The truth is that there is not much data on lettuce water in humans to support this claim. But drinking this concoction is probably harmless and can work as a relaxing ritual to help people unwind at the end of the day. Another thing is that we like it or find it pleasant to take. The latest TikTok trend promises to help people sleep well in a new and natural way. Instead of relying on medication or strategies like meditation before bed, TikTokers drink lettuce water.
Lettuce water refers to the leftover liquid after soaking lettuce leaves in hot water. If we know how to make a cup of tea, we can easily join this trend. Some people even include peppermint, chamomile, or another non-caffeinated sleep-aid tea in the brew to help make it taste more appetizing. However, while including lettuce water in your diet is probably harmless, it may not actually help you fall asleep.
Why the lettuce?
We can infuse water with any number of vegetables and fruits. So why has lettuce gone viral? Certain lettuces, such as romaine, naturally contain a phytonutrient called lactucarium. Lactucarium is sometimes known as “lettuce opium” due to its proposed calming and sleep-inducing effect.
There isn’t much data linking lettuce to better sleep in humans, but there is evidence showing a positive effect in mice. In fact, in one study, researchers concluded that romaine lettuce is a source of sleep support and contains antioxidants that protect against stress caused by sleep disorders. In another study, also conducted on rodents, researchers found that romaine lettuce helped improve sleep duration.
Although there are some studies highlighting the effect of lettuce on sleep, as of now, there are no well-designed human clinical trials on the subject. And until that is available, she suggests taking any claims about lettuce water with a grain of salt. That being said, drinking lettuce water probably won’t do any harm.
Food contamination is always a risk with raw foods. Recently, certain lettuces have been more prone to contamination by E.coli. Washing or boiling vegetables can help reduce risk, but it does not eliminate the risk completely. Also, for people taking blood thinners, lettuce water could interact with the medication. A green light is needed from a physician before beginning to include this concoction in a nightly ritual.
If we have trouble sleeping, drinking lettuce water can help. There isn’t a lot of data to support its benefits for sleep, but drinking water is probably not harmful to your health.