Lactucarium. - The concrete milk-juice of Lactuca virosa Linne (nat. ord. Composite). Synonym. - Lettuce.

Habitat

Southern and Central Europe.

Characters

In sections of plano-convex, circular cakes, or in irregular, angular pieces, externally grayish-brown or dull reddish-brown, internally whitish or yellowish, of a waxy lustre; odor heavy, somewhat narcotic; taste bitter.

Composition

The chief constituents of Lactucarium are - (1) Lactu-cerin or Lactucone, C16H26O, about 50 per cent., a crystalline principle. (2) Lactucin, C11H12O3+H2O, resembling mannit. (3) Lactucic Acid.

Dose, 5 to 60 gr.; .30 to 4.00 gm.

Preparations,

1. Tinctura Lactucarii. - Tincture of Lactucarium. Lactucarium, 500; Glycerin, 250; by treatment with Benzin and drying, then macerate and percolate with water, and Alcohol; evaporate, filter and add diluted Alcohol to 1000.

Dose, 1/4 to 2 fl. dr.; 1. to 8. c.c.

2. Syrupus Lactucarii. - Syrup of Lactucarium. Tincture of Lactucarium, 100; Sugar, 50; Precipitated Calcium Phosphate, 50; triturated together with water, filter, dissolve Sugar, 700; and add water to 1000.

Dose, 1 to 4 fl. dr.; 4. to 15. c.c.

Action And Therapeutics Of Lactucarium

Lactucarium has been credited with mild hypnotic powers. Large doses of the green extract may cause mental derangement, and will dilate the pupil.