Botanical Name

Lactuca sativa L.


Compositae / Asteraceae.


Lactuca capitata (L.) DC., Lactuca crispa (L.) Roth, Lactuca dregeana DC., Lactuca laciniata Roth, Lactuca palmata Willd.,

Regional Name

English: Asparagus lettuce, Celtuce, Lettuce, Stem lettuce, Hindi : Kahu, Salad, Urdu: Tukhme kahu, Tukhm kahu muqqashar, Tukhm-i-kahu, Kannada: Lettuce, Tamil: Callattu-k-kirai, Kaccu, Kattuccallattu, Lettucu, Shallattu virai. Marathi : Kahu, Punjabi : Kahu, Bengali :  Kahu, Gujarati : Kahu, Kannada : Hakkarike, Saleet.

Part Used



Kahu is an annual herb 2 or 3 feet in height with milky sap and hairless leaves that grow in a rosette on the ground at first in Desert area of Rajasthan then either in a loose or a tightly rolled head, and eventually along an upright stem that supports the flowers. The dandelion-like flower-heads are pale yellow, less than 0.5 in across, and borne in dense clusters above the leaves on an erect branching stem.


It contains Lactucarium (Lactucin, lactuco-picrin and lacturic acid, large amount of caoutchoue, volatile oil, sugar, gum, pectic acid, albumen, oxalic acid, mannit, potassium, nitrate etc).

Ayurvedic Properties

Rasa : Madhura, Guna : Guru, Virya : Snighdha,

Ayurvedic Applications

Pachana, Depana, Jwara, Raktadosha, Sotha, Kasa,

Medicinal Uses

It is used in Headache, ophthalmia, prevents fall of hairs, inflammation, headache, purification of blood, improve appetite, biliousness, nervousness and palpitation of heart, fever, inflammation, dry coughs, whooping cough, bronchitis, asthma, pertussis, chronic bronchitis, insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, wakefulness, hyperactivity in children and rheumatic pain.


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