Pleurisy Root Powder
Botanical Name - Asclepias tuberosa
Other Names - Butterfly milkweed, butterfly weed, Canada root, chiggerflower, fluxroot, Indian paintbrush, Indian posy, orange milkweed, silkweed, silky swallow-wort, tuber root, yellow milkweed, white-root, windroot.
Origin - USA
Flavor Profile - Bitter, Woody, Nutty in flavor. Combine with other herbs to enhance taste when preparing as tea.
Culinary Usages - In tea infusions, as an extract and very seldom in capsules.
Cosmetic Usages - Some Native American traditions used a body wash made of the root. Pleurisy root was used as medicine by early Americans for hundreds of years. The dried root was powdered and turned into a paste which was topically applied to warts and sores. Incorporate into lotions, creams, ointments, soaps and shampoos.
Pleurisy root, or butterfly weed as it is also commonly known, is edible and medicinal, with a long history of use as a valuable medicinal herb.
It is one of the most important of the Native American medicinal plants, having been used for over a thousand years before the herb was entered in the European pharmacopeias of the eighteenth century, or listed in the United States Pharmacopoeia in the nineteenth century (1820-1920).
The Latin genus name for pleurisy root, “Asclepias” (sometimes spelled Aesclepias), is derived from the Greek god of healing Asclepius because of its value as a medicinal plant.
Pleurisy root was considered as a heal-all herb by early European settlers on the North American continent, who would have learned of its applications from the Native Americans.
Pleurisy root is harvested in spring and used to make extracts and tinctures. However, due to the presence of cardiac glycosides, the herb should not be used during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, or by anyone with a history of heart disease or taking stimulant medications.
Precautions - Excessive intake can cause intestinal cramping, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Pleurisy root should be avoided by pregnant women as it may stimulate uterine contractions. It is contraindicated during lactation or for infants due to the trace amount of cardiac glycosides. It should be used cautiously in patients with cardiovascular conditions or who are taking cardiac glycosides.
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