Natural sleep aid ‘lettuce opium’ is helping people doze off within minutes

A trend of drinking homemade lettuce tea as a sleeping aid has gone viral on TikTok – and there is a long history of usage to back up the claims.

The leaves of some varieties of lettuce, such as romaine, contain a chemical called lactucarium that was nicknamed "lettuce opium" because of its sedative and painkilling properties, although it is not actually an opiate.

Ancient Egyptians used it as medicine and it was also popular in Europe before the Victorian period.

In a video uploaded on Monday, May 31, TikTok user @RainbowBrikk says she has seen the hack being shared on the app and decided to try it out and record the results.

She says: "You boil lettuce and then drink the water. So yeah, I'm going to try it!"

Firstly, she washes her lettuce and puts several leaves in a mug, and then tops it up with freshly boiled water from the kettle.

When it has steeped in the mug for several minutes, she fishes out the leaves and drinks the tea.

"Ok so this lettuce tea is supposed to help me sleep and it is a natural pain reliever," she says.

"I grow my own lettuce so it is organic."

Twenty minutes later, she films herself lying down and looking a bit sleepy.

She says: "This is so relaxing. I'm just chilled… it's nice."

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In another update, looking even more drowsy, she confesses she is "ready for bed" and it seems the simple tea has really worked its magic.

The clip was "liked" hundreds of times and dozens of people commented on whether it was something they'd be willing to try.

"Yes! So happy it works for you!" said one viewer.

"It worked," wrote a second person.

Someone else commented: Green romaine is supposed to have a higher concentration of the chemical. Iceberg is mostly water."

Another user recommended: "Get a fresh cut lettuce with the stalk and white sap. Cut it out crush it and make some tea."

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