I recently began considering wild lettuce as an alternative to Advil. Mostly I resort to advil when I headaches or menstrual cramping, for which I know there are other remedies, but in conjunction when those other remedies just aren't enough. What do you think about wild lettuce taken as needed?
It is not that strong. There is a trace of opium in the plant, but not enough to be very effective, and the plant is prone to loss of strength from oxidation.
I also was reading about its sedative/ calmative properties and was wondering if it might be useful for another need of mine that has been ever- present, my insomnia.
Same as above. You also have to be careful if you have drug testing at work since it will show positive for opiates.
The insomnia (due to adrenal issues) is always present but also changing and I feel that it's always a different cause depending where my body is. At one point in time it was hormones, a lot of the time i know it's adrenals or a stressful day weakening my adrenals causing me to wake up and stay awake at 5 or 6 am.
Did you read my post on strengthening the adrenals?:
This past week it has overwhelmingly been stress related. If I have a notable stressful event even if it's early in the day, I wake up later at 5 am and can't sleep. So while I do plan on working on reducing the stress, taking my adrenal herbs, meditating, exercising, etc, etc, I was wondering if there might be an herb that is good to take for the moment, to make me feel better.
Ashwagandha would be a really good choice. It not only supports the adrenals, but it also raises GABA levels to calm the mind.
I have been using glycine to sleep for a while but sometimes it's not the thing I need. For example this morning I tried glycine; then I tried some melatonin (which I Haven't taken for a year), and it made me incredibly drowsy but I never fell back asleep.
Melatonin is not a good idea:
I could tell from that experiment that what I needed was something to put my mind in the correct place; it wasn't purely physical. In fact I feel sometimes that taking purely sedative herbs like Lady Slipper make it worse because the physical drowsiness just doesn't vibe well with my mental state. I would rather that the sleep come from a state of mental peace.
So, that said, would wild lettuce be a good thing to try for that particular need as well as painkillers? If so, what form would be good (I found a cheap source for the powder - not extract, just powdered leaf) but it sounds as if everyone tends to use extracts or tinctures because of the resinous sap that contains the active components. Do I need an extract or tincture as opposed to a powder?
Again not that effective. If you still want to try it then the powder is more stable than the tincture. But a better choice as a general pain killer would be magnesium malate for the menstrual cramps and if the headaches are migraines. But it should be taken on a more regular basis, not just when the pain starts. Kudzu root is also a very good choice.
A good fish oil can also help by reducing inflammatory prostaglandins.
I was thinking of combining the powder in capsules with ashwagandha for night-time emergency use, and on its own as a painkiller.
If wild lettuce won't do can you recommend some other herbs for pain/ mental tranquility, and not for taking long-term like the adrenal herbs, but as a backup/ emergency when I've had a rough day?
Passion flower is good. I also like kava, catnip or scullcap. There are others such a wood betony, but they are harder to get a hold of. The others, other than kava should be pretty easy to find.