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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.Plants for a Future shares that the young stems can be cooked and used as an asparagus substitute, and the seeds can be refined to produce an edible oil.The oil is also used in soap making, paints, and varnishes.General medicinal information from Plants for a Future: 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.

Survival, Tracking and Awareness of Australia has some great photos showing exactly how durable this plant is.The leaves themselves are slightly prickly, mainly underneath.They can be handled without significant discomfort – they only poke a bit. Prickly wild lettuce blooms from mid-summer to fall.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.

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