It is a widely grown annual plant cultivated for the edible leaves. Lettuce leaves are low in calories but rich in vitamin A. It is believed that lettuce originally was native to Europe and Asia and was cultivated by 550 B.C. Today it is grown throughout the word.
Cultivated lettuce belongs to the composite family. After the leaves form, branching leafy flowering stems develop. These stems range in height 3 to 4 feet and bear cluster of small yellow flower heads.
There are four major botanical varieties of lettuce - Head or cabbage lettuce has a dense leafy head similar to that of cabbage. Head lettuce may be of four types, viz, butter-head, crisp-head, imperial and iceberg types. The second and third types have long shoe-horn shaped leaves. The fourth type lettuce or asparagus lettuce has thick edible stems but is rarely grown in the U.S.
Lettuce can be grown in a wide variety of soils including marshy and sandy, silty loams. Ample sunlight, uniformly cool nights and plenty of moisture are essential for well-developed lettuce heads. High temperature lead to inferior quality.
Lettuce contains vitamins A, B and C in plenty. It also contains calcium, iodine, magnesium and silicon. Lettuce juice has great quantities of iron and magnesium. Iron is the most active element in the body and it must be renewed and replenished more frequently than any other minerals. Iron is stored in the liver and spleen where it is ready to meet any sudden demand of the body such as the rapid formation of red blood corpuscles in heavy loss of blood.
The high content of magnesium in lettuce has exceptional vitalising powers specially in the muscular tissues, the brain and the nerves. Organic salts of magnesium are cell builders and they are very useful to the nerves. They help in maintaining the normal fluidity of the blood. When combined with carrot juice, the properties of lettuce are intensified by the addition of vitamin A and sodium.
Drinking daily an abundance of carrot, lettuce and spinach juice combined will supply food to the tired nerves and hair roots which is the only means by which the growth of hair can be stimulated. This juice combination is very helpful for maintaining the normal colour of the hair.
Benefit and uses of Lettuce.
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