in the same group as codeine and dextromethorphan hydrobromide (Romilar).

Primary Effects

Narcotic and analgesic. It depresses the central medullary part of the brain, the area concerned with pain and anxiety.

Preparation

The herb is either smoked or prepared as a liqueur. The absinthine can be extracted with alcohol and water.

Ritual Use

An excellent liqueur can be made by taking 1 ounce of wormwood (preferably the flowers) and putting it into 1 pint of brandy. Let stand for six weeks. The resultant tincture is then combined with Pernod or anisette to make the classic absinthe.

This is excellent for an after-dinner liqueur, or after a ritual where everyone is emotionally tired.

Note ofCaution: Excessive long-term use of liqueur may be habit-forming and debilitating. Ingestion of the above volatile oils as a tincture may cause gastrointestinal disturbances and convulsions due to the substance thujone contained in it.

4 - Hallucinogens

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