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Pleurisy Root, (Asclepias speciosa, A. tuberosa) Powder Bulk
Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed Family)
The genus name Asclepias was given in honor of the Greek god of medicine bearing the same name. The common name pleurisy refers to the plant's ability to help reduce the pain and inflammation of the disease pleurisy.
Range of Appearance
Pleurisy is a perennial, native to North America that can grow from 1 to 3 feet in height. The stems and leaves are hairy. The leaves are alternate and lance shaped, and they clasp the stems close to the flower. The hermaphroditic flowers are bright orange corymbs; the seed pods are long, narrow, and downy. Pleurisy prefers light, sandy soil and full sun and will tolerate dry conditions. Monarch butterflies feed upon pleurisy. Birds that eat these butterflies experience pleurisy's emetic effects afterward, which causes them to vomit and discourages them from eating the butterflies again.
Anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, astringent, bronchial dilator, cathartic (in large amounts), carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic (in large amounts), expectorant, nervine, vasodilator
Pleurisy root was included in the United States Pharmacopoeia from 1820 until 1905 and the National Formulary from 1916 to 1936. It helps expel phlegm from both the nasal and the bronchial passages, clears heat, and improves circulation, lymphatic drainage, and the function of the cilia. It is used to treat asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, chicken pox, colds, colic, cough, diarrhea, dysentery, eczema, emphysema, fever, flatulence, flu, measles, pleurisy, pneumonia, rheumatism, rheumatic fever, scarlet fever, tuberculosis, typhoid, and typhus. Topically, pleurisy root can be used as a poultice to treat bruises, rheumatism, and wounds.
The roots, as well as the young shoots, flowers, buds and immature seedpods, can be cooked and eaten. The plant is generally not eaten raw. The flowers can be boiled down to make a sweetener.
The plant's beautiful orange flowers have been made into a yellow dye. Some Native American tribes made bowstrings from the stalks. The bark yields a fiber that can be used in making string or cloth. The water-repellent seed fluff is used to make candle wicks and to stuff jackets, pillows, dollies, and even life jackets; it has even been used to mop up oil spills at sea.
Beta-carotene, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorous, sulfur, glycosides (asclepiadin), bitters (asclepione), sterol (phytoestrogen), cardenolides, flavonoids (kaempferol, quercetin, rutin), essential oils, resin
Avoid pleurisy root during pregnancy and in cases of heart conditions. Large doses and ingesting the uncooked plant may cause vomiting and diarrhea. The sap contains toxic glycosides and should not be consumed raw.
Plant details were provided by iPlant by Brigitte Mars.
Hyperlink it to https://brigittemars.com/iplant-app/