Wild Lettuce, commonly called efo yanrin in Yoruba land is a vegetable delicacy in my village side.
I detest wild lettuce because i see it as weed growing all over my farm space. Every where even in extreme dry season, you see the leave still growing though the leaf might reduce on size
During one dry seasons back then when I first started farming, a neighour farmers wife will come to the farm in the morning to pick wild lettuce.
” Mama, what is this leaf? I innocently asked
Efo yanrin.. She replied
Though I have been hearing efo yanrin but I don’t know whatever it is.
” What is it used for? I asked mama again
Obe ni . Its soup. Vegetable soup
Very delicious. Mama add.
And by evening I got my own dose of wild lettuce from mama as present
But I don’t really enjoy the taste.
Possibly because I think its weed or whatever. I just dont like it.
So I kept my distance from wild lettuce
And then playfully, very recently, i google wild lettuce and to say i am surprise is an understatement when i discover its highly medicinal.
And to my utmost surprise i read that the leaves, sap (latex), and seed are used to make medicine.
What? I exclaimed
That makes me to read further and I was astonished at the discovery..
No wonder the villagers live long. Most of what they consume even they don’t know the value.
Same way I find out about “sour sop” which scientist has discovered it work for cancer. Meanwhile children play with it around here calling it ” Eko Omode” meaning children’s pap
I learnt Wild lettuce is used for
* Whooping cough
* Urinary tracts problems
* trouble sleeping (insomnia)
* painful menstrual periods
* excessive sex drive in women
* muscular or joint pains
* poor circulation
* swollen genitals in men
The seed oil is used for “hardening of the arteries and as a substitute for wheat germ oil.
Some people apply wild lettuce latex directly to the skin kill germs.
Some people inhale wild lettuce for a recreational “high” or hallucinogenic effect.