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Butterhead Lettuce Purchase & Information

Alternative Names

Lettuce, Tshilai

Scientific Name

Lactuca Sativa

Why Do People Use Butterhead Lettuce?

In addition to its usual purpose as an edible leafy vegetable, butterhead lettuce has had a number of uses in ancient (and even some more modern) times as a medicinal herb and religious symbol. For example, ancient Egyptians thought butterhead lettuce to be a symbol of sexual prowess and a promoter of love and childbearing in women. The Romans likewise claimed that it increased sexual potency. In contrast, the ancient Greeks connected the plant with male impotency, and served it during funerals (probably due to its role in the myth of Adonis's death), and British women in the 1800s believed it would cause infertility and sterility. Butterhead Lettuce has mild narcotic properties it was called "sleepwort" by the Anglo-Saxons because of this attribute although the cultivated Lactuca Sativa has lower levels of the narcotic than its wild cousins. This narcotic effect is a property of two sesquiterpene lactones which are found in the white liquid (latex) in the stems of butterhead lettuce, called lactucarium or "lettuce opium". Lettuce extracts are sometimes used in skin creams and lotions for treating sunburn and rough skin. It was once thought to be useful in relieving liver issues. Some American settlers claimed that smallpox could be prevented through the ingestion of lettuce, and an Iranian belief suggested consumption of the seeds when afflicted with typhoid. Folk medicine has also claimed it as a treatment for pain, rheumatism, tension and nervousness, coughs and insanity; scientific evidence of these benefits in humans has not been found, although some similar effects have been demonstrated in mice and toads. The religious ties of butterhead lettuce continue into the present day among the Yazidi people of northern Iraq, who have a religious prohibition against eating the plant.

Is It Safe To Use?

Although most food-borne pathogens can survive on stored lettuce, they tend to decline in number during the storage period. The exception to this is Listeria monocytogenes, the causative agent of listeriosis, which multiplies in storage. However, despite very high levels of the bacteria being found on ready-to-eat lettuce products, a 2008 study found no incidences of food-borne illness related to listeriosis. The researcher posited that this may be due to the product's short shelf life, indigenous microflora competing with the Listeria bacteria or possible properties within the lettuce that cause the bacteria to be unable to cause listeriosis.

How Effective Is Butterhead Lettuce?

None known.

How Butterhead Lettuce Works?

Depending on the variety, lettuce is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin K and potassium, with higher concentrations of vitamin A found in darker green lettuces. It also provides some dietary fiber (concentrated in the spine and ribs), carbohydrates, protein and a small amount of fat. With the exception of the iceberg type, lettuce also provides some vitamin C, calcium, iron and copper, with vitamins and minerals largely found in the leaf. Butterhead Lettuce naturally absorbs and concentrates lithium.

What Are The Side Effects /Adverse Reactions of Butterhead Lettuce?

None known

How Butterhead Lettuce Interacts With Other Herbs and Supplements?

None known

How Butterhead Lettuce Interacts With Drugs?

None known

How Butterhead Lettuce Interacts With Foods?

None known

How Butterhead Lettuce Interacts With Lab Tests?

None known

How Butterhead Lettuce Interacts With Diseases and Conditions?

None known

What Should Be the Dose/Administration of Butterhead Lettuce?

There is no typical dosage for butterhead lettuce.


Western Europe and North America were the original major markets for large-scale butterhead lettuce production. By the late 1900s, Asia, South America, Australia and Africa became more substantial markets. Different locations tended to prefer different types of lettuce, with butterhead prevailing in northern Europe and Great Britain, romaine in the Mediterranean and stem lettuce in China and Egypt. By the late 20th century, the preferred types began to change, with crisphead, especially iceberg, lettuce becoming the dominant type in northern Europe and Great Britain and more popular in western Europe. In the US, no one type predominated until the early 20th century, when crisphead lettuces began gaining popularity. After the 1940s, with the development of iceberg lettuce, 95 percent of the lettuce grown and consumed in the US was crisphead lettuce. By the end of the century, other types began to regain popularity and eventually made up over 30 percent of production. Stem lettuce was first developed in China, and remains primarily cultivated in that country.

General Certificate of Analysis (COA)

Specification sheet links below are a standard copy of the COA less the batch or lot number and manufactures dates. Specification sheet can be dated and should only be considered as a general information. Please contact and request an up to date COA if needed for specific updated information before placing order by filling out the contact form with product name and SKU number. If ordering quantities of twenty five kilos or more contact for availability.

Specification Sheets

Butterhead Lettuce Powder


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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