Wild weeds for food and medicines

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by SB21, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Looking for a little help here. Here's what I'm looking for.
    I seem to always have back and spine pain. Sometimes worse than others. I don't like taking a lot of the over the counter drugs , that don't usually do much, except eat up your liver and other bodily organs. And the doctor prescribed stuff that is out today will work, but we all know about the addiction rates for this stuff and I don't want to have to deal with that .
    So , I've looked into the possibility of natural remedies. I also want to start trying these natural weeds for food sources as well. So I'm looking for suggestions for a good book that I could carry in field to help with identification and uses.
    Now, I've found online one that is a food source and a pain reliever. It's called Prickly Lettuce. Now there are different varieties of this plant, but I've not found if the other varieties carry the same properties. The Prickly variety has kind of a thorny spine. It's also called by other names, and one of them is Opium Lettuce. Now don't misunderstand me here, I'm not looking to abuse these plants for illegal purposes. So I'd like a book that will tell all the uses for these plants and how to get the intended results, food sources, teas , medicinal. How to prepare them, harvesting times, etc.
    My grandmother used to cook up a few meals with different wild weeds years ago , but I don't remember what these foods were.
    I'd quality is a must, I don't want to get the wrong one. Also if it would tell what plants to stay away from and why, but I've read that these poisonous plants actually have some good uses as well if used correctly, and that could come in handy as well .
    Thanks for all your help and suggestions and your own personal experiences and recipes in this area. Also , I'm in NC, so the plants that would be native to my area would be especially helpful.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
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  2. Imasham

    Imasham Monkey

    Go to a library and check out a Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs. If your local library doesn't have it they can probably get it through interlibrary loan. There's an Eastern and a Western version.
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  3. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    We have a tag, medicinal herbs | Survival Monkey Forums lots of threads and herbs. Depending on where you are, some wild medicinal maybe available. Plus I just bumped a thread on edibles in ones area.
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  4. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    You might consider a little Mary Jane..
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  5. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I was going to suggest CBD oil but unsure were the OP is located.
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  6. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    Wild lettuce - opium lettuce - is worth a try, and totally non-addictive. Plant ID can be tricky, and the incorrect ID of a plant can make you sick, over even kill you. If using books as a reference I recommend 3 books that all deal with the same subject, so you can compare information. The Peterson Guide mentioned by Imasham in the above post is one I use, but the pictures in it aren't very good, I also use the Golden Press - A Guide to field identification WILDFLOWERS of North America, to help confirm, and I use several others also, as when it comes to plant ID, you can't have too much information. A survival instructor recommended Newcomb's Wildflower Guide as a single book to use, which is still on my list of books to acquire. Be also aware that even with several books as reference you will come across unidentifiable plants, and others can take hours of work to ID.
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  7. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    What is CBD oil ? I'm in central North Carolina .

    Yea , I'm not really looking for an actual high . Maybe looking for a milder numbing effect , if that's possible. In my younger days I smoked a little, and have plenty of friends that still do, and have tried a little , and it doesn't seem to be what I'm looking for.

    I will definetly look into these books. I stopped by a book store a couple weeks ago , they had a few books , but I only had a few minutes to look because of scheduled appointments. And that's something I do worry about is being able to have some really good pics for a good positive ID. Thanks.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2017
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  8. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Sometimes State and university botanical gardens have botanists who conduct plant identification training / courses.

    You may be able to find a local guide, by google searching, as I did for local information on edible and medicinal weed foraging....links below.

    How to forage for wild edible plants in Canberra

    Ten backyard weeds you can actually eat

    Urban foraging


    Here is one such guide in the USA. Home | Wildman Steve Brill I don't vouch for, or necessarily endorse him or his site, but just offer it as an example of what is on offer in the USA.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
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  9. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

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  10. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Ok, thanks. A friend of mine said I needed to try this. I think he's joking most of the time, but like I said I'm not looking for the high that all these other people use it for. But I'll look into some of this.
    GOG likes this.
  11. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    Check Amazon for the books, if you don't find them locally.
  12. enloopious

    enloopious Rocket Surgeon

    Opium poppies are legal to grow.

    Have you tried fasting for a day?
  13. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    No I haven't tried fasting. How would that help with pain ?
    And I'm not really sure those poppies are legal to grow , a guy in my AO got arrested for having a half acre field of near harvest ready poppies. Can't remember what they valued it at , but it was up there , 1/2 mil or better.
  14. enloopious

    enloopious Rocket Surgeon

    Little old ladies grow them around here all the time and they give out ribbons to the best gardens. Most likely the guy who got arrested had CUT one of them to harvest the juice. You can be arrested for that. I have sprinkled thousands of the seeds on the local mountains where they grow wild now. If I need them they are there.

    Fasting does help. May not make sense but give it a try.
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  15. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    CBD oil can be used topically. People with back issues use it.

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  16. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Take a Styrofoam cup and fill with water.... Freeze... Peel the lip of the cup so you have 1/2 inch of ice showing... get your significant other to give you an ice massage... It will stop the spasms , increase the blood flow ( helps remove lactic acid and other toxins), and numbs the pain... Speaking from experience.... and is totally legal in all AO's....
  17. birchtree

    birchtree Monkey

    I thought Opium poppies growing is only legal for medicinal purposes in Australia?
  18. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    As I understand it, growing opium poppies in Australia may only be done under licence when grown under contract for the licit pharmaceutical industry or authorised research. Private growing for personal use (or illicit distribution) meh....it will still see you doing time in the slammer.

    Legal opium poppies blooming across Victoria
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  19. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    If your looking for a great book to id plants
    Weeds of the West by Univ of Montana is outstanding with great pics. It doesnt give you medicinal info but its the best book ive ever found for identifying plants


    I'm a great believer in growing what you need even if you want to plant it in the wild and come back later and see how it did. That way you know where the stuff is ;D

    https://www.amazon.com/opium-lettuce/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=i:aps,k:eek:pium lettuce&tag=survivalmonke-20

    You're thinking: How can iceberg lettuce be a drug? It barely qualifies as a food. Little do you know. While the stuff from the supermarket isn't likely to do much, lettuce generally speaking does contain psychoactive compounds. Enough to get you high? Hard to say. Judging from available evidence, the stuff might do nothing, give you a buzz, or kill you. Here's what we know:

    1. When cut, the stems of lettuce plants ooze a milky juice whose appearance, taste, and smell are said to be similar to opium. Once dried, the substance is called lactucarium, or lettuce opium. Used by the ancient Egyptians, the stuff was listed in the Pharmacopeia of the United States of America as late as 1916. It can still be found in herbals and such, which describe it as a sedative and cough suppressant. Lettuce opium can be found in all lettuce species but is most commonly extracted from wild lettuce, Lactuca virosa.

    2. Most of what little research has been done on the pharmaceutical effects of lettuce is old--one article in my stack was published in 1904. A 1940 study found that fresh lettuce juice indeed contains two sedatives, lactucin and lactucopicrin. The last detailed research I know of appeared in 1976.

    3. Recent writers generally don't think much of lettuce. Tyler's Honest Herbal (1999) calls lettuce opium a "venerable fraud of a drug." The authors say it was popular in the U.S. during the 19th century but sank into obscurity in the 20th. In the mid-1970s, lettuce opium "was resurrected as a legal psychotropic or mind-altering drug by members of the American hippie movement"; one dealer reportedly cleared $1,500 daily selling lettuce products, which any way you look at it is a lot of lettuce.

    4. A 1981 article in the prestigious journal Science claimed that lettuce contains 2 to 10 parts of morphine per billion. To put that in perspective, the usual therapeutic dose of morphine is 0.5 to 50 parts per thousand, roughly a million times as much.

    5. A 1982 study of three "narcotic substitutes" sold in health-food stores and claiming to contain, among other things, a distillate of garden lettuce found no psychoactive compounds.

    6. According to a 1998 report, three drug enthusiasts mixed up an extract of wild lettuce (one also tried valerian root), injected it, and came down with fever, chills, headache and other pain, neck stiffness, etc, for three days.

    7. Lest the news appear all bad, in 2003 a French medical journal reported that a 23-year-old héroïnomane par voie nasale (heroin sniffer) ate a paste made from wild lettuce leaves he'd purchased online and said he felt des effets euphorisants et analgésiques. Then again, the article also says a 22-year-old Moroccan woman who ate wild lettuce stems fell into a coma and died. Hard to argue with Tyler: "Sensible people may continue to eat lettuce in their bacon and tomato sandwiches, but they will not smoke it in their pipes."
    The Straight Dope: Is iceberg lettuce a drug?
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
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  20. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Well now I'm kind of confused and not sure if this is what I'm looking for.
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