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Herbs & Plants

Taxus canadensis

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Botanical Name: Taxus canadensis
Family: Taxaceae
Genus: Taxus
Species: T. canadensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales

Common Names:Canada yew or Canadian yew.

Habitat : Taxus canadensis is native to central and eastern North America, thriving in swampy woods, ravines, riverbanks and on lake shores. Locally called simply “yew”, this species is also referred to as American yew or ground-hemlock.
Description:
Taxus canadensis is usually a sprawling an evergreen conferious Tree growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 1.5 m (5ft) at a slow rate. It sometimes forms strong upright central leaders, but these cannot be formed from spreading branches, only from the original leader of the seedling plant. The shrub has thin scaly brown bark. The leaves are lanceolate, flat, dark green, 1–2.5 cm long and 1.5 mm broad, arranged in two flat rows either side of the branch.

The seed cones are highly modified, each cone containing a single seed partly surrounded by a modified scale which develops into a soft, bright red berry-like structure called an aril, open at the end. The seeds are eaten by thrushes, waxwings and other birds, which disperse the hard seeds undamaged in their droppings. The male cones are globose, 3 mm diameter. It is a monoecious plant – one of the few in the genus.
It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan, and the seeds ripen from Sep to November. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.The plant is not self-fertile.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.

It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.
Cultivation:
Thrives in almost any soil, acid or alkaline, as long as it is well-drained. Plants are very shade tolerant. This species is the most cold-hardy member of the genus – dormant plants will tolerate very heavy frosts though the young growth in spring can be damaged by a few degrees of frost. The plants produce very little fibrous root and should be planted in their final positions when still small. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Other reports say that this species usually has monoecious flowers (separate male and female flowers, but both borne on the same plant).

Propagation:
Seed – can be very slow to germinate, often taking 2 or more years. It is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn when it should germinate 18 months later. Stored seed may take 2 years or more to germinate. 4 months warm followed by 4 months cold stratification may help reduce the germination time. Harvesting the seed ‘green’ (when fully developed but before it has dried on the plant) and then sowing it immediately has not been found to reduce the germination time because the inhibiting factors develop too early. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow them on in pots in a cold frame. The seedlings are very slow-growing and will probably require at least 2 years of pot cultivation before being large enough to plant out. Any planting out is best done in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe terminal shoots, 5 – 8cm long, July/August in a shaded frame. Should root by late September but leave them in the frame over winter and plant out in late spring. High percentage. Cuttings of ripe terminal shoots, taken in winter after a hard frost, in a shaded frame.

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw. Very sweet and gelatinous, most people find it delicious though some find it sickly. The fruit is a fleshy berry about 8mm in diameter and containing a single seed. All other parts of this plant, including the seed, are highly poisonous. When eating the fruit you should spit out the large seed found in the fruit’s centre. Should you swallow the whole seed it will just pass straight through you without harm, if the seed has been bitten into, however, it could cause some problems.
Medicinal Uses :
The Canadian yew is a very poisonous plant, though it was employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes who used minute amounts of the leaves both internally and externally in order to treat a variety of complaints including rheumatism, fevers, influenza, expelling afterbirth and dispelling clots. Modern research has shown that it contains the substance ‘taxol’ in its shoots and bark. Taxol has shown exciting potential as an anti-cancer drug, particularly in the treatment of ovarian cancers. This remedy is very toxic and, even when used externally, should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. See also the notes above on toxicity. The plant is abortifacient, analgesic, antirheumatic, antitumor, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge and pectoral.

Other Uses :.…Dye……A green dye can be obtained from the leaves.

Known Hazards : All parts of the plant, except the flesh of the fruit, are highly poisonous.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxus_canadensis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Taxus+canadensis

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Herbs & Plants

Juglans major

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Botanical Name: Juglans major
Family: Juglandaceae
Subfamily: Juglandoideae
Tribe: Juglandeae
Subtribe: Juglandinae
Genus: Juglans
Section: Rhysocaryon
Species: J. major
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Fagales

Synonyms : J. microcarpa major. J. rupestris major. J. torreyi.

Common Names: Arizona walnut, Arizona black walnut

Habitat : Juglans major is native to Southern N. America – New Mexico to Arizona. It grows on dry rocky ravines and stream beds, 700 – 2300 metres.

Description:
Juglans major is a deciduous Tree growing to 15 m (49ft 3in) at a fast rate.
In moister areas, the tree features a single, stout trunk; there are usually several slender trunks in drier situations. The 8–14 in long pinnately compound leaves bear 9–15 lanceolate leaflets, 3/8–11/4 in wide by 2–4 in long. The small nut has a thick shell with deep grooves enclosing an oily, edible seed.

It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from Oct to December. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.The plant is self-fertile.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Requires a deep well-drained loam and a sunny position sheltered from strong winds. Prefers a slightly alkaline soil[200]. Plants are fast-growing when young. This species is closely related to and sometimes considered to be no more than a sub-species of J. microcarpa. It hybridizes with that species where their ranges overlap. If it is a distinct species then perhaps its correct name should be J. torreyi. Trees produce good crops of seeds every 2 – 3 years in the wild. Natural regeneration is very low because most seeds are consumed by wildlife. Plants are fairly long-lived (to about 400 years) and produce a deep taproot, they are intolerant of root disturbance. Seedlings should be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible and given some protection for their first winter or two since they are somewhat tender when young. Flower initiation depends upon suitable conditions in the previous summer. The flowers and young growths can be destroyed by even short periods down to -2°c, but fortunately plants are usually late coming into leaf. Any pruning should only be carried out in late summer to early autumn or when the plant is fully dormant otherwise wounds will bleed profusely and this will severely weaken the tree. Trees have a dense canopy which tends to reduce plant growth below them. We have no specific information for this species, but the roots of several members of this genus produce substances that are toxic to many plant species, especially apples (Malus species), members of the Ericaceae, Potentilla spp and the white pines (certain Pinus spp.). The leaves of many species also secrete substances that have an inhibitory affect on plants growing underneath them. All in all this is not a very good companion plant.

Propagation:
The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in individual deep pots in a cold frame[80]. You need to protect it from mice, birds, squirrels etc. The seed usually germinates in late winter or the spring. Plant out the seedlings into their permanent positions in early summer and give some protection from the cold for their first winter or two. The seed can also be stored in cool moist conditions (such s the salad compartment of a fridge) over the winter and sown in early spring but it may then require a period of cold stratification before it will germinate. Germination rates are usually less than 50%

Edible Uses: Oil.
Seed – raw or cooked. The seed is rather small, but it is sometimes eaten. Of little value. The seed is large and sweet with a thick shell. There are about 45 seeds to the pound. The seeds are 25 – 40mm in diameter. An edible oil is obtained from the seed, it tends to go rancid quickly.

Medicinal Uses: A tea of the dried leaves is used for irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, and chronic colon disorders; it also is used to treat dysentery. For arthritis, the leaves and bark are boiled into a strong tea, taken internally, and applied to arthritic legs and back.

Other Uses:
This species is sometimes used as a rootstock. A golden brown dye can be obtained from the seed husks. A light brown dye is obtained from the young twigs. Plants produce chemicals which can inhibit the growth of other plants. These chemicals are dissolved out of the leaves when it rains and are washed down to the ground below, reducing the growth of plants under the tree. The roots of many members of this genus produce substances that are toxic to many plant species, especially apples (Malus species), members of the Ericaceae, Potentilla spp and the white pines (certain Pinus spp.). Wood – this very attractive wood rivals that of J. nigra, the black walnut, in quality. However, the limited range and smaller size of the tree have restricted its use.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juglans_major
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Juglans+major

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Herbs & Plants

Juglans mandschurica

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Botanical Name: Juglans mandschurica

Family: Juglandaceae
Genus: Juglans
Species: J. mandshurica
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Fagales

Common Name: Manchurian walnut

Habitat :Juglans mandschurica is native to E. Asia – Manchuria. It grows in the mixed woods in rich soils, also by mountain streams. Mixed forests on mountain slopes or in valleys at elevations of 500 – 2800 metres.
Description:
Juglans mandschurica is a deciduous Tree growing to 20 m (65ft 7in). The leaves are alternate, 40–90 cm long, odd-pinnate, with 7–19 leaflets, 6–17 cm long and 2–7.5 cm broad (margin serrate or serrulate, apex acuminate). The male flowers are in drooping catkins 9–40 cm long, the wind-pollinated female flowers (April–May) are terminal, in spikes of 4 to 10, ripening in August–October into nuts, 3-7.5 × 3–5 cm, with densely glandular pubescent green husk and very thick shell.

The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.The plant is self-fertile.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Requires a deep well-drained loam and a sunny position sheltered from strong winds. Prefers a slightly alkaline soil. A very hardy and ornamental tree, it is recommended for cultivation in severe cold climates. Plants produce a deep taproot and they are intolerant of root disturbance. Seedlings should be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible and given some protection for their first winter or two since they are somewhat tender when young. Flower initiation depends upon suitable conditions in the previous summer. The flowers and young growths can be destroyed by even short periods down to -2°c, but fortunately plants are usually late coming into leaf. Any pruning should only be carried out in late summer to early autumn or when the plant is fully dormant otherwise wounds will bleed profusely and this will severely weaken the tree. Trees have a dense canopy which tends to reduce plant growth below them. We have no specific information for this species, but the roots of several members of this genus produce substances that are toxic to many plant species, especially apples (Malus species), members of the Ericaceae, Potentilla spp and the white pines (certain Pinus spp.). The leaves of many species also secrete substances that have an inhibitory affect on plants growing underneath them. All in all this is not a very good companion plant. Closely allied to J. cathayensis.

Propagation :
The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in individual deep pots in a cold frame. You need to protect it from mice, birds, squirrels etc. The seed usually germinates in late winter or the spring. Plant out the seedlings into their permanent positions in early summer and give some protection from the cold for their first winter or two. The seed can also be stored in cool moist conditions (such s the salad compartment of a fridge) over the winter and sown in early spring but it may then require a period of cold stratification before it will germinate.

Edible Uses: Oil; Oil.
Seed – raw or roasted. The kernels are well filled but difficult to extract because the shell is thick. An edible oil is obtained from the seed, it tends to go rancid quickly.
Medicinal Uses :

Cancer; Miscellany.

The cotyledons are said to be a cure for cancer.

Other Uses:
Herbicide; Miscellany; Oil; Oil; Rootstock; String; Wood.

The seed contains up to 52% oil and, as well as being edible, it has industrial uses. A rope is made from the bark of young trees. Plants produce chemicals which can inhibit the growth of other plants. These chemicals are dissolved out of the leaves when it rains and are washed down to the ground below, reducing the growth of plants under the tree. The roots of many members of this genus produce substances that are toxic to many plant species, especially apples (Malus species), members of the Ericaceae, Potentilla spp and the white pines (certain Pinus spp.). The inner bark is used to make heel pieces for straw shoes. Sometimes used as a rootstock to confer greater cold resistance. Wood – hard, durable. Used for veneer, furniture etc.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juglans_mandshurica
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Juglans+mandschurica

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Herbs & Plants

Juglans ailanthifolia

Botanical Name: Juglans ailanthifolia
Family: Juglandaceae
Genus: Juglans
Species: J. ailantifolia
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Fagales

Synonyms: J. cordiformis and J. sieboldiana and J. mandshurica var. sachalinensis

Common Name: Heartseed Walnut

Habitat: Juglans ailanthifolia is native to Japan and Sakhalin. It grows in the forest.
Description:
Juglans ailanthifolia is a deciduous tree growing to 20 m tall, rarely 30 m, and 40–80 cm stem diameter, with light grey bark. The leaves are pinnate, 50–90 cm long, with 11-17 leaflets, each leaflet 7–16 cm long and 3–5 cm broad. The whole leaf is downy-pubescent, and a somewhat brighter, yellower green than many other tree leaves. It is in flower in June. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.
The male flowers are inconspicuous yellow-green catkins produced in spring at the same time as the new leaves appear. The female flowers have pink/ red pistils. The fruit is a nut, produced in bunches of 4-10 together; the nut is spherical, 3–5 cm long and broad, surrounded by a green husk before maturity in mid autumn.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:

The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Requires a deep well-drained loam and a sunny position sheltered from strong winds. Prefers a slightly alkaline soil. This is the hardiest member of the genus, it should succeed outdoors in most parts of the country. It is also resistant to most insects. The young growth in spring, however, can be damaged by late frosts. This is a form of C. ailanthifolia with a thinner shell and a better tasting nut. It is cultivated for its edible seed in Japan and has the potential for producing very superior nuts, especially if hybridized with J. cinerea. There are some named varieties. Plants can come into bearing in 3 – 4 years from seed. Even when grown on a very windy site in Cornwall, the plants flowered in their eighth year from seed (by which time they were more sheltered from the wind) Plants produce a deep taproot and they are intolerant of root disturbance. Seedlings should be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible and then given some protection since they are somewhat tender when young. Flower initiation depends upon suitable conditions in the previous summer. The flowers and young growths can be destroyed by even short periods down to -2°c, but fortunately plants are usually late coming into leaf. Any pruning should only be carried out in late summer to early autumn or when the plant is fully dormant otherwise wounds will bleed profusely and this will severely weaken the tree. Trees have a dense canopy which tends to reduce plant growth below them. We have no specific information for this species, but the roots of several members of this genus produce substances that are toxic to many plant species, especially apples (Malus species), members of the Ericaceae, Potentilla spp and the white pines (certain Pinus spp.). The leaves of many species also secrete substances that have an inhibitory affect on plants growing underneath them. All in all this is not a very good companion plant.

Propagation:
The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in individual deep pots in a cold frame. You need to protect it from mice, birds, squirrels etc. The seed usually germinates in late winter or the spring. Plant out the seedlings into their permanent positions in early summer and give some protection from the cold for their first winter or two. The seed can also be stored in cool moist conditions (such s the salad compartment of a fridge) over the winter and sown in early spring but it may then require a period of cold stratification before it will germinate
Edible Uses: Oil.
Seed – raw or cooked. They are also used in sweets, pies etc. A mild and pleasant flavour, they can be eaten in quantity for dessert. The shell is thin and easily cracked. It is considered to be superior in taste to C. ailanthifolia. An edible oil is obtained from the seed, though it tends to go rancid quickly. Young buds (leaf?) and peduncles – cooked.

Medicinal Uses: The bark is anthelmintic, astringent, diuretic, lithontripic, pectoral, skin, tonic (kidneys).

Other Uses:
Dye; Herbicide; Oil; Tannin; Wood.

A brown dye is obtained from the seed husks and the bark. Rich in tannin, it does not require a mordant. The bark is rich in tannin. It is used as a dye and also medicinally. Plants produce chemicals which can inhibit the growth of other plants. These chemicals are dissolved out of the leaves when it rains and are washed down to the ground below, reducing the growth of plants under the tree. The roots of many members of this genus produce substances that are toxic to many plant species, especially apples (Malus species), members of the Ericaceae, Potentilla spp and the white pines (certain Pinus spp.). Wood – soft, light, not easily cracked, of good quality. Used for cabinet making etc.

The very bold, decorative leaves and the attractive catkins produced in spring make it an excellent ornamental tree for planting in parks and large gardens.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juglans_ailantifolia
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Juglans+ailanthifolia+cordiformis

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Herbs & Plants

Lactuca sativa

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Botanical Name: Lactuca sativa
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Lactuca
Species: L. sativa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:
* Lactuca scariola var. sativa (Moris)
*L. scariola var. integrata (Gren. and Godr.)
*L. scariola var. integrifolia (G.Beck)

Common Names: Lettuce, Garden lettuce

Habitat: Lactuca sativa is native to mediterranean Regions to Siberia. It grows well in cultivated bed.
Description:
Lactuca sativa is a annual/perennial herb growing to 0.9 m (3ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in). Lettuce types include romaine, butter head, iceberg, and loose leaf. All are at their best if grown quickly.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August. Flowers are not showy and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies, self.The plant is self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Prefers a light sandy loam. Succeeds in most well-drained, humus-rich soils but dislikes acid conditions. Plants strongly dislike dry conditions, quickly running to seed in such a situation. Early and late sowings are best in a sunny position, but summer crops are best given a position with some shade in order to slow down the plants tendency to go to seed and to prevent the leaves becoming bitter. The garden lettuce is widely cultivated in many parts of the world for its edible leaves and is probably the most commonly grown salad plant. There are many named varieties capable of providing fresh leaves throughout the year if winter protection is given in temperate areas. Over the centuries a number of more or less distinct forms have arisen in cultivation. These forms have been classified as follows. They are treated separately in more detail:- L. sativa angustana. L.H.Bailey. is the Celtuce. The leaves of this form are not of such good quality as the other lettuces and the plant is grown more for its thick central stem which is used in the same ways as celery. L. sativa capitata. L. is the heading lettuce, it forms a heart in a similar way to cabbages. Examples of this include the Iceberg and Butterhead lettuces. L. sativa crispa. L. is the curled or leaf lettuce. This does not form a central heart but produces a loose rosette of basal leaves. It can be harvested on a cut and come again basis. L. sativa longifolia Lam. is the cos lettuce. This has longer, thinner leaves and a more erect habit, it does not form a compact heart. Lettuces are quite a problematic crop to grow. They require quite a lot of attention to protect them from pests such as slugs, aphids and birds. If the weather is hot and dry the plants tend to run very quickly to seed, developing a bitter flavour as they do so. In wet weather they are likely to develop fungal diseases. In addition, the seed needs to be sown at regular intervals of 2- 3 weeks during the growing season in order to provide a regular supply of leaves. Lettuces make a good companion plant for strawberries, carrots, radishes and onions. They also grow well with cucumbers, cabbages and beetroot.

Propagation:
Seed – sow a small quantity of seed in situ every 2 or 3 weeks from March (with protection in cooler areas) to June and make another sowing in August/September for a winter/spring crop. Only just cover the seed. Germination is usually rapid and good, thin the plants if necessary, these thinnings can be transplanted to produce a slightly later crop (but they will need to be well watered in dry weather). More certain winter crops can be obtained by sowing in a frame in September/October and again in January/February.
Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. A mild slightly sweet flavour with a crisp texture, lettuce is a very commonly used salad leaf and can also be cooked as a potherb or be added to soups etc. A nutritional analysis is available. Seed – sprouted and used in salads or sandwiches. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. The seed is very small, extraction of the oil on any scale would not be very feasible.

Constituents:

Leaves (Fresh) :-

*0 Calories per 100g
*Water : 92.9%
*Protein: 2.1g; Fat: 0g; Carbohydrate: 3g; Fibre: 0.5g; Ash: 1.2g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 26mg; Phosphorus: 30mg; Iron: 0.7mg; Magnesium: 10mg; Sodium: 3mg; Potassium: 208mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 2200mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0.4mg; B6: 0mg; C: 15mg;
Medicinal Uses:
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[4]. 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[238]. 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. The cultivated lettuce does not contain as much lactucarium as the wild species, most being produced when the plant is in flower. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used[9]. 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. The seed is anodyne and galactogogue. Lettuce has acquired a folk reputation as an anaphrodisiac, anodyne, carminative, diuretic, emollient, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, hypnotic, narcotic, parasiticide and sedative.

Other Uses : The sap of flowering plants that is used as parasiticide. The seed is said to be used to make hair grow on scar tissue.

Known Hazards: The mature plant is known to be mildly toxic.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lettuce
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+sativa
http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=a679