Botanical Name: Asclepias tuberosa | Family: Asclepiadaceae
Common name(s): Pleurisy Root, Butterfly Weed, Swallow Wort, Wind Root, Tuber Root
- Perennial herb | Zones 3-9 | 2 – 3 feet | Numerous, bright orange-yellow color in June and August, followed by pods
- Dry, gravelly / sandy soil | Sun
- Propagate from seeds. Can take a few years to mature. Does not transplant easily. Will self-seed once established.
- Dig the root in spring or fall.
- Can be dried in the sun.
PREPARATION / DOSAGE
Infusion: Add 1 teaspoon of powdered root to 1 cup boiling water. Let sit for 10-15 minutes. Drink a cupful every hour to help promote perspiration and suppress expectoration.
Tincture: 5-40 drops every 3 hours as required.
Some sources suggest taking each of these preparations 3x /day. Since there are cautions about taking too much of it, this seems like a wiser dosage.
Actions: carminative, cardiac tonic, diuretic, diaphoretic, expectorant
Uses: Pleurisy, lung and bronchial congestion, colds and flus
Combinations: combine equal parts pleurisy, elecampane, mullein, and yerba santa for bronchioles and lung issues.
Cautions: potentially toxic in large quantities
- Bitter, acrid, cool
- Indian Herbology of North America, Alma R. Hutchens
- *The Way of Herbs, Michael Tierra
- Medicinal Plant and Herbs (Peterson Field Guide), S. Foster and J. Duke
- A Modern Herbal, Mrs. M. Grieve
- Better Homes & Gardens
- photo credit: coloneljohnbritt via photopin cc
I’m going to call this Butterfly Weed going forward because it’s a happier name than Pleurisy Root. Monarch butterfly larvae feed on its leaves and all kinds of butterflies are attracted to its flowers. I read in Newcombs Wildflower book that Butterfly Weed is a member of the Milkweed family. Can’t wait to go looking for some next year!